I finished my Done with Diets 5-day challenge last week with some fantastic women who committed to finding real health and freedom by turning their backs on dieting for good.
Whenever I work with clients and spend time in the company of women willing to be vulnerable and develop, I know I grow too. This week has been no exception.
So, what did I learn?
I learned much more of diet culture is about shame that I had ever imagined previously. Standing on scales in a room of your peers and then having your weight recorded as gain or loss is inherently shaming. Ok, you might think I am harsh or overdramatic because we all know your weight doesn’t get shouted out. But it may as well be.
The shame is in the recording. The shame is in wearing the same clothes, god forbid don’t wear jeans! The shame is in the walk back to your seat, and the shame is in not getting slimmer of the week, or whatever certificate or prize is awarded next. And the ultimate shame? You paid for the privilege of being shamed, so how does that make you feel about yourself?
If you haven’t thought much about shame as a response about dieting, let’s look at it in more detail. Brene Brown writes so eloquently about shame and, specifically, the distinction between guilt and shame. She states that guilt is knowing that “I have done something wrong”. This is a helpful feeling that can lead to reparation and learning. However, shame is the feeling that “I am wrong”. Let me say that again because it is so worth you really hearing this. I am wrong.
How often have you felt there is something deeply wrong with you that is other people found out you would be mortified? That’s shame.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how shame impacts your life I recommend as a start “The Gifts of Imperfection” https://amzn.to/2I3beE1
(This is an affiliate link and will generate income for my business without costing you anything extra, so thanks!)
So often our sense of shame is the driving force for beginning a diet or fitness regime. That photo you’re ashamed of, that dress you can’t wear anymore, the feeling of not wanting to be naked with your partner or wear a swimsuit… all shame.
The marketing of diet culture thrives on this shame shit show we find ourselves in by locking onto those feelings and offering a solution. You CAN get into that bikini or look great at that celebration or feel fabulous naked. But how do they actually work to free you from shame so that you can live a healthy and accepting life? Well they don’t, they just heap shame on shame until you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel because you’re utterly convinced you are a failure who keeps regaining weight.
You are not a failure, you have been failed. You do not need to go on another diet to feel good about yourself. In fact, you need to stop dieting for good. So today, decide to get out of the shame game the diet industry has been playing with your life, and get in touch to start spending your time and energy on something good, honest and real.