Life After Diets
Thin Women In the Anti-Diet Movement
My introduction to intuitive eating and the anti-diet movement happened at a time in my life when I was very receptive to those messages. I had spent nearly two decades yo-yo-ing between extreme weight gain and loss, and I was tired of the whole cycle. I was done with rules, with weigh-ins, with feeling ashamed for being too “weak” and unable to manage something as simple as eating normally.
Around that same time, my grandmother passed away, having suffocated herself in a six-decade strong cloud of poisonous fumes and dirty ashes, and I was angry. I was angry at her. I was angry at friends and family who continued to smoke. I was angry at passers-by on the street who dared to smoke outdoors within breathing distance of any other human or animal. I was just angry.
I spent a lot of time reflecting on all the things I felt I’d lost to diet culture and to the constant vigilance required to shrink my body to an acceptable size.
That was my moment of epiphany. I could be angry, but I had to take responsibility for my own choices and actions. I couldn’t make myself live forever, and I couldn’t guarantee good health, but I could try to prevent whatever suffering was preventable. I could ensure that I could do the things I loved with the people I loved for as long as possible. My body and my health are my responsibility, and I don’t think that realization had truly sunk in until then.
However, at the exact moment I came to this big realization I was also on my umpteenth round of Weight Watchers. I had lost about 30 pounds from my most recent highest weight and was working out regularly again. I wanted to lose a few more pounds, but mostly I felt back to what I thought of as my “normal” body. I felt okay.
So, it was fairly easy for me to wash my hands of dieting. I read The Fuck It Diet and Intuitive Eating and started following body positive Instagram pages and hashtags. I jumped on this bandwagon hard, and I spent a lot of time reflecting on all the things I felt I’d lost to diet culture and to the constant vigilance…