Are you tired of being told that the only way to be happy and successful is to be thin? Have you ever tried to break up with diet culture, only to find yourself sucked back in by a new fad diet or fitness trend? Fear not, my friend. As a personal trainer who promotes body positivity and fat acceptance, I know how important it is to break free from diet culture and recover from the harmful effects it has on our bodies and minds. I’ve experienced first-hand just how difficult it can be to escape the clutches of diet culture. I know how hard it can be to navigate through the bullshit of socialital norms feeds us. A lot of us are recovering from an eating disorder, and are unaware how to create body trust through movement. In this blog post, I’m going to share my personal journey with you. So sit back, grab a snack, and let’s dive in!
Growing up, I was always told that being thin was the key to happiness and success. I've been made fun of at a very early age that I was too big, I actually had a 2nd grader sing to me while in 5th grade, "You are the world, you ate all the children." In middle school, on my ski team, one of the boys asked if I was one of our teammates Mom because i looked like a mom, (whatever that meant). When I was in high school, one of the freshman football players asked if I was going to play defensive line? I should of, I probably would of played better than half the kids out there. And as an adult I've experienced getting fired from a job because of my size, taken away classes when I was a group fitness instructor because i didn't look the part. With all my experiences, like many others, I fell prey to diet culture and started obsessing over my weight and what I ate. I developed an eating disorder and it took me years to realize that my relationship with food and my body was severely damaged. It wasn’t until I discovered the body positivity movement in 2018 that I started to see things differently.
My journey to body positivity wasn’t a smooth one. Like many others, I was brainwashed into believing that being thin was the key to happiness and success. I spent years chasing this ideal, always feeling like my body wasn’t good enough. I tried every fad diet and fitness trend out there, always hoping that the next one would be the magic bullet that would finally make me happy.
At first, it was hard to let go of everything I thought I knew about beauty and health. But as I immersed myself in this new way of thinking, I began to see that fatphobia and weight stigma were not only harmful but completely unfounded. I stopped obsessing over my weight, took a sledgehammer to the scale, started to get therapy for my eating disorder, and started focusing on how I felt instead. I learned to listen to my body and give it what it needed, whether that was a kale salad or a slice of pizza. I began to truly believe that all bodies are good bodies, no matter what shape or size they are.
Recovering from my eating disorder wasn’t easy, but I found that joyful movement helped me create a healthy relationship with my body. I no longer exercised to burn calories or lose weight, but rather because it made me happy and helped me feel good. Whether I was kayaking, lifting weights or taking a walk in nature, movement became a way for me to connect with my body in a positive way. But in the end, it was worth it. I learned to listen to my body and give it what it needed. I learned to nourish myself both physically and mentally, without judgment or restriction.
As a personal trainer, I want to help others break free from diet culture and find body trust through joyful movement. It’s the first step towards creating a healthy relationship with your body and mind. It's not an overnight process, but with time and patience, it’s possible to break free from the harmful effects of diet culture and love your body for all that it is. You can learn to love yourself for who you are and break free from the constraints of diet culture. It’s a journey, but it’s one that’s worth taking.
Breaking up with diet culture isn’t just about rejecting harmful beauty standards or fatphobia. It’s about learning to love yourself for who you are, right now, in this moment. It’s about creating a healthy relationship with your body and mind, one that’s based on compassion and acceptance. It’s about finding joy in movement, whatever form that may take. So if you’re ready to say goodbye to diet culture and hello to body positivity and body acceptance, I’m here for you. Let’s do this together!