Have you been getting bombarded with weight-loss products and service ads through television commercials, emails, or social media feeds during this holiday season?
With messages like “Hey, start the new year…by creating a new you!”
I’ll admit I have fallen into these traps by spending money to create a “new” me by buying the diet books, the new exercise program, and more workout matching outfits. This plan was also a defense mechanism or response should my weight be discussed at a family holiday event. I would proudly say, “I am starting an exercise plan on January 1st!”
I would stick to the plan for the first few weeks, and then life happens, I ‘fall’ off the track. I begin to feel guilty and ashamed that I didn’t ‘reach’ this supposedly ‘new’ version of me.
Over many years of repeating this behavior, it took a toll on my mental health, and I knew there had to be a better way. So, I became a nutritional coach to help redefine what ‘health’ means for me. As part of my training, I have learned that diet culture makes us believe that we are never good enough unless we buy these weight loss products and services and fit into this idea of ‘thinness’. But, I have learned that being ‘healthy’ does not equate to weight loss. In fact, health is different for everyone.
Why does this matter?
There is a strong connection between how we feel about our bodies and mental health. For instance, Faw et al. (2021) conducted a systematic review and found a strong correlation that women that frequently think about their bodies have higher levels of body dissatisfaction.
You are not the problem, although the diet industry tells you otherwise.
These weight-loss products and service ads want you to contribute to the $255 billion industry. And tell you that you need ‘fixing’.
We are so much more than the number on the scale and any body-shaming messages that come our way. For those that dread the family gatherings in fear of body-shaming comments, I feel you…deeply!
Want to learn more? Check out the free quiz!
Wishing you the best during this holiday season, body shame-free!
Is body shaming prevalent in your life? Check out how body shaming negatively affects mental health in my “Body Shaming in the Filipinx Culture” post.
Faw, M. H., Davidson, K., Hogan, L., & Thomas, K. (2021). Corumination, diet culture, intuitive eating, and body dissatisfaction among young adult women. Personal Relationships, 28(2), 406–426.