5 Tips to Help You Face Diet Culture In the New Year

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It’s that time of year once again! The horrible time of year when everyone talks about their weight loss goals, how “bad” they were during the holidays, and how they plan to repent come January 1st.

Diet culture is exhausting, but while the weight loss and fitness conglomerates rub their hands together in anticipation of their yearly boost in sales, we’ll be taking a different approach: prepping our minds and our bodies to face this diet-palooza without fear or temptation. 

Right now, every single weight loss company is going to hone into your insecurities so that you will buy their product. So here are some easy ways to prepare and boost your confidence so when Weight Watchers come knocking on your door, you can give them the middle finger (0 points).

5 Tips to Help You Face Diet Culture In the New Year

Anti-Diet Culture Tip #1. Read a Fat Positive Book

Reading (or listening) to fat positive books is a total game changer! In the last ten years, the fat posi book market has boomed in the best way. Looking for some sweet or steamy non-fiction? Check out There’s Something about Sweetie by Sandhya Menon or One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London. Need some confidence and a reminder that your body is perfect as-is? Read Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls by Jes Baker; The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor, or The Other F Word: A Celebration of the Fat & Fierce. 

The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor
The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor

Watching or reading about fat folks living their lives, going on adventures, and finding love is super inspiring and reminds you that YOU can do all of those things, too, without losing a pound. 

anti-Diet Culture Tip #2. Clean Out Your Social Media

Raise your hand if you spend more time on social media than you want to 👋 Me too. But I’m not going to tell you to delete the app or cut back on screen time. Social media is an excellent tool to curate a personal feed of people and ideas that inspire you. But when that feed makes you feel unworthy, unattractive, or envious, it’s time to make a change. So next time you’re on your socials, notice how you’re feeling!

Image: Maggie McGill

If someone’s before/after photos have you questioning your own body, mute or unfollow them. Find and follow folks who have similar body types and styles. Find and follow folks who promote ideas that align with your values. Your social feed influences so much of your day, so make sure it’s all good vibes!

anti-Diet Culture Tip #3. Create Health Goals That Aren’t Weight-Focused

If you do want to improve your physical and mental health, right on! So many of us are unbalanced, and the beginning of the year is a great place to check in with ourselves and make positive changes. But there are a ton of health goals that have nothing to do with weight loss. Some health goals you could add to your resolutions list could be:

  • Practicing better sleep hygiene
  • Adding daily meditation to your routine
  • Connecting with nature once a week
  • Finding a therapist you can trust
  • Practicing intuitive eating 
  • Finding a form of movement that brings you joy
Image: Maggie McGill
anti-Diet Culture Tip #4. Commit to Moving Your Body Out of Love

We can be real here: the idea of losing weight and becoming more “acceptable” is tempting. But, of course, once you realize that 95% of weight loss attempts fail long-term, it becomes a lot less tempting. But still, we’ve all, at one point or another, signed up for a gym or bought a piece of equipment that we thought would help make our bodies smaller. Because, at the root, we were moving our bodies out of hate, no matter how loudly we’ve shouted about a lifestyle change. 

Here’s a challenge for you: in the next year, move your body out of love. When you lace up those sneakers, are you going for a run because you think it would be enjoyable? Or are you running because you ate an extra cookie last night and need to punish yourself?

Intention matters because the energy you bring into a movement session affects your attitude but also how likely you are to engage in movement again. If you move your body out of hate, you’ll start to hate moving your body.

5 tips to help you face diet culture
Maggie McGill’s Weightless

If you’re ready to move your body out of love, you can check out my book Weightless: How to Lose the Guilt and Heal Your Relationship with Movement.

This ebook is a guided journey for intuitive movement and has tons of resources for doing that in a healthy way. Also, for some accessible movement videos, check out Joyn, a free app made by fat folks for fat folks! 

How are you prepping for the impending diet culture/diet-palooza? 

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