18 Anti-Diet Quotes You Need This Year

A few days ago, I found myself lying on top of my bed, fully dressed, scrolling through Instagram in the dark. It was just one of those days. Nothing was really that wrong. I was just anxious and filled with that inexplicable dread that creeps up so easily when it’s cold and windy and the sun seems to set at, like, 11 a.m. So I picked up my phone and started looking for some #inspiration. Instead, I got this baloney:

“He who takes medicine and neglects to diet wastes the skill of his doctors.” — Chinese Proverb

A quick Google search revealed that this quote was more than likely not a Chinese proverb (I could find no source for it except diet articles and websites from the Geocities era). Furthermore, it’s often written as, “He who takes medicine and neglects diet…” without that sneaky little “to” thrown in before “diet” — giving it a very different connotation.

To be fair, when you turn to social media to bolster your emotional health, you get what you deserve. Still, it struck me again that the internet is flooded with this kind of nonsense, peddled as truth (ancient wisdom, even). It’s easy enough to bypass the BS when it’s buried in a junky website or someone’s old LiveJournal. But when it’s presented in a tidy font on a pretty background, well, it’s hard not to look. And like it or not, when something catches our eye, our brain takes note. How often do we scroll past that dressed-up garbage, inadvertently adding to the rubbish heap in our minds?

Instead of wasting time on that depressing query, I’ve decided to offer an alternative. Today I present you with 17 quotes for 2017 (plus one to grow on) from some of the most genuinely inspirational people I’ve encountered since launching The Anti-Diet Project in 2013. While the internet is flooded with garbage, the world is full of incredible voices addressing things like diet culture, disordered eating, intuitive eating, body positivity, rational fitness, personal growth, and so much more. These are words we all need to hear, and people we all should know. These messages are meant to be shared, so share them. We’ve put them here in tidy font, on pretty backgrounds, so you can spread the word, too. If we can’t get rid of all the shaming, ugly, erroneous messages out there, then we can at least drown them out with something true — and truly nourishing.

It is all too easy to feel alone and inept, especially when you’re lying on your bed in the dark, fumbling for a lifeline on your phone. I hope you find one here, and if so, I hope you pull yourself up and then toss it back out there for someone else to grab a hold of.

The Anti-Diet Project is an ongoing series about intuitive eating, sustainable fitness, and body positivity. You can follow Kelsey's journey on Twitter and Instagram at @mskelseymiller, or right here on Facebook. Curious about how it all got started? Check out the whole column, right here.

Illustrated by: Ivy Liu.
1. Marie Southard Ospina

“Strangely enough, a lot of people wouldn’t even call me fat. Chunky or chubby, probably, but never fat. I use the term fat because the fact is I know my naked body better than anyone, and I have lots of fat on it and happen to like it all. I also love using the word because the more we plus-sizers use it, the less of an insult it can ever be — the less anyone can hurt us with it. It’s funny because I spent so many years thinking of myself as ‘fat’ in a derogatory way, and now that I see it as a positive thing, I have to be careful not to insult anyone larger by using the word in reference to myself. And though a lot of people may not think of me as fat today, a lot do — doctors, skinny-centric purists, and anyone who has seen me in undies. Personally, I am going to keep using the word with a smile on my face.” — Marie Southard Ospina, journalist, fashion blogger, and fat-acceptance writer

Find her on Instagram, Twitter, or her blog, Migg Magg. (And check out her Anti-Diet Project guest post!)
Illustrated by: Ivy Liu.
2. Caroline Dooner

“Maybe you’re hungry because you didn’t EAT ENOUGH.” — Caroline Dooner, creator of The Fuck-It Diet

Find her on Instagram, check out her podcast, and read more on her website, The Fuck-It Diet.
Illustrated by: Ivy Liu.
3. Notoriously Dapper

“Body positivity is for everyone. Every race, age, gender, and body type. It's inclusive for all, so join the party.” — Notoriously Dapper (a.k.a., Kelvin Davis), body-positive male model and style blogger

Find him on Instagram, Facebook, and his blog.
Illustrated by: Ivy Liu.
4. Sam Dylan Finch

“My body positivism says that we should all reclaim ownership over our bodies. Sometimes that means allowing our bodies to just be as they are, pushing out harmful body ideals and instead letting love in. But sometimes reclaiming requires change. Sometimes it means taking back our bodies from dysphoria and making the choices that we need to for our health — health that we dictate on our own terms. Sometimes we must transition towards the bodies that we need in order to be well. That’s absolutely okay. Sometimes modifying our bodies can be our greatest act of self-love.” — Sam Dylan Finch, writer, editor, and activist, best known for his work on mental health and transgender identity

Find him on Everyday Feminism, Twitter, and his website.
Illustrated by: Ivy Liu.
5. Amanda Levitt

“When you are wrapped up in hating your body, it means you often aren’t thinking about how to center yourself in your body. You have spent so long ignoring it, pretending your body isn’t part of who you are, that you need to take a moment to reconnect yourself with it. For me, it means doing little things. Doing yoga. Painting my nails. Taking an extra long shower. It means flexing and stretching my muscles. It sometimes is as simple as reminding myself that my body is a good body, that all bodies are good bodies.” — Amanda Levitt, writer, activist, and creator of Fat Body Politics

