Fighting Diet Culture: How to Stop Obsessing Over Your Weight and Fall in Love With Your Body

By: Zeina Amr

As we’ve established before what diet culture is and how much harm it’s doing us, let’s fight it back! Warning: it won’t be easy. You’ll keep on seeing body shaming ads and phrases like ‘summer body’ everywhere. You’ll want to lose weight but you’ll resist the urge. You’ll be criticized for what you eat and the decisions you take. However, it’s a battle worth fighting. Taking control over your thoughts and body will feel better than feeling guilty all the time because of the diet you’ve ruined- again.

I just want to make sure first that we all know loving your body will not happen overnight. It’s a conscious choice you’ll make and keep on making until you believe it. You’ll have an annoying inner voice that’ll keep nagging but you shouldn’t let it win. I promise you, all the following steps are easy to follow if you take them seriously and I personally follow them all.

1. Fulfill your cravings – food is not the enemy!

Let’s just make sure we’re on the same page. When I tell you to quit your diet and fight diet culture I’m not telling to binge on anything unhealthy or to live on french fries. I’m telling you to listen to your own body and stop depriving it of what it needs. Maybe you should look up intuitive eating and educate yourself.

2. Don’t engage in negative self talk

Because when you keep on repeating anything you end up believing it. If one of your friends is complaining about their weight, it’s sooo tempting to say ‘same’. When all of your shella is complaining about their summer bodies being ready, please do not try to be part of it. Obviously you won’t shame them for dieting or wanting to lose weight but at least leave yourself out of that conversation.

3. Compliment yourself

This will sound cheesy but I don’t care 🙂 Look in the mirror and choose one feature you like. Tell yourself you look good. If you’re putting makeup (or even lip balm lol) do it sexily 😉 Just make sure you focus on what you like about yourself more than what you don’t.

4. Give yourself some ‘ugly’ days

This is my favorite out of the list and it makes me feel amazing! Wear something that makes you feel comfortable, don’t put on makeup, maybe put your hair in a bun? Oh and if you usually check your front camera a lot (I do, no shame✌🏽), try to do it less frequently. Just don’t make looking pretty important that day. Celebrate your self worth and free yourself even if it will be once every few months!

5. Filter the people you follow on Instagram

The amount of time we spend on instagram is scary. Therefore, controlling the type of content you’re seeing will make a huge difference. Unfollow influencers promoting crazy diets and cleanses all the time, even if they claim it’s for a ‘healthy lifestyle’, and start following ones that me you feel better. If you think what you see on instagram doesn’t affect you, try to filter your following and you’ll definitely notice a difference.
Examples of body positive/ neutral accounts you can follow:
@beyodbeautiful @dontcallmepretty @strenghthmarks @iweigh @effyourbeautystandards @ownitbabe @mantramagazine
@beautyredefined @holisticallygrace @Bodyimage_therapist  @Antidietriotclub @Selfmagazine @messyhealth_

6. Have ‘the talk’

Nope, not that talk, still an awkward one though. Unfortunately, family can be very toxic. Unwanted comments at family gatherings, jokes about how much you or what you eat. They mean well and probably want the best for you but setting boundaries at this point is essential (respectfully of course). If your mom for example comments on your weight gain and wants you to go on a diet, talk to her, explaining how you’re happy that way and how that’s your choice. It might take time but they’ll start listening eventually.

7. Give away clothes

Remember those pants in your closet you want to lose weight so you can wear them? FUCKING THROW THEM! Do not put that kind of pressure on yourself. Buy new ones and don’t look back!

8. Delete apps

Any app that counts how many calories you’re eating, how many calories you’ve burned or anything that feels like a constant irritating reminder is doing you more harm than good.

9. Stop complimenting people’s weight loss

I’m genuinely happy for anyone when they become more confident with their body after losing weight. However, by complimenting them, I’m part of why they wanted to lose weight from the beginning. Honestly, we glorify weight loss excessively. Before and after pictures on social media go viral and are seen as an inspiration. Why is this toxic? Because it’s seen as an accomplishment. Suddenly, life is so good and the person who’s lost weight is insanely happy. Now everyone wants that end result which is only half of the truth.

10. Stop joking/ sharing memes about losing weight

Sometimes the meme is just too funny and you really want to be part of the joke with your friends, don’t give in tho. You’re better than that and you don’t need that summer body.

11. Wear clothes that make you comfortable

Comfort over style always and forever. If a certain dress makes you feel bad about your body, it’s really simple, stop wearing it. No matter how much you love it or how good it fits for the occasion. If your outfit is making you self conscious you probably shouldn’t be wearing it.

12. Don’t tuck in your belly

This is the most important and difficult in my opinion. The desire to try and hide my belly (especially in pictures) is so annoying. I’m pretty sure almost everyone does it instinctively. Try to avoid it and by time you’ll forget why you even did it (hopefully).

And that’s it!!!

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