Happy International No Diet Day! I celebrated with a lovely walk with my friend Chris from Move And Be Free (that’s us in the picture) and did some reflecting.
While enjoying how much not dieting frees me to enjoy my life and my body and take care of my health, I know that it is much “easier” for me to wear this “Never Say Diet” t-shirt than it might be for someone larger than me, in that in general people don’t look at my body and comment out loud on what I eat or how I should take care of myself etc.
The pressure to have the “perfect” body is felt by everyone at times and it is HARD, but it doesn’t come paired with the same level of EXTERNAL negativity and discrimination for people who aren’t widely considered to be fat.
Feeling positive about our bodies can be a real challenge in our society, but no matter what size we are, we also need to step up to the challenge of making sure that, more than just accepting our own bodies, we work hard to challenge attitudes that make it harder for people who actually ARE fat to access empathetic and thorough and equitable healthcare, to have careers that are unaffected by size discrimination, to be free from harassment or comment or public assumptions about their bodies and to be represented in a positive light in the media and entertainment industries. For their body size not to be considered short hand for personality traits or behaviours. For them to not be reduced to photos of body parts in fear-mongering stories in the “news”.
I’m not an expert on this, but I’m trying to listen and learn and believe other people’s experiences. I’ve made mistakes and there are things I’ve said in the past that I cringe at. I think we all have those. I’m sure I’ll make more mistakes going forward but I’m also sure I’ll keep learning. It’s important work and it’s worth it. Freedom for ourselves and freedom for everyone else too. We have to speak up and speak out and challenge oppression where we see it.
I’m also thinking of everyone who has put in work before me to help ME feel great about my body, to fight against weight discrimination for everybody, everyone who has been involved in activism in this area, blazed trails and worked hard to make incremental changes, everyone who has been BRAVE and inspired other people to be brave. All the people who have helped me learn, all the people who are still helping me learn, all the people that stand beside me, all the people who are listening and learning and stepping up and changing the world.
So, happy No Diet Day everyone! Let’s keep moving forward x