A Normal, Human Body

I hate writing this. I hate that I have to. I hate that I’ve written it before and I continue to write about it because the same shit keeps happening every single year. 

It’s January and the diet and wellness industry is in heat. They’re horny not for your health, but for your money. They don’t care if you’re healthy or thin or happy; they want you to fail. Sure their plans and products will work for a time, enough time to help you lose some weight or feel better about yourself or believe them, enough so you’ll become hooked. They’ll act as though they’re your absolute best friend, that they really care. That’s why they’ll have a friendly, formerly-fat face to their company; someone leading the group or on the phone to motivate or commiserate with a smile. But when they reel you in, they rely on you faltering. They will rely on you struggling to lose, putting weight back on, restarting your addiction, feeling despondent and low. They will rely on you being human. 

When you struggle, they’re betting on the chance that, instead of realising that their diet plan/meal replacements/supplements/ethos isn’t sustainable, you’ll lean into them even more. Remember, they’re there for you, they want to help you, they really care, the group leader will give you a little hug and tell you that they felt the same at times. Sometimes it can be hard, sometimes you will struggle, but they’re there for you…as long as you sign up for another 3 months or buy that new book and fancy measuring cups or take even more extreme measures than you did before and adjust your points/syns/intake/life. They’ll dangle other’s success clickbait in front of you to validate it all: you may have gained 2lbs this week, but Kathy lost 6, let’s all give Kathy a round of applause! Buy the magazine and you’ll be able to read how Joe lost 47 stone without giving up bread!

And this is the cycle, this is what you’ll become trapped into and repeat over and over: lose weight, stall, gain weight, lose weight, stall, gain weight. This is what they will make their money from; the fact you are fallible. The fact you have a normal, human body. You failing to sustain their approach isn’t your fault, it’s designed to be failed. If it were successful, they would lose the vast pots of money they rake in every year, over £2bn a year in the UK alone. And every penny of that is scraped from your humanity, your hope, your desperation. The diet industry is an industry. 

Around 80% of us regain the weight we lose; it’s not you. You’re not failing, you have a normal, human body. 

Easy for me to say, you’d suppose, because I don’t understand what it’s like to be you, have your body, and have the need to lose weight or change habits or address addictions as you do. You can be as angry with me as you like because no, I don’t understand what it’s like to live in your skin, you’re completely right. I have my own fat body, eating disorder, dysmorphia, and judgemental mother to deal with. 

And I agree, I hate it when people tell you that your choices are the wrong ones and rail on you for that choice then try and tell you what would be a better choice, that they know best. Righteous pricks. I hate it but yeah I am that prick right now, because the diet and wellness industry have made it seem as though their way is the only way and they’ve been aided by those we’re meant to trust, like the government and the NHS, and everyone should be aware of this, before they make any choices. I don’t blame you; I’ve been you, I am you. I blame them. 

Everyone should be free to do and feel whatever they want and need to about their own body; embrace body positivity or don’t, lose weight or gain it, give up smoking or light up a whole packet, it’s your body. And you should count points, eat like a caveman, track syns, have a shake if you want to. 

But please remember, you have a normal, human body. And the industry doesn’t give a fuck about it.

A black and white close-up image of my thighs and bum, from my waist to my knees. I'm kneeling on a sofa, side on to the camera, and wearing a black suspender belt and fishnet stockings.

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