(231) How do I ditch diets for good (Anti-Diet series).

This episode’s letter chocked me up….

Welcome to International Dieting Month. Let’s Rally together to withstand the pressure from Diet Culture. This episode’s letter connects the dots on the pressure to diet, lose weight, and control oneself. Content Warning: this letter describes eating disorder behaviors linked to Bulimia.

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Dear Food,

or really, dear me 

for we are nothing without one another. 

Together we have navigated rocky terrain, 

a tumultuous relationship

full of more fear than love.

I have needed you, 

hated you, 

and in that 

needed and hated myself.

I have blamed you, 

restricted you

binged you

earned you 

burned you 

enjoyed you 

hidden you 

purged you. 

My Self is tied to you 

closely and painfully.

But as I have arrived 

at my 23rd year 

most of the previous 22 spent focusing far too much on you,

I am unravelling 

some of the tangled web we exist in together 

and realizing 

it is not your fault, food.

Ant it is not mine either. 

It feels cliché to say 

but I have seen the truth.

It’s society that has created all of this.

It’s all lies 

mirrors and smoke

illusions to suck away happiness and freedom 

and, most importantly, money and power.

It’s the patriarchy and capitalism 

two systems of oppressive power 

that taught me to worry about you 

about us

about my size and shape 

and the effect that you have on those parts of me. 

So young I felt for the first time like I took up too much space 

with this body of mine. 

That I needed to shrink 

so I could fit into tiny little premade boxes.

So young I cut you out 

I forgot the pleasure you could bring me.

I thought only of numbers,

trying to get you as small as possible 

so I could be that way as well.

The rush that success brought is tempting even now,

but I have learned since the first time 

that trying to make yourself smaller 

is a process doomed to fail. 

That in fact our bodies try to protect us 

by making us take up even more space after.

Because our bodies don’t believe the lies.

Our innate wisdom 

sees through the smoke and mirrors.

And if only I was better at balancing my body and my mind 

I would also be able to see the truth. 

Instead, I still look in the mirror 

and hear the voices of the systems 

whispering their poison. 

So insidious they are that I yearn 

to listen to them 

to try again to shrink.

But I won’t,

not anymore.

Because after years of finding myself with my fingers down my throat,

after years of having the most abusive relationship with you, food,

I’ve decided to save my own life.

I am unlearning the lies.

I am shouldering a lifetime of clearing away 

the darkness that has been put into my mind.

Because I realized that 

even when my body is not 

what the world tells me it should be,

I feel lighter 

When I can just see you, food,

As a friend.

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

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