This is what I say in my head any time a woman tells me she “doesn’t really watch what she eats or exercise very much,” yet still manages to be a size 6.
Or a woman who is gushing about how she lost her baby weight so easily through breast-feeding.
Or the rarest of women among us, who actually went on a diet once, lost the weight, and now her weight is not an issue for her.
“Congratulations Lady, you’re a f*cking unicorn.”
The reality is that most of us do struggle with controlling our weight. The majority of women do see drastic changes in their body due to childbirth. And the majority of women (and men, for that matter!) do not manage to lose weight and keep it off through dieting.
The $60 Billion we spend as a society on diet and weight loss products each year is evidence of the size of this problem.
And yet, don’t many of us feel like we’re surrounded by a sea of effortlessly skinny, happy people? Like we’ve got our noses pressed against the glass, watching the life we could have ― if we could just lose that last ten pounds! ― play out before us?
This sense of missing out and isolation we experience is the result of the illusion created by powerful marketing messages and imagery designed to make us buy into the multi-billion dollar diet industry. The diet industry’s reach is massive. Their messaging is everywhere, all the time. As a result, they’ve got us virtually fooled into believing we’re the only ones who haven’t entered our credit card number and bought in.
And yet, don’t many of us feel like we’re surrounded by a sea of effortlessly skinny, happy people?
Listen, if you’re one of these f*cking unicorn ladies, I’m super happy for you. And this piece definitely isn’t meant to be derogatory toward or skinny shame anyone. But if you’re a f*cking unicorn lady, this piece also really isn’t for you.
This piece is for you if you’ve toiled away for the majority of your life, spending your hard-earned money and precious time chasing the diet myth. This piece is for you if you’ve spent the past five years losing and gaining back the same hundred pounds, with incremental increases along the way.
This piece is for you if you’ve taken drastic measures to transform your health, such as gastric bypass surgery, and are still struggling with achieving the results you desire.
This piece is for you if you’re reading this at home, alone, with a baby on your boob, feeling like if one more person makes a comment about how you “look so great for just having a baby” you’re going to open-palm slap them.
This piece is for you if looking at photos of yourself from your last vacation brings you to tears, thinking “How did I let this happen?”
This piece is for you if your co-workers have called you “husky,” “big-boned,” “Rubenesque,” or any other horribly offensive term referencing your size, like they’re trying to get in on some big joke with you.
You may not be a f*cking unicorn, but you’re also not a f*cking joke. And you’re not a charity case. Your failure to comply with restrictive diet and weight loss programs is not the reason that you’re still overweight. You don’t have to feel this way forever, or even for the next few days, if you don’t want to.
You are a beautiful, unique, valuable human being. We need you to take the best possible care of your body, so you can be healthy and be around for the long haul. But we also need you to stop spending your precious time, money, and energy on trying to un-fat yourself.
Because you have so much to give this world, and as long as you are stuck in a cycle of self-loathing, and putting yourself through hell in pursuit of this “perfect” body, you are only able to give us a tiny fraction of the greatness you possess.
If you’re ready to break up with dieting, embrace your body as it is, and really live at full amplitude, then there’s a community of women who are ready and willing to support you. Hop over to melparrish.com and sign up for the #healthyatanysize community to get started!