My Emotional Goodbye Letter To Diet Culture

My Emotional Goodbye Letter To Diet Culture

Diet culture has taken a lot from me. Maybe you can relate. Diet culture gets in the head of young girls, who then turn into women dependent on their system and I was no different. For as long as I can remember I despised the body that I lived in (even as a young child).

For years I tried diet after diet in hopes that I could change my body, and when they didn’t work, diet culture continued to blame me. Diet culture would say things like “You don’t have enough willpower.” or “You must not want it bad enough.” Diet culture convinced me that if I did not look a certain way, I just wasn’t trying hard enough.

It’s Time To Say Goodbye…

What I’ve realized is that it’s not me that is the problem, it’s diet culture. With each diet I went on, I was set up to fail before I even started. I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m ready to say goodbye forever to diet culture that has stolen so much of my joy throughout my life. I wanted to write a goodbye letter because honestly it just felt right. It was therapeutic for me, especially since diet culture was a part of my life for so long.

I decided to share this letter with you. My hope is that by me sharing my letter, you not only get the courage to do away with diet culture yourself, but you also decide to write your own letter to get your thoughts, pains, and grievances out so you can fully move on and start to live. Here’s my goodbye letter.

My Emotional Letter To Diet Culture

Dear Diet Culture,

As I sit here at over 200 pounds I think of you and all you’ve put me through throughout the last 20 years. You steal the lives and the attention of so many people and I was no different. You made me feel unworthy. You made me feel like something was wrong with me. You made me feel like I needed you…

See I met you when I was about 10 years old. That’s when our relationship started. My first encounter with you was a “cleanse.” You left me sick to my stomach and throwing up for days.

The next time we met, I was about 12 years old. This time you showed your face in the form of pills that I took every day, in hopes of finally being thin.

Our next encounter was when I was about 14 years old. I had gone school shopping with my mom and couldn’t fit into anything fashionable for a girl my age. Those clothes didn’t come in my size. I was devastated and wanted to make a change. I vowed that never again would I not be able to fit into clothes that I so desperately wanted to be able to wear.

I knew you wouldn’t let me down this time. I trusted in you. I knew you had the answers. This time you didn’t let me down. With a few changes to my diet and a set of rules that I set in place for myself (with your guidance of course), I lost about 40 pounds. “What’s the problem?” you might ask. “Didn’t I come through for you?” you may wonder… Yeah, you came through alright! After this encounter, I not only lost weight, but I had built such a disordered relationship with food that I wouldn’t wish for any child… or adult for that matter.

See after you came through for me things really changed for me. Even birthdays became just another day. I clung on to a quote that I heard one day that said, “it’s your birthday…it’s your birthday…your stomach doesn’t know that it’s your birthday.” Who the heck came up with that?

So with that quote in mind and disordered eating habits instilled, I began to decline birthday cakes from my parents each year… that lasted for the rest of my childhood. How freaking sad? As I sit here writing this, I’m in tears. You know why? It’s because you stole the joy of a little child and I didn’t even know it was happening. You convinced me that I was making a good decision… the right decision.

You showed me images of women with “perfect bodies” and told me that I could have that “perfect body” IF I just tried hard enough…IF I did the right things… and IF I cut out “unhealthy foods.” You really messed me up… you really did! I’ll give it to you… you’re definitely good at what you do. Even at about 145 pounds I still thought that I was fat. Fat was all I could see and I just wanted… I just NEEDED more “weight loss success.” You promised me that I could have the body I always wanted IF I wanted it BAD ENOUGH.

My restriction kept on through my first year of college, but sophomore year I was ready to take on what I knew you could give me for real this time…the perfect skinny body, because you know what? My curves weren’t attractive. My hips were too big, my thighs were too thick, and the flat stomach, that I had at the time, could always be flatter.

It was time to take what was mine! We locked arms again and when my sophomore year started so did my soup diet. What should have been a blissful time for me was instead another time where I was focused on weight loss. My encounters with you didn’t end there. Diet after diet, meal plan after meal plan…I tried more diets than I can even count over the years and it’s all because of you.

About a year and a half ago I decided that I had enough of you. I set out to kick you to the curb and start living a healthy lifestyle so I could lose the weight once and for all… but this time naturally, with no help from you. This time you camouflaged yourself in the form of ultimate health for weight loss. You whispered things like “You probably shouldn’t eat that.” “If you want to lose weight you probably should avoid those foods as much as possible.” “You may not want to go out to dinner tonight, because you are weighing in tomorrow.”

Oh, you are sneaky… like a snake in the grass… even when I thought that I had freed myself from you, you most definitely still had me by the hand. Even though I wasn’t following one of your well thought out diets, your thoughts and beliefs were still planted deeply in my mind and you helped to guide my decisions. Your “rules” continued to linger in my head and I didn’t even realize that you were influencing me.

I grieve the years that you took from me. I’m saddened by all of the years where I looked in the mirror and was immediately disappointed with myself because I didn’t fit your mold of beauty. You made me think that I needed to be thin and that if I wasn’t then there was a problem with me. You made me feel ugly, unworthy, and less than.

You’ve stolen so much of my time and energy with your false hope and intriguing lies. Time and energy that I cannot get back. My confidence lowered year by year, and you are definitely to blame. On top of the time, energy, and confidence that you stole from me, you also taught me not to trust my body. After all, it doesn’t know what I need and if I trust myself with what I should be eating I’ll get even bigger and that was just not okay. That would prove even more, with more certainty how much willpower I lacked. Did I get that right?

I’m over 200 pounds now, yes, but does that make me lazy? Does that make me unworthy? Again…I don’t have willpower is probably what you’ll say. The good thing for me is…I no longer care what you say. It’s time that I love my body and accept it just as it is, without regard to you. I’ve realized that you are the problem, not me!

Well, this is my goodbye letter to you. It’s time that I start listening to the body that God gave me and not the rules that you’ve ingrained in my head. I hope other women say their goodbyes to you sooner than later, but until then I’ll continue to pray that they see you for exactly what you are and not what you portray yourself to be.

I despise your existence. You have no place in this world and I really hope people start to see that. For right now though… just know that I no longer need you. Goodbye forever and always.

 

A fan that you once had,

Timmeisha

Diet Culture No Longer Has A Place In My Life…

Diet culture no longer has me by the hand. It will no longer guide my decisions or make me feel less than because I don’t fit a structural body ideal. As I wrote this letter it was definitely emotional, but freeing at the same time because I know that I will never again let diet culture define me or make me feel bad about myself. I want the same for you. Are you ready to join me in saying goodbye to diet culture so you can actually live again?

 

XO,

Timmeisha

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