Smash the Wellness Industry

Last weekend an op-ed was published in the NYT that spoke to my heart, and the hearts of thousands of other women. If you haven’t read it, take a look here – NYT Op-Ed.

I promise it will speak to you. Does this sound familiar?

Every new regimen ended in the same violent binge. I’d wait for my husband to go to bed so that I could obliterate the pantry without him asking, “Are you O.K.?” For the next few days, I would throw myself on the altar of “clean eating,” only to start the cycle all over again.

For as long as I can remember, I was felt society wants me to be thinner. Whether I was trying to do this or subconsciously doing it, I’m certain it was always there. From comments as a child about my butt being too big or eating too much chocolate, to comments as a teenager about my “softball thighs.” Fast forward to more recent years, and the comments about my body before, during and after pregnancy come more often than I would have imaged. I’m sure I’m not alone. The body (esp. women’s bodies) have been one thing that seems to never be off-limits.

I called this poisonous relationship between a body I was indoctrinated to hate and food I had been taught to fear “wellness.”

The solution – diet. At least that’s what society and everyone around us tells us. For decades this has been the mentality. The level of dieting seems more extreme now – probably because the stimulants are no longer given out like candy at the doctor’s office.

The diet industry is a virus, and viruses are smart. 

It amazes me that so many intelligent women are falling for this. It’s not uncommon to hear a fellow doctor touting the most recent diet fad or talking about the weight she lost. I’m quite certain she’s not telling the whole story – about the cycling, restriction, brokenness, and sadness that are deep inside her.

If you read the whole article, it is clearly geared towards women, and some would say feminists.  I’m a moderate in most things so don’t always relate to some of the far-fetched claims of the feminist movement. But as an intelligent, driven woman in 2019, my overall worldview is much  more feminist than it has ever been before. And there’s some major truth to this point:

We cannot push to eradicate the harassment, abuse and oppression of women while continuing to serve a system that demands we hurt ourselves to be more attractive and less threatening to men.

Now is the time to take back our bodies and break the cycle. Because do you really want your little girl going through this one day? How we treat our bodies is projected on our kids. Think of the hurt and hate you’ve felt about your body. You don’t need to feel this way and I’m positive you would never wish it on your worst enemy – let alone your own child. Change needs to happen and it needs to happen now.

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