by Marta Y.
Note: This piece was originally published on Recovery is a biatch and has been cross-posted with permission.
Disclaimer: This piece may be triggering to some readers.
I had not one, but TWO coworkers come up to me at work yesterday to talk about their diets. One told me she’s training for a half marathon, and just feels so out of control when she starts eating after her intermittent fast ends.
Like…yeah dude…you just told me you’re running X miles a day, without having your first meal until lunch. And you feel out of control when you finally do eat? LIKE ITS A MYSTERY AS TO WHY YOU FEEL OUT OF CONTROL? Your brain is like “nah bro, you haven’t been feeding us enough, I don’ trust you” and then when you walk past the open box of cookies on the counter and feel a primal urge to inhale the entire box , thats your body being like “I ain’t no sucker, you going starve me again later right now WE EATING!” But yeah, its totally weird, must be something wrong with your determination….
I really want to get a bumper sticker made that says “Don’t talk to me about your diet” and set it on my desk.
Why God? Why is this just such a common topic of conversation. It’s right up there with the weather and how about those Dodgers? Like, I get it, we need a way to relate to people and in this culture we are completely obsessed with SoulCycle and Ketogenic diets and intermittent fasting and what could we possibly discuss that would be more interesting than this?
And I completely understand that we need to relate and have light conversations around superficial topics. I’m the first one in the office Tuesday mornings trying to collect feedback on last nights Bachelor finale. I GET IT. But I just do not think that talking about trashy reality shows or sports or who wore it best should fall into the same category as talking about our diets and our bodies and weight loss.
These topics don’t fit. They are rarely, if ever a light topic, but we talk about them as though they are. Find me ten people at brunch talking about their recent attempt at veganism or the amazing results they are getting from those x a week Barry’s Bootcamp classes and I can say with some certainty that nine of those people do not have a “light” relationship with food and body image. That they’re killing themselves at those Bootcamps because they feel like they need to change themselves in order to better. That they cut out the carbs from their diet because of the shame they feel when they can’t slip into their skinniest jeans. Show me someone talking about their diet goals who doesn’t believe that they are not good enough at this very second and that that idealized number on the scale will finally bring them the peace and happiness that has evaded them for so long.
I know that this isn’t going to change. I know that our society is one that’s obsessed with convincing people they are not good enough, and should be constantly striving to be better. The messages we hear from shampoo commercials selling us sexy, shiny hair, and gyms informing you it’s the first day of the rest of your life, do not promote a message that makes anyone feel like “hey I just might be fine right now” If we even started to believe that we were okay NOW, just as we are…entire industries like beauty and fashion and weight loss would completely fail. They NEED us to believe we are not enough, so they can take our money and have us use their products to get just a bit closer to being OK. God, thinking about this cycle is completely mentally exhausting.
So coworker, when we get in on Monday I would LOVE to hear about your date this weekend or we can talk about how Fergie and Josh Duhamel broke up and does ANYONE have a chance? But please, spare me your back-to-back spin classes on Saturday when you were doing soooo good but then totally messed up by eating the bread basket before dinner, ugh so bad. Please, let’s just talk about Kendall Jenner’s nipple exposing sheer top from the award show.
I thank you kindly in advance,