Moving away from my recent posts which have focused more on personal grievances. However, as I scroll Instagram I came across this post and it left an impression on me.
I’ve spoken before how I detox my social media and try and keep toxic diet culture away from my feed, so one of the pages I follow is diets-dont-work-haes because it reenforces all the negative, and toxic things you hear about dieting.
The specific tweet that got me was: “Do you like tracking in my fitness pal or do you just like the sense of control it gives you and feel too anxious to stop tracking now?”
Personally, I’ve never used my fitness pal, but for so many years I’ve kept a food diary. It started when I left secondary school and when I think that I’m still keeping one 10 years on, scares me a little. I’ve tried so many times to stop, but I’ve never been able to due to the anxiety it causes.
I’m not going to speak for everyone, but I know that if I’m feeling this way, other people probably are too. Rationally, I know giving up that control won’t change anything, BUT my anxiety I believe comes from a deep rooted fear of my MC4r.
Over the years has had to learn when to say no to food and teach myself what full feels like. In order to do that, I’ve had to monitor strictly what I eat, which meant keeping a food diary, it was a visual representation that showed me when I was under eating and when I was overeating. It also helped me in the days when I thought I was overeating and being unhealthy and I wasn’t. It’s so easy when you’re trying to lose weight to always assume you’re being unhealthy even when you’re not and my food diary was my comfort blanket.
Now, I’m not saying start a food diary, and I’m not saying don’t start one. What I am saying is that for a very long time it really helped me. But, the question I now have to start asking myself is when did the food diary start controlling me?
You’d think after 10 years I’d know how to go about my day to day life, without writing down what I’m eating. It’s weird to think that without the food diary, I don’t trust myself to make healthy food choices — and that is the mindset that needs to change. I don’t actually think it’s about giving up control, I think it’s about trust. Food diaries are and always have been a way to hold yourself accountable, take away the object or person that holds you accountable and you’re left to go rouge. It’s you though. You need to become the person that holds yourself accountable, not a friend, not a PT, not a book — you.
The reason I’m saying this, is so if you’re just starting out in your journey don’t make the mistakes I have, and don’t fall into bad habits that will completely consume you until you have some revelation 10 years later and if you’re mid-way or a seasoned dieter making the same mistakes, maybe you’ll just feel better knowing I’m right there with you.
I’ve come to this revelation, but will I change? I want to, but I don’t think it’s going to be as easy as one, two, three and I may have to do it in stages. But, what I do know, I don’t want to keep writing down everything I eat because I’ve wasted way too many minutes of my life doing so to a point it’s probably wasted a good few months over the years and that’s sad.
I understand not everyone will resonate with what I’ve talked about, but there is a chance one of the above tweets in the post impacted you or made you think the way it made me think. For example, I knew a girl at university obsessed with detox tea’s (now due to the fact that detox tea’s are complete bogus) I did eventually come to the conclusion that she may have had body confidence issues, but the tea wasn’t my only clue. I like to think that maybe if she saw the above post it would help her or at least get her to stop wasting money on those tea’s.
On a final note, diet culture is toxic and it’s so easy to get into your own head. Any one of those tweets could have prompted this post. I know what it’s like to want to detox because I’m feeling uncomfortable in my own skin and to want to start a new diet because I feel like what I’m doing isn’t good enough — but, haven’t we all felt that way?
That’s why I wanted to talk about it, because I like I said. If I’m feeling this way, someone out there must be feeling it at well.