People have been throwing “hot girl summer” around like it’s the only thing in the world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m hype for the summer, but at what cost? Let me be frank, I am very excited to ‘go in’ this summer, but I will not do it at the expense of my body, my sanity, and my absolute worthiness as I am right now. Don’t get roped in to the nest diet fad or keto craze. You and your body deserve more.
I recently caught up with a long time friend. After chatting for a while, she excitedly told me, “Girl, I just started this new detox. It’s not a diet, but it’s really cool. I mean I hate everything I have to eat, and I can’t stop thinking about food…but I think it’s really working. You should try it with me! Hot girl summer, right?”
Cue the panic. What to do? What to say? Our bodies are summer bodies, right now, just as they are. Do not go to extremes. Extremes are never healthy or helpful. Unfortunately, diet culture rears its ugly head often. Once you break free, it can be heartbreaking and triggering to see people in your life affected and influenced by it. So what do you do? How do you react when your friend goes on a diet?
So your friend, your mom, your coworker, the person at the coffee shop started a new diet, cleanse, detox, or “clean” eating. And you cannot bear to hear it again…
The high: “This is amazing! It’s a lifestyle, not a diet. It really works. I can feel a difference. You should try it too.”
The challenge: “I mean I am hungry all the time. I have a bit of a headache, but that’s good right. I’m detoxing? Right? This zucchini really is a great dupe for pasta.”
The downfall: “I can’t stop craving sweets. I must be addicted. I’ll just have one cookie….Well, f*ck it. Might as well eat them all.”
The regret: “I feel awful. I’m so gross. I am out of control. Something has to change. I have to start eating clean. No junk food.”
You know the cycle. You’ve been there done that, and will not put yourself through it again. But what do you do when someone else is doing it? When someone else is stuck in the cycle? When they can’t see the harm they are doing to themselves and the world?
Don’t panic. I’ve got you. Follow these steps when someone you know starts a new diet…
Once you see diet culture for what it is, you can’t unsee it. So, it can be totally triggering when someone tries (whether they know it or not) to drag you back into it.
First and foremost, breathe. Center yourself with your breath. Ground yourself in your own body. Take a second to feel your feet below you and your breath within you. Getting back into your body helps to calm the fight or flight response we have to high anxiety situations.
No matter where you are on your journey to body acceptance, self-love, and making peace with food. Remember why you are there. Remember where you came from. Maybe you’ve been on that diet roller coaster and refuse to go back, maybe you are finally embracing who you are body, mind, and soul and shrinking to fit that mold is no longer acceptable. Maybe you’ve seen the pain and exploitation of diet culture, and you won’t submit to that. Maybe you want to set a better example for your kids. Whatever it is, get back to your why. Remember it and hold it close.
It can feel scary, but setting boundaries is a powerful form of self-care. Boundaries are a way of showing self-respect and work to enhance a relationship but promoting the well-being of everyone involved. Don’t shy away from setting important boundaries, especially those that support your journey. You are the expert on your body, and your journey is your own. You can trust yourself. Set boundaries that empower you on your journey.
Our society is steeped in diet culture, weight stigma, fatphobia, and so much more. You have and are doing hard work to free yourself from these, while most people are painfully unaware. That is a hard line to walk. However, I urge you to approach every situation with compassion. You never know when you are planting the seeds that will grow into change in someone else’s world.
In terms of someone you know starting a new diet, treat that person with compassion. They are doing the best they can and know how. You cannot force someone to heal, they have to come to it openly. So, treat them kindly and protect yourself. You may never know it, but trust that your compassion goes a long, long way.
Finally, get support. You are not alone. There are others on this journey. Be present for yourself, so that you can be present for them. Whether it is a group, a coach, a friend, a blog, or a book there are so many resources out there that will support you as you leave diet culture in the dust, and step into your full potential. Don’t hesitate to bolster yourself. You are worth it.
The summer is upon us. Diet Culture is at its sneakiest, but you are so much stronger. Stay true to you, bestie. No matter who, how, or what brings diet culture knocking, remember that you are worthy just as you are right now. Want to know what’s better than hot girl summer?
100% YOU summer.
As always, If you are feeling like you could use a little extra support check out my private Facebook group, Your Body’s BFF, dedicated to making peace with our bodies, finding freedom around food, and empowering ourselves in a safe and supportive way. Or if you are ready to take your own journey from 0 to 100, check out my 1:1 coaching offers! I gotchu, boo!