At What Cost?

At What Cost?

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A question I often come back to. At what cost?? We have the ability to make decisions for ourselves based on our own needs and wants. However, we are often quick to play the comparison, rat race game of making decisions based on our deep need to fit into societal standards, to buy into the next quick fix, try the newest form of a diet because our bodies couldn't possibly know better than the latest internet influencer.

So I ask, at what cost? What is it worth?

I am a dietitian whose focus is in weight inclusive, non-diet, intuitive eating approach. I have not come to this calling lightly. I feel pulled into this work by my own struggles, unhappiness, and lack of self-worth.

At some point, I had to decide for myself what my attempts at controlling my body, my weight, putting so much worth into the number on the scale was really worth. Living in constant fear of my body changing, counting, recounting, body checking, body shaming, anxiously spiraling down while I questioned my very being…began to just cost too much.

I have lived in a body smaller than the one I am in, I have lived in a body larger than the one I am currently in. We are living breathing beings, while we continue to live and breath, our bodies will inevitably change. To buy into the idea that this will not happen has a big cost..that cost is long term dissatisfaction. The cost is long term unhappiness that may start with just your body but will seep into so many aspects of life. It will be the low hum, the undercurrent of distrust that leads to fear and anxiety being the new norm.

We know dieting doesn't work, it has been proven over and over. We know the “obesity epidemic” research is largely funded by billion-dollar industries that skew results to create more fear. We know that weight is NOT a good indicator of health, that BMI is BS. We KNOW that dieting, often leads to weight cycling, which is far more detrimental to our health than most practitioners are willing to admit (i.e. increased weight, pro-inflammatory, increase blood pressure, risk of disordered eating, body dissatisfaction, increased stress, increased setpoint). With all of this information, it is STILL encouraged and many times glorified to believe we can control our bodies.

At what cost? Our freedom. As Christy Harrison often says, diet culture is a life thief. It takes away our autonomy, our ability to live in the moment and listen to our bodies. It creates avenues for us to question our worth, our ability to trust ourselves, and instead forces us to turn to external sources for validation and information. This can lead to believing others know our bodies better than we do. The truth is, we are far more informed than we give ourselves credit for, we just need to ask the right questions.

We have complete autonomy when it comes to what we do or don't do with our bodies. It is not for me or anyone else to judge those decisions, but for each of us to ask for ourselves, “what is the cost?” and take a good hard look at what that might look like.

-Kaitlin Bolt-Lovett