A tough pill to swallow | Diane Sanfilippo

A tough pill to swallow

It’s a tough pill to swallow, thinking about how many people likely went on to develop disordered eating patterns or whose already disordered patterns were reinforced by my teachings, programs, etc.

But that’s why I speak against diets now in the way that I do. They’re a lot more than “just eat these foods and avoid those foods.” They’re so, so much more.

That a particular diet, whether short or long-term, helped some (or many) people in some ways doesn’t absolve it from its harmful place within diet culture.

It’s extremely likely that far more people were harmed in a variety of ways from that diet than were helped. Most of us blame ourselves for any negative outcomes of diets.

Some of the negative outcomes of diets include but are not limited to:

* fearing specific foods or food groups that were eliminated during the diet

* assuming a food that was eliminated during diet is solely responsible for health challenges once added back

* feelings of failure when unable to maintain the diet for its intended duration

* hunger

* stress around food choices

* feelings of guilt or shame when the assumed benefits of the diet don’t “happen” for them

* weight cycling (weight loss while on the diet, whether intentional or not, and weight gain thereafter)

* missed or stressful socialization while on the diet

* fear of ridicule, resistance, or retaliation from others when you express how the diet didn’t work for / harmed you

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