Dear Diet Industry

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Dear Diet Industry, 

 

If you were a person, I would punch you in the face.

I’ve been watching you for years, how you feed off the blood of our insecurities.  Insecurities that, incidentally, you created. 

 How would I have known that I needed feel ashamed at the beach (unless I rocked a "beach body", of course!) if you had not told me?

You took the exuberant, sun-burned, sand-covered, deep-breath-of-salty-aired beach and made it about bikinis and a body type.

How would I have known that there was "good" food and "bad" food if not for you?

You took the beautiful, messy, nourishing creation of food and put it into categories; categories you invented, categories you change on an almost constant basis. 

How would I have known that what I weighed had the power to make me happy or sad, confident or depressed, if you were not there, guiding me? 

You took what I weighed, with no regard to the reasons I weighed that much, and devised a system by which I could be exalted or condemned.  You set yourself up as judge and jury. 

And executioner. 

And I let you.  I believed you. 

 

I believed the message you were selling: My physical appearance is the yardstick by which I measure confidence and happiness. 

I believed that thinness equalled fulfillment.  I lived my life in a constant vigil, awaiting the arrival of thinness, which promised to bring contentment with it.   

 

 If only I could lose ten pounds, then I could face the mirror and not fear what I would see there!  I could get dressed, zipping and buttoning with ease.  Never a troubled thought, “What if it doesn’t fit the same way anymore?”

 

But diet industry, I don’t believe you anymore.  Your day of reckoning has come.  It’s time to take this outside and settle it once and for all.  The gloves are off. 

Because:  I listened as a middle school girl shared, her eyes brimming with shameful tears, that her friends had suggested, "you might want to give bulimia a try.”

She was undesirable because she was fat.  She needed to do something about it.  And she was desperate enough to heed their malicious advice.  She would do anything to lose weight. 

 

Diet industry, you did that.  You are a predator of the vilest kind. You spin your web and you wait...our weaknesses awaken the bloodlust within you.

You are a charlatan.  A snake oil salesman.  You peddle your cheap wares on the marketplace of our hopes and dreams.

And, ultimately, your sales pitch has led us down the rabbit hole, into a world where “the flu makes a really awesome diet!”   Just ask Kim Kardashian.  A world where a communicable disease is a small price to pay to fit into the right size dress.

 

I, for one, am done buying what you are selling.  DONE.

 

But health!  What about being healthy? 

Let’s do everyone a favor and set the record straight.  Diet industry, you have nothing to do with health.  Lets not pretend you do.

 

You have one goal, and one goal only.

Cold, hard cash.

 

And you are not getting mine any more.

I believe, I really do, that if the money went away, you would, too. 

So.  I am not going to buy anything you are selling anymore: no more magazines with “Lose five pounds in five days!” splashed across the cover, no more shakes, no more pills, no more supplements, no more food plans, no more—enough is enough. 

 

Today, I vow to fight you and the standards you promote with violence. 

I want you to know that I fight against you because I have found something else.  Something real.

 

FREEDOM. 

 

Freedom is worth fighting for.

 The elusive happiness you promise, diet industry, is utterly eclipsed by the freedom I have found.  Whom the Son has set free is free indeed.

 That is why, as far as I am concerned diet industry, you are going down. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Me