It’s not easy to detox your life of diet culture. Even after you’ve stopped counting calories and weighing in, you might be surprised at the diet detritus lingering around.
If you are still feeling guilt about who you are, how you look, or how you’re living your life, it’s time to dig a little deeper and pinpoint those less obvious triggers. Here are a few ideas to start your search:
- Catalogs: I used to love when my J. Crew and Victoria’s Secret catalogs came in the mail. Not because of the clothes — because of the thinspo. While I was recovering, I couldn’t look at clothing catalogs without comparing all my flaws to the models’ perfect bodies, so I took a long, long break while I worked on accepting the body I was born with.
- Magazines: From the editorials to the ads, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a magazine that is truly diet-culture free. There’s always a judgmental article or 12 about weight loss, “who wore it best,” beach bodies, cellulite, trimming, toning, blah blah blah, all of which helpfully remind you that your body is not enough, and also too much.
- Your FitBit: I think these are sketchy. Moving your body is something I’m ALL for, but in the wrong state of mind, these are a sneaky extension of diet culture. If you cry over your FitBit, find ways to cheat it, or feel anxiety when you don’t reach your goals, it’s time to quit, cold turkey.
- Instagram: Even if they are purportedly geared to “healthy” living, fitspo and before-and-after Instagram accounts can be extremely triggering. It’s really okay to unfollow and focus on loving yourself right now.
- The gym in general: I spent so many years equating gym visits to punishment that it was hard to approach it with anything other than dread and self-loathing. I hated when the treadmill asked me for my weight. I was never satisfied with my step count on the stairclimber. I felt like the locker room scale was staring at me. I hated seeing my stupid reflection in the mirror. So I took a long, long, guilt-free break from it, and if you dread the gym, I encourage you to try it too. Take a break while you find a way to accept your body and an approach to fitness that incorporates self-love, not self-hate. It’s really okay. You’re really okay.