You may or may not have noticed that the blog is now sporting a shiny new badge in the top left corner: No Diet Talk.
This is a food blog. Clearly, I like to talk about food. I think about it, make lists about it, shop for it, plan it, cook it and then write about it. No Diet Talk is not about avoiding food talk.
Diet talk, and weight loss talk, is when people discuss what they eat and judge it based on what they think is healthy or unhealthy, or likely to lead to losing or gaining weight. You’ve heard it, no doubt, at work, or in your family. A co-worker says of your pizza, “Wow, that looks good. I couldn’t afford (to eat) it” (assumedly because of the calories) and the whole lunch area dissolves into a discussion of diets, hated body parts, etc. An aunty remarks on how fat she’s getting. A friend mentions how much she’ll have to work out later to “burn off” the cake you just shared. Sometimes this even turns into a sort of competition – who can hate themselves more?
People seem to think that this is no big deal, but that’s just not true. It can be upsetting for people who hear it, it affirms your own self-hatred (your brain believes the things you say), and it teaches younger people that self-hatred is acceptable and that fatness should make them ashamed.
I’ve been thin my whole life. Sometimes there is more or less of me, but I’ve never been fat, really. This never stopped me from worrying that I was though, and it didn’t stop some other people from saying I was, because the truth is, when its normal to criticize and shame bodies, there’s no such thing as good enough.
For people who are fat, body shaming leads to a whole lot more – discrimination in employment, public humiliation, misdiagnosis, refusal of medical treatment, condescension, shame, hatred, the works. Diet talk adds to the problem. So, Natalie, at Definatalie came up with the rule and the button.
From now on this blog (and the life of the writer) is diet talk free*, and I hope others in the food-blogging arena will jump on board to make safer spaces on the net. If I stuff up and post anything objectionable (other than dodgy food) feel free to slap me, or you know, leave a comment so I can fix it.
Thanks a bunch Natalie, for setting it up, and thanks Frances, for facebooking it so I came across it.
To read more about fatphobia, body shaming and generally meet the fatposphere, check out these blogs:
Among other things I work as a personal trainer, which means that sometimes, when asked, talking about nutrition and weight loss is a part of my job. This doesn’t mean that I don’t see the harm that is often done in the name of “helping”, “concern”, and “health”, and I don’t shame people for what they eat or don’t eat, or what their bodies look or function like. Also, I don’t hand out restrictive diets, fad diets, or diets at all, actually. If you met a trainer that did, I’m really sorry – there are a lot of crap ones.