The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
As the weather begins to warm up and the semester is drawing to an end, we are all looking forward to the quickly approaching summer break. However, this also means that we’re beginning to see the return of trendy diets and “quick-fixes”. My Instagram explore page is currently filled with flat-tummy teas, macro counting, and precisely posed influencers promoting the programs that gave them their “summer body”.
It can feel tempting to give in to the pressure that is put on us not only by social media, but often in real life as well. But it is important to remember that your body is already a summer body! You don’t need a “quick fix” because nothing is broken.
So why do we let it get to ourselves?
Too many summers have been wasted counting calories and stressing about having time for the gym, just to be too tired to go out because the diet industry decided to villainize carbs this year. Unfortunately, this rhetoric has been pushed on many of us for longer than we can remember. From magazine covers to weight-related jokes in childrens’ shows, the diet industry has made an effort to push its way into all of our lives. And once these harmful messages have reached us, the industry was able to push expensive products and fad diets onto us.
Diets are designed to fail so that the industry can continue making money off of the insecurities they caused. Demonizing carbs (your body’s main source of energy!) is a way to sell low-carb food alternatives. Juice cleanses were invented to sell you overpriced fruit juice. All these diets do is place additional stress on the body and damage our relationships with food. Our bodies need carbs, fats, protein, and for us to treat them a little nicer than the diet-infused media does.
So what can we do about it?
There is nothing wrong with the way your body looks. Period. However, completely rejecting the agenda that the diet industry has pushed for years is often easier said than done. As Taylor Swift said, “There is no quick fix. I work on accepting my body every day.”
Really, sometimes all that you can do is put in effort to be nicer to yourself everyday, and work on loving your body. Unfollow the dieting accounts on social media, instead try to find body-positive influencers who make you feel good about yourself! Or even limiting your time on social media in general can prevent unnecessary comparisons, and reduce the amount of harmful media you’re exposed to.
It is also important, when distancing yourself from diet culture, to reject the idea that there are “good foods” and “bad foods”. Food is meant to nourish your body, and to be enjoyed. There is no “bad food”, just food. You deserve to eat what you want, when you want, regardless of how much you’ve already eaten today or how recently you’ve been to the gym. There is no need to justify your food choices; to yourself or others.
And lastly, remember that you don’t need to be a certain size to wear a swimsuit or a crop top or a pair of shorts. Most of all, you don’t need to look a certain way to enjoy food. Put your energy into loving yourself, and finally ditching diet culture.