Instead of saying, "Hey, you’re pretty great as you are, let’s grow and develop this person," diet culture teaches us "You will
be great, once you look a particular way." That creates a chasm between who we really are and who we are told we should be if we want to feel good about ourselves. The constant overstretching and straining to bridge that gap is a breeding ground for depression
, anxiety, shame and feelings of failure and inadequacy. And here’s the kicker: Research clearly demonstrates that diets don’t work
, even when they’re rebranded as lifestyles
. So we get stuck in a spiral of wanting to feel better about ourselves, then using a diet or 'lifestyle' to achieve it (because that’s how it’s sold to us). Then when that invariably doesn’t work, we look for the next thing that’s going to deliver these promises. But it never does, and the cycle goes around again. With each turn of the cycle, diet rules get more deeply entrenched, food restrictions and anxieties more pronounced. And we take these frustrations out on our bodies, punishing them for not being 'good enough' with overexercise and undereating.