By: Alison Ross, LMFT, CEDS
In diet culture, the desire to be healthy and the desire to be thin are often intertwined, but they are not necessarily synonymous. Society bombards us with unrealistic body ideals that are not unattainable for most individuals. In an attempt to achieve these impossible standards or to fit the mold dictated by diet culture, people often resort to extreme measures that sacrifice their overall well-being. This includes restricting food intake, overexercising, and developing an unhealthy association between body type and self-worth, perpetuating a cycle of stress and dissatisfaction.
Truly embracing health goes beyond the pursuit of a specific weight or body shape. It requires a shift in mindset, towards self-acceptance and self-care. Instead of fixating on the number on the scale, true health focuse on nourishing our bodies with the nutrition they need. This means granting ourselves permission to nourish ourselves mindfully and generously, without guilt or judgment.
It also involves cultivating a holistic approach that encompasses not only physical well-being but also mental and emotional wellness. Building confidence should extend beyond appearance, encompassing other aspects of self, such as personal growth and fulfillment.
Wanting to be healthy and wanting to be thin are often two separate paths. Embracing our natural bodies and rejecting unrealistic body standards are essential steps towards genuine health. By adopting a mindset of self-acceptance, practicing self-care, and nourishing ourselves both physically and mentally, we can embark on a journey towards a healthier and more fulfilled life.