I think that the diet industry actually tries to subtly (or perhaps not-so-subtly) sell us immortality. So much of our thin obsession – dieting repeatedly despite horrible odds and experiences, stomach amputation and banding, etc. are purportedly done under the guise of health. But I think that in many cases it might be more honest to say that it’s done because of a fear of death. We’re sold this idea that being thin will ensure a long life, that a long life is the most important thing, and that the diet industry is our ticket to it. So much of my hatemail says something about the fact that I’m going to die, as if the person writing the comment isn’t.
We’re sold the idea of “healthy weight” as if there is some magical weight that we can achieve that will allow us to be immortal unless we get hit by a truck or something. We know it’s not true – nothing will guarantee immortality or even a long life- people of every size die young and people of every size live to old age. Health and weight are two separate things, there is no such thing as a healthy weight. There are also no guarantees around this except that I’m going to die eventually and I don’t know when.
A lot of what I like about the Health at Every Size concept is that it supports my desire to have the best life possible between now and then. I spent a lot of my life being obsessed with being thin. Counting calories in and calories out and just waiting for weigh-in day to see if I was “healthy” and “successful”. It turns out that whether I had lost or gained weight I was neither – obsession with thinness was ruining my mental health, my physical health, and that wasn’t working out at all.
Now I roll healthy habits into my life and I can repurpose all the brain power and time and energy that I used to spend obsessing about being thin and counting calories to do things that I love. That is working out. Of course that’s just my experience, your mileage may vary.
I no longer believe that the diet industry will do anything except make money for themselves. Immortality would be nice, so would an invisibility cloak and the super-suit from Greatest American Hero (although preferably with the instruction manual), but since none of those are really likely to happen, I’m focusing on the living the happiest possible life between now and then, which includes spending zero physical or mental energy on being thin, and spending lots of physical and mental energy on things that I love.
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If my selling things on the blog makes you uncomfortable, you might want to check out this post. Thanks for reading! ~Ragen