It’s that damn time of year again…of course it’s all masqueraded under the guise of ~new years resolutions~, but we are bombarded with an insulting amount of weight-focused nonsense left, right and centre. Magazine articles, news stories and TV shows all dedicated to crash diets, excessive exercise, body-shaming and an incessant focus on weight.
The media drill into our heads that sugar is dangerous, bread is unhealthy and that eating a treat of any sort is strictly forbidden. Frankly, it is absolutely not sustainable to completely ban a food, let alone several foods, by telling people they can never have a treat, all that does is create unnecessary and harmful guilt every time someone “caves in” as the media describes it.
Enjoying a treat or two isn’t “caving in”, it’s just living life and getting on with life by fuelling your body with something nice. It is hard as it is for those of us with eating disorders and it’s very confronting.
Anorexia is enough to deal with, I don’t need articles and other people to tell me about foods being bad or fatty or evil or that you need to exercise for over an hour to burn off one item from Mcdonalds or shockingly enough, A MUFFIN. I don’t need to be told that people just eat junk and don’t exercise and that’s why they “get fat”.
When I hear this stuff, i’m then left feeling guilty for not being able to exercise due to my lungs and then i’m left with fear that maybe the amount i’ve eaten is “fattening”. It’s absolutely disturbing. In desperation i’ve even paced up and down my hallway for as long as I could after reading one of those “burn this food off by doing this” articles.
The media say the opposite of what my dietician says but the scary thing is that a lot of people believe the media’s view of weight and nutrition over medical professionals so it’s even harder to escape it, even with the TV turned off. Even members of my family have been sucked in over and over again.
Speaking of the TV being turned off, one of the best ways to combat this toxic media portrayal of food, body shape and weight is to avoid viewing it. I’m hypocritical when I say this, as I often dive into viewing triggering things, but the best thing to do is to simply turn off the tv show, the news show or close the magazine as soon as it refers to anything close to shaming bodies, food or weight in a way that is not constructive, healthy or positive.
New year is for new beginnings, not new toxic eating behaviours.