Find her on Twitter and tumblr.
Illustrated by: Ivy Liu.
6. Jordan Younger

“Screw pressure. Wrap it up into the tiny box it deserves to live in, tie it with a bow, and chuck it out the window. Life is not about feeling pressured. Life is about sharing our souls, the deepest and most firmly rooted parts of ourselves, taking them out of their shells and sharing them with one another. Not only in a yoga studio. Not only in a therapy session or on a wellness retreat or when you happen to feel comfortable or in love enough with someone to be your truest, most authentic self. Just always.” — Jordan Younger, blogger and author of Breaking Vegan

Find her on Instagram and on her blog, The Balanced Blonde.
Illustrated by: Ivy Liu.
7. Louise Green

“Being seen as a plus-size athlete isn’t just about inspiring people of size. It’s also about showing society that body diversity exists in athleticism. It broadens the scope of what it means to be an athlete. What we see at those finish lines changes our very concept of the athletic ideal.” — Louise Green, athlete, trainer, and advocate for plus-size athleticism.

Read more on her website, view her TEDx talk — and if you’re in Canada, check out her training and fitness facilities, Body Exchange, which cater to plus-size clientele.
Illustrated by: Ivy Liu.
8. Roz Mays

“I’m strong. And that’s just as sexy as if I have a nice ass.” — Roz Mays (a.k.a, Roz The Diva), personal trainer and pole dancer.

Check her out (and her incredible moves) on Instagram, Facebook, and on her website.
Illustrated by: Ivy Liu.
9. Summer Innanen

“I don’t care if you think your body is beautiful. Your body is not your power. I want you to not hate it so you can go out and do meaningful things with you life. I want you to know that you don’t have to be attractive to know that you’re worthy and valuable.” — Summer Innanen, body-image coach, author, and podcast host

Find her on her website and check out her podcast, Fearless Rebelle Radio.
Illustrated by: Ivy Liu.
10. Ashlee Haze

“With thighs as thick as redwoods, I stand firm in my foundation, and hips as big as the women before me who have given birth to nations.” — Ashlee Haze, slam poet and spoken-word artist

Find her on her website and check out her latest poetry collection, Land Of The Living. (And check out some of her knock-out performances on YouTube.)
Illustrated by: Ivy Liu.
11. Cadence Dubus

“We're wasting time counting calories instead of becoming the president.” — Cadence Dubus, owner of fitness studio Brooklyn Strength

Find her (and her studio) on Instagram and their website (and check out her cameos on The Anti-Diet Project!)
Illustrated by: Ivy Liu.
12. Jillian Mercado

“If you have big boobs, embrace it. If you have big thighs, do it. It’s really boring to see the same people. So if you’re different, that’s sunlight in somebody’s world.” — Jillian Mercado, model and activist

Find her on Instagram and check out her work as one of the leading models breaking ground for disabled visibility in the fashion world.
Illustrated by: Ivy Liu.
13. Isabel Foxen Duke

“When you judge your performance around food — when you draw an imaginary line in the sand where ‘okay’ ends, and ‘not okay’ begins — you will inevitably cross that line. And probably lose your shit.” — Isabel Foxen Duke, intuitive eating coach

Find her on her website (and while you’re there, sign up for her fantastic newsletter).
Illustrated by: Ivy Liu.
14. Jes Baker

“We become too embarrassed to meet up with the friend we haven’t seen in years, because we might have gained weight. We sabotage relationships by thinking we’re unworthy of physical affection. We hide our face when we have breakouts. We opt out of the dance class, because we’re worried we’ll look ridiculous. We miss out on sex positions, because we’re afraid we’ll crush our partner with our weight. We dread family holidays, because someone might say something about how we look. We don’t approach potential friends or lovers, because we assume they will immediately judge our appearance negatively. We try to shrink when walking in public spaces in order to take up as little room as possible. We build our lives around the belief that we are undeserving of attention, love, and amazing opportunities, when, in reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth.”— Jes Baker, blogger, speaker, and author

Find her on Facebook and her blog, and check out her recent book, Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living.
Illustrated by: Ivy Liu.
15. Jessamyn Stanley

“I can’t just sit here and think, I just wish my body was different. Everything could be different, would be different. When you accept that, you can accept the strength your body parts are actually giving you.” — Jessamyn Stanley, yoga teacher and body-positivity advocate

Find her on Instagram, her website, and check out her first book, coming soon!
Illustrated by: Ivy Liu.
16. Sonya Renee

“The body is not a crime, is not a gun. / The body is not crime, is not sentence to be served. / It is not prison, is not pavement, is not prayer. / The body is not an apology. / Do not offer the body as gift. / Only receive it as such.”— Sonya Renee, performance poet, activist, and founder of The Body Is Not An Apology.

Find her on her website and read more about her organization’s work at The Body Is Not An Apology.
Illustrated by: Ivy Liu.
17. Melissa Fabello

“Remember: It is not (ever) your responsibility to be beautiful.” — Melissa Fabello, writer and activist specializing in body acceptance, sexuality, and feminism.

Find her on Twitter, her website, and check out her work on Everyday Feminism (where is currently managing editor).
Illustrated by: Ivy Liu.
18. Ragini Nag Nao

“Anyone can wear anything they like at any point of time. That’s how fashion works. That’s the real fun of it — utterly rejecting and shattering preconceived notions about who should wear what.” — Ragini Nag Nao, style blogger and writer.

Find her on Instagram and on her blog, A Curious Fancy.