Last week in my Instagram stories, I referenced the Girls Gone WOD Podcast, Diet Culture Harm. I listened to it through my Apple podcast app and I think it is well worth it for my lady friends to take an hour to listen to it too. Honestly, it has taken me well over a week to process my thoughts on all the issues they addressed and, on a personal level, my role within the paradigm of diet culture. This podcast hit me hard.
An even harder hit was the NY Times article by Jessica Knoll called Smash the Wellness Industry that Joy and Claire talked at length about. With a tagline that reads “Why are so many smart women falling for [The Wellness Industry’s] harmful psuedoscientific claims?” I had all the feels having worked with so many smart women myself. There are so many aspects of the article that any woman can relate to, but I was really struck by the part where she “sets the scene” of four high-powered business women meeting for lunch.
“Someone was slogging through the Whole30 program, someone had eliminated dairy, and someone else was simply trying to be “good” after a “bad” weekend. The producer said it didn’t matter how “good” she was. She had lost the baby weight and though she may look tolerable in clothes, under the Spanx her stomach was a horror show. The writer said she had so much cellulite on her thighs she looked diseased. I gazed around the restaurant, longingly, wondering what the men eating cheeseburgers were talking about.”
Chances are they weren’t spending time berating their bodies and trying their darnedest to eat as little and/or as restrictively as possible. This all too familiar scenario for women is SO prevalent in our culture and just picturing it in my head makes me want to round up every smart woman I know (which is EVERY woman I know) and encourage them to call bullshit on this. And the Girls Gone Wod podcast also calls BS on this “time-honored” tradition of women trashing their bodies in the company of other women.
However, this being said, the podcast also really dissects what it is about the supposed “Wellness” Industry that sends the message that us women aren’t “enough” if we’re not obsessing about our bodies together or eating X but not Z. They talk candidly about the pressure of the notion of wellness, eating disorders, emotional eating, their own relationship with their bodies and the unrealistic expectation that women should love their bodies in order to have a fulfilling life. I could probably write ten blogs inspired by the issues they brought up.
I know I have talked about my personal struggles with being a woman...with a body...in our society. I mean, I don’t know a single woman...who has a body...who doesn’t have issues of some sort. But, I think listening to parts of this podcast really made me cringe because I wonder how much I am perpetuating the problem.
But for all my stumbling and any unintended contribution to the toxicity of the wellness industry, I really want all of you to know that my intention is pure. I really truly deep down want every person I work with to live their best lives, however that looks for each individual. At the core of my work, this is what I want to shine through more than anything. More than any exercise video I upload or nutrition graphic I share, I hope all of your biggest take away from my work is that your relationship with yourself is priority numero uno. I love the part of The Girls Gone WOD podcast when they say, and I am totally paraphrasing here, that “every single meal is building a relationship with your body...with yourself...with food. Think of the way you eat as a relationship like any other. For instance, the relationship you have with your spouse or significant other or best friend. You would nurture that relationship. What are you doing everyday to nurture a relationship with the food you eat?” I would also ask what are you doing everyday to nurture your relationship with yourself? With your soul? With your spirit? With your personal goals? With your development? These are the questions I really want all of you to dig deep into. The food and exercise are important, but true wellness is knowing YOU are important. We all are.