January is the month of body shaming. I’m tuning out.

I used to make New Year’s resolutions. Well, one resolution specifically. For most of my adult life, I’ve been unhappy with the size of my body, and disappointed by the numbers on my bathroom scale. So every year, I would vow to myself come January 1st that this would be the year. The year I lost the weight, and kept it off.

If American news media is to be believed, I’m firmly in the majority. On lists of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, “lose weight” is almost always at or near the top. And it often shares space with its cousins, like “get in shape” and “eat healthier,” which seem innocuous and even empowering on the surface — but what are we really picturing as the outcomes of those goals? More often than not, the mental image is the same: a visibly slimmer body.

If December is the supposed month of excess, then January has been anointed the time of penance for those excesses. The food media I consume has once again turned its attention from sugary, fatty treats to demure portions of vegetables; the health-and-wellness publications I follow are chock-full of diet tips and fitness trends. The implication is that we’re not doing these things because we take delight in them; we’re doing them to offset the damage of the season before. And even places that usually eschew talk of bodies and weight will slip in casual comments about holiday-related waistline growth, and the need to trim that right back down.

It’s no secret that America has a puritanical streak, where the sins of the flesh — say, indulging in foods deemed morally unworthy — must be corrected via deprivation and discipline. This plays right into what intuitive-eating advocates refer to as “diet culture,” an all-encompassing paradigm that equates …read more

Source:: The Week – Health


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