Diet Shaming: What is it, and Why it Needs to Stop

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What is Diet Shaming?

We’ve all heard of fat shaming – putting someone down for the shape or size of their body or telling someone they need to lose weight. But as the new year fitness resolutions roll in, we now have a new issue on the body shaming spectrum. A new type of taunting and judgement reserved for those trying to better themselves or those deemed ‘not fat enough’.

If you’ve ever been ridiculed by your friends, family or people online and told ‘you don’t need to diet’, ‘you’re too thin to be dieting’ or that your food choices are ‘ridiculous’ then you may have been diet shamed.

It seems that in today’s body positive era, a lot of people now feel scared to say that they are on a diet and that they want to change their bodies. The mantra in 2019 is that we should love ourselves at all costs and strive to be exactly as we are naturally. And while I love the body acceptance movement for smashing down social ideals and challenging outdated stereotypes of what we all should look like, I sometimes feel it may have gone a bit too far.

It is possible to love yourself and still want to make a positive change for your health or fitness. But a lot of people these days automatically assume that by going on a diet or wanting to lose a few lbs, that you instantly hate your body – which isn’t always true.

diet shaming

My Experience with Diet Shaming

I recently started the Slimfast 321 Plan as part of their #ICanJan challenge, hoping to lose a few lbs I’d gained over Christmas, kick some unhealthy habits and get my bum into gear for 2020. This is the year I get my strength back, get rid of some of that excess body fat that’s suffocating my organs and re-gain a bit of control.

I was flooded with diet shaming comments and messages for using a commercial diet plan to kick start my weight loss journey, and for even wanting to lose any weight at all. Some followers called my a hypocrite for ‘claiming’ to love my body but for also wanting to lose some excess body fat and to stop over-indulging.

I was also sent a lot of private messages from people saying they too had been diet shamed and felt scared to say they were on a diet and making a change to their lifestyle.

I have been filming my new year journey on my Youtube channel to give people an honest look into what this particular plan entails so they can see if it might be suitable for them.

So far for me it’s working really well – my weight and body fat are down, I feel super motivated at work, i’m exercising again for the first time in 3 months and it all feels good.

Plans like this aren’t for everyone, but they can be incredibly helpful for some who find the first step into calorie deficits and weight loss a confusing one. So who are we to judge if some of us need a little helping hand to kick start things or get us motivated? Should we be shamed for using an aid such as this for a month if it helps us to get back on the wagon?

What We Can All Do About It

It sounds simple, but stop commenting on other people’s bodies, diet choices and how they choose to live their life! Everyone has a different level of comfort with their own body which may look different to yours. Just because you don’t think someone is ‘big enough to warrant going on a diet’ doesn’t mean you’re allowed to say it. Just because someone chooses a diet path that isn’t something you yourself would follow, again, doesn’t give you the right to comment.

Unless you know this person really well and genuinely think they may be in imminent danger, then it might be wise to re-think what you plan to say regarding their choices around food.

I don’t think people realise these days
A) the impact their words can have
B) that they don’t actually HAVE to share them
and C) that everyone does things differently…which is perfectly ok!

If you want to lose a bit of weight – you do you. If you don’t want to lose any weight – you do you. The only person it concerns….is you.

diet shaming

It seems like these days, especially as women, we can’t win when it comes to our own bodies. I read an article just the other day around the negative comments Adele was receiving to do with her recent weight loss.

People have been commenting telling her that she’s now ‘too thin’ and looks ‘old and haggard’, when a few years ago she was under fire for being ‘too fat’ and unhealthy’. It’s shocking the tweets and comments flying around about this woman’s body – this very talented woman I might add. Who cares how much she weighs on the scales, it’s not 1942.

It needs to stop. We need to mind our own business – especially when it comes to people we don’t know – and learn to scroll on by. Diet Shaming, thin shaming, fat shaming and body shaming in general have all had their day, and they do nothing apart from make the recipient feel rotten.

We’re all guilty of it, even if it comes from a place of caring, but it’s important we check ourselves before speaking or before we press send to be better and change the narrative.

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xax

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