These are just a few of the facts that I've made up to showcase some of the oft-neglected victims of dieting. Today on International No Diet Day #INDD I ruminate on lost calories from my past, the meals that got away, and our sad uneaten cookie comrades.
I dieted a lot for a long time. I dieted so hard I gave myself scurvy one time.
The psychological and physical harms of dieting are not debatable. That dieting doesn't work is not debatable. That dieting is a racket is not debatable. At this point in my fat life, I'm just mad at diet culture because of all the delicious meals I missed. And so I'm taking a moment to remember that eight course meal in Florence that I missed because I was on a diet. I want to remember the birthday cake I skipped in the name of skinny jeans. I want to remember the cannolis and the cream and the bagel bites and all the fucken butter that I missed out on because of you, you dirty lying diet bastard.
I don't exactly remember the moment that I decided I was going to stop dieting forever, but I remember that along the way to that point I wrote something called "The Dick to Dessert Ratio" in which I (pseudo) mathematically broke down why I didn't want to diet in the pursuit of romance or sex anymore:
Conclusion: 3 truffles = <greater than/equal to> most wang
I remember when I realized that dieting was about so much more than the pursuit of love or romance or bikini-wearing.
Dieting is about more than even weight loss. It's about estranging you from your body. It is about untethering you from what your body is trying to tell you about what you need and what you want. It is about engaging and preoccupying you in an impossible project of conformity. That it is impossible is at the very heart of dieting. The pursuit of impossibility creates and ensures control and docility. It teaches you that the problem is not out there, but in here. And that feeling is essential to the occupation of your mind and your heart. When I stop trying to lose weight I regained the parts of myself that I thought I'd lost forever.
I love this body and because I love it I refuse to subject it to dieting. And, ghurl, that bacon isn't going to eat itself.
Happy International No Diet Day!
Virgie Tovar, MA is one of the nation's leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image. She is the founder of Babecamp (a 4 week online course focused on helping people break up with diet culture) and the editor of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (Seal Press, 2012). She writes about the intersections of size, identity, sexuality and politics. See more updates on Facebook.