This blog title is something that I think that if we look to our lives, every single solitary thing that we do every single is in efforts to create safety of fears that we have by default of societal norms, and I wanted to share some areas in health and fitness that I think that you might find this helpful. I have realized that I think a lot-constant-like this never ending stream of thoughts floating through my head and I know that we all do it so I don't think I'm alone on that, but really have dove deep lately into the reasons that we (aka myself) do things, and how we can change in certain areas that are not beneficial to us and really asking hard questions to be able to improve.
I think one of those is in the area of diet culture, and why we go after the goals that we have in terms of diet. There is a term that is thrown around "fat phobic" in the intuitive eating spectrum of health that I completely align with in that essentially there is this billion dollar industry (including much of what I coach) due to the fact that people are fat phobic. When you really look to the reason why we diet, it is essentially because we have been told that we are to fear fat, and therefore we must diet to create safety and control within that sphere.
Binge eating is seen as this terrible thing that certainly does not create safety for us but when we really break this down further, that is because of the outcome that comes from the actual food that is ingested, and the reason that this creates fear is because that could possibly mean weight gain and we need to create safety from that. In order to do that after a binge eating cycle (which I believe to be something that is uncontrollable in those specific moments), intake is restricted the next day. As stated in parentheses, binge eating is uncontrollable because it comes from a state of deprivation. It is our body's natural response to not being fed, and whereas we may think and may fully convince ourselves that we are eating enough within our days, the binge is a response saying that we are in fact not.
Overeating and binge eating are literally only a thing because diet culture and creating safety from fear of fat is a thing. I talk about my best friend a lot who has pretty much the most healthy relationship with food than anyone I know and then my husband who does as well, and neither one of them really ever overeats...like ever in their lives. The one and only sole time that my friend Brandy has ever had a compulsive over eating phase was when she lived with me, saw how healthy I ate, felt pressure within that (we have discussed this) so she decided to go on her first diet. When she decided to limit her intake, her body's natural response was to overeat. THANK YOU JESUS-she recognized that this is not even close to something she wanted in her life, and she ditched the diet and just lives her life. Overshooting hunger and compulsive overeating are not the same thing as we all have fluctuations where we take a few extra bites and say "oh oops", but even within the very statement of "oh I messed up" that passes through our brains, it's because we have created an atmosphere that needs to be within our bubbles of safety and control.
If we truly sit down and admit it to ourselves, the only reason that anyone cares about overeating or dieting is because they feel fat phobic...duh. But then someone becomes a compulsive overeater and then it becomes a health issue, but the health issue is not the primary issue even if we want to skirt around the truth and say that this is the issue. The panic that ensues when someone overeats really comes back to control and diet culture.
When you start to really think about the things that you eat in your life, do you do them in a state of control and why do you feel that you need to be in control? I was listening to a podcast about the origin of the desire for the six pack and how it dates back really far, which is kinda funny, but when you think about abs, I'm sure you think how it would be nice to have abs, but when you truly think about life as a whole, what in the crap do bumps on your stomach have to do with anything? Literally, people see our stomachs like 0% of the time (unless it's summer time for a few hours at the beach), but truly we have created this societal norm to work towards a flat stomach or abs and it's an area of the body that NO ONE EVER SEES. How bizarre? Like what if we all thought that our feet should have little ab ripples on them. That would be so weird right? That's because we have culturally been conditioned to think that this certain shape is the ideal shape.
I also understand that the girl with abs is talking to you about body image and dieting thoughts, so it's understandable if that also creates a hard image for you. That's why I really do stray away from this topic but it frustrates me that I'm not allowed to talk about body image just because of that, but I also truly think that it can be so hard in the sphere of body positivity that many times the images that are being shared even of plus sized women are of a body shape that we have grown to love in the opposite direction and how it all comes back to fear of XYZ and creating safety within that based on what you eat. #runonsentence Curves are in right now (like they really are) and so even within the body positivity scene, they are STILL showing you their culturally accepted body's and we praise that. We see more curves and say "yes queen. you look better NOW."
We have this image of what's perfect and what is the most beautiful and those are the people that are going to have the most successful instagram pages, but if we break it down to the thought process behind it all, we are all working towards this ideal of creating safety from the fears whether that be with fat phobia or beauty phobia and fitting ourselves into these boxes of societal acceptance.
I know what you're thinking, "but katie you literally coach on dieting" and I know this. haha! I have said many times that I think that there is a spectrum and there are all personality types. I think that it's okay to reach for goals if you have a healthy mindset, but I think that it's vital that you work towards creating healthy eating behaviors. THAT is the end goal and that is what I tell from the start with all of my clients, but I think that sometimes it does take a process and those that haven't been through the process may be wouldn't see it that way but from my personal experience, I just simply do.
There is literally NO WAY that I could have jumped from my scene 1 act 1 of my dieting journey to the things that I believe now today. It just wasn't possible, and part of what I believe in is the process of learning nutrition to break down that fear and creating safety within seeing "hey this really is okay" and then from there, you can move forward with the remainder of your journey but I think that it's so vital that you also look to yourself to know if that is something that you can handle. We are all different, and all have a path that we need to take but I think that the path outside of the walls of our self created control for fear of whatever it may be is vitally important for lifetime happiness and success in health and wellness.