Fit Five Friday – 5 Ways to Deprogram Yourself

9 September, 2022 12 By Renée
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It’s that time of week again and I finally have a moment where I can actually participate! Welcome to the Fit Five Friday with with your FIVE amazing hosts – me, My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida ! Feel free to join in on the fun!

Welcome to the Fit Five Friday

Right. Another post from me starting with an apology for being absent again. It’s been … challenging, to say the least, but where there are challenges, then are almost always changes, am I right?

So while we’re talking change, there is something big that I’ve been trying to do for a long time now and that’s deprogram myself from diet-culture thinking and speaking. Now you may not feel like this post is for you and that is totally ok. But you may also find yourself maybe nodding your head in agreement to one of two of these things. In any case, this is just something I’m working on and I do not expect others to follow suit. We all do our thing in our own time.

Five ways to Deprogram Yourself

What do I mean by this? These are just things you could try to change if you feel this way of thinking or this behaviour no longer suits you.

Remove morality from food

And I mean all food. Food isn’t “good” “bad” “clean” nor is food a “cheat”. It’s literally food. You want pizza? Go ahead. Ice Cream? That’s ok too. You are craving a salad. Cool, have that. Diet Culture has us really believing and thinking that there is morality in what we put in our bodies, but honestly, there is none. Are things healthier than other things? Sure but that doesn’t make them moral.

Stop “earning” to celebrate or consume later

So I still have a hard time with this. Justifying a couple of beers or fries because I did a long run. I didn’t actually “earn” it. Sure we want to have a balance right? Balance is good. But, what about doing a couple of hard workouts before a big night out or a holiday? If that is what you want to do, you can. But don’t use exercise as a way to earn what you will consume later. This can really be a slippery slope.

The same goes with rewards. Rewarding yourself with food is kind of messed up if you think about it. This has been programmed in my head for at least 30+ years. This probably coincides with the first time I joined Weight Watchers and being told that we could “earn” our treats if we just went outside for a walk or had some other form of exercise. It’s sad. We don’t have to do this.

Let us not forget that all of this “earning” and “rewarding” can and does unfortunately lead to disordered eating.

A smaller body does not necessarily equal Health

This is something I have learned recently too – even though I’ve likely lost a bit of fitness and I have gained weight, that doesn’t mean I am unhealthy. Yet the messages we receive is still clearly that a smaller body is “better” and a bigger body is “unhealthy” or even worse that bigger bodied people are “lazy”.

I’m still working on being ok with my body. My programming tells me that it’s not “good”, that I should lose weight, that it would be “better” for me. But what if I would just be OK with me, right now?

Stop complimenting weight loss

Ok this is tough, I know. I really struggle with it. Commenting on anyone’s body, especially when it comes to weight loss is really diet culture talk in my opinion. The self-deprecating comments from friends in regular conversations are starting to make me sad. Do we really constantly think about our bodies and our weight? Are we really constantly judging our own bodies?

I am really trying to redirect any conversation about weight, either loss or gain, to make it about something else, something positive about that person. It’s hard because I know we are super programmed to WANT compliments about weight loss, we WANT to hear how great we look, etc. But what about how great we ARE? Isn’t being a great person, more than just looking great?

As a person who has dieted since high school, every time I lost weight I got compliments, praise, everyone wanted to know what I did to lose the weight. But those of us who ride this roller coaster tend to gain weight again. In fact, not a lot of people maintain weight loss for a long time. Some do, sure. But most of us don’t. And we don’t get a lot of compliments when we gain weight. Sad, but true.

You have a shape. Period.

This is something that really drives me mad. Especially advertisements for products or programs to “get in shape”. Actually, you have a shape. And your shape is already amazing. You are ok the way you are right now. You can wear that bikini or crop top right now, you don’t have to be “in shape” for that.

A challenge for you – try to notice how many times you read or hear that someone is “out of shape” or wants to get “back in shape” and I bet you you’ll hear or read it every single day. In fact, I’ve been glancing at personal trainers and programs here in town and talk about a “back in shape” program of some kind.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? What are other ways you think we can deprogram ourselves from Diet Culture?

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