Diet Culture

Maybe it's due to still being the first part of a New Year, but everywhere I turn for the last month or two, I see or hear people obsessing about diets and/or weight loss.  Regular readers of this blog will know that body image is something I feel strongly about.

Recently Gok Wan has fronted a new series where he talks to teenagers about their body image.  I was shocked and saddened at the extent of which today's teens start looking at their bodies in a negative light, from increasingly young ages.  Anyone who has read Nikki Grahame's biography Dying to Be Thin will know it is a harrowing read and, although she explains that Doctors have said hers was the worst case of an eating disorder they had ever come across, with the rise of social media I can't help but feel that this kind of story is now happening more and more.  In Gok's show I was moved to tears by some of the stories of teens, who try to copy impossible standards of beauty, that they see in magazines and on billboards.

I know I am lucky in a sense that I am naturally slim, but I do eat relatively healthily most of the time, as well as exercise(mostly to de-stress/wind down).  I have also had various stomach disorders since I was a small child which, although some people have said in the past that I'm lucky that it keeps me thin, I would rather be without the stabbing stomach pains and bloating, thanks very much.

Living in a house with two other girls in their twenties, both who are on diets, shocks me.  I suppose due to the way I was brought up, I've always been very anti-diet.

I know people can struggle both to put weight on, and to keep it off, but to find a balance that suits you surely it's not rocket science.  Your body is a machine.  What you put into it it will affect your health, body, and energy levels.  Put more in than is good for you and you will be more likely to put on weight.  Exercise and you will be more likely to be happy with your body.

I can't seem to get through a day without hearing people talk about Weight Watchers(or equivalent), calorie counting, and diet food ranges.  I'm just glad I have figured out what food and exercise regimes work for me while still in my twenties.  Because, like it or not, I'm still as much a victim of our diet culture as you...


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