I was always one of the bigger kids. Even when I was so "fat" at a size 14 all my friends seemed to be a 10. I've never in my adult life been under a 14-in fact it's only when I have been on particularly punishing diets that I've been there. I'm usually a 16-18. I'm now an 18-20.
This means that I have been a dieter.
Because fat is so gross right? And it's just what you do if you want to *cue scary violins* LIVE past 40. You don't love yourself as a person and can't possibly be happy or ever get laid unless you fit into that bikini sans wobbly bits unless you are striving for that morally superior health goal of the elusive "goal weight".
That's what we are taught by media, by society, by ill informed health professionals. That is the culture we are surrounded by. It is the culture I was raised in.
It was all about the looks for me initially. I grew up on Queensland's Gold Coast where swimwear and singlet tops (read BINGO WINGS) are the local uniform. I was SO conscious of my weight in high school and that I was one of the bigger kids, even though teens can have a pretty skewed idea of what FAT is. I was mooed at at called a fatty fat fat and an ugly fat mole and all that. So I started being cautious about "fatty" food and exercise as a method of control. It wasn't until I got older that I learned the moral highground of I'm going to be *trumpets please* HEALTHY. And being healthy means thin. By only eating weird and wonderful low fat this and that as well as daily walking I dropped a heap of weight. And I could be proud of the fact that I was so awesome and full of willpower that I could be this way.
I became scared of "unhealthy" food.
This fear has been around until recently.
You see all of the diet information and all of the super crunchy organic eaters make one item of food seem like poison. That it will make you fat or kill you eventually. That by eating well CONSTANTLY is the only way to be healthy and remain at an acceptable (read fuckable)weight. It has caused me a lot of guilt and shame over the years that I'm either making myself fat or ruining my childrens health forever with the odd donut or such.
Let me tell you an epiphany I had over a chocolate sundae.
The other week I was craving a chocolate sundae of the "Mc" variety. I have been committed to a more Health At Every Size approach and looking after my health regardless with no focus on weight. I was STILL unable to shake the ingrained idea that I had to eat well AT ALL TIMES lest my health would be at stake. So I was resisting eating the poison sundae because all of my "good work" would be ruined (diet talk) and I would have to be "good" the next day.
Then it hit me.
It's just a chocolate sundae. Just soft serve and fudge topping. Not poison or a black mark on a score card. Not a nuclear bomb to my health, not a bad example to my kids or a moral failing.
Just a motherfucking chocolate sundae.
This was a huge step for me to be able to start to undo a lifetime of diet culture.
The sundae was awesome by the way.