F that: Dieting, because it’s toxic and you’re amazing

Last Updated on January 8, 2020 by Kristen

woman with burger hamburgerPhoto by Luísa Schetinger on Unsplash

Instagram churns out a lot of eye-rolling, irritating and downright offensive content. Unwanted advice about what women should eat, alongside unrealistic, unattainable images of women’s bodies is at the forefront of that category. But there is a burgeoning corner of Instagram where women are saying a collective “fuck it” to diets and diet culture in the United States and other countries where being thin is promoted as healthier, prettier, and in every way better.

These women are outing diet culture as toxic and damaging to women’s bodies and psyches. The U.S. weight loss and diet control industry is worth a record $72 billion as of 2018, presenting supplements, shakes, books, videos, bariatric surgery, diet soda, and more as the path to weight loss and happiness. When the methods fail—as 85% of diets do—they say we’re doing it wrong.

The women who run these accounts are saying F that. They describe being less healthy when they were thin because they had eating disorders, terrible self esteem, and were generally miserable. They’re focusing on real physical and mental health, and giving women permission to live in a body they’re not ashamed of just because it doesn’t look like a FaceTuned selfie.

I have obsessed over many, many diets in the past—Keto, vegetarian, pescatarian, Hormone Reset, just to name a few. I am obsessed with the scale. I have gained more than 10 pounds in the last two years and I beat myself up about it on a daily (minute-to-minute?) basis—and I didn’t even realize how mean I was being to myself (nor how annoying I was about talking about my weight and eating ad nauseam) until I found The Fuck It Diet and these other wonderful Instagram accounts.

After perusing them for a couple days as I worked on this post, I’m already being kinder to myself in small ways. I typically wear long sleeves even in the sweatiest dance class because I don’t want to show my arms, but I wore short sleeves to work out yesterday for the first time in months. I doubt I’ll be rocking short shorts anytime soon but it’s a start.

I also have renewed anger towards my doctor who told me last year I should, at my age, be eating a mere 1,200 calories per day. So that’s it, the answer for all of us post-menopausal women? We all process food the same way, and this is the magic number? It turns out the answer to that is actually no, we do not, according to science.

I’m still figuring out a longterm solution to better mental and physical health around eating and body obsession. And while these Instagram accounts may not be the ultimate solution, they’re providing much needed comic relief and a path towards not being so mean to myself in the meantime.

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I can already tell I’m going to get really sick of these quote images I made with 10 of my books flying at you…

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The F*ck It Diet

The F*ck It Diet is not only an Instagram account, but also a blog, podcast, and a recently-published book by Philadelphia-based author Caroline Dooner. Dr. Christiane Northrup is into it: “The F*ck It Diet is not only hilarious, it is scientifically and medically sound. A must read for any chronic dieter.”


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This is the most recent edition of #intuitiveeating, the 3rd edition published in 2012. It’s exciting to see Intuitive Eating growing in popularity. But it’s also frustrating to see the co-opting of our work by diet culture. So I thought I’d go over a couple of key points. What is Intuitive Eating? Intuitive Eating is an evidenced-based, mind-body health approach, comprised of 10 Principles and created by two dietitians, @EvelynTribole and @ElyseResch in 1995. It is a weight-neutral model with a validated assessment scale and over 90 studies to date. Intuitive Eating is a dynamic interplay between mind and body. Essentially, Intuitive Eating is the personal process of listening and responding to the direct messages of your body in order to get your physical and psychological needs met. What is NOT Intuitive Eating? Intuitive Eating is not a diet or food plan. Period. There is no pass or fail, therefore there is no “blowing it”, rather it’s a journey of self-discovery. There is nothing to count: this includes no counting of calories, carbs, points, or macros. If a health professional or coach is offering you Intuitive Eating for the purpose of weight loss–run away. Fast. (This has been such a problem that in 2007, we started training and certifying health professionals in the Intuitive Eating process.) Study after study, shows that dieting and food restriction for the purpose of weight loss, leads to even more weight gain. Worse–the focus and preoccupation on weight leads to body dissatisfaction and weight stigma, which increases the risk of eating disorders. Ultimately, YOU are the expert of your own body. Only you know what hunger, fullness, and satisfaction feels like. Only you know your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Intuitive Eating is an empowerment tool! #healthnotdiets #nondietapproach #nondiet #balancednotclean #foodfreedom #foodforthought #lifebeyonddieting #nourishnotpunish #progressnotperfection #allfoodsfit #memoriesovermacros #antidietproject #HAES #bodytrust #bodyrespect #dietitian #dietitiansofinstagram #iepro #edrecovery #interoceptiveawareness

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Evelyn Tribole

Tribole, a registered dietitian nutritionist, penned the book Intuitive Eating in 2003 and it’s now in its 3rd edition—and she and her co-author Elyse Resch are working on the 4th. It launched Tribole’s career as the godmother of intuitive eating (which, she says, is unfortunately often hijacked by diet culture). It’s also the method Katherine McPhee used to overcome bulimia.


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I tried to put on my favourite pants this morning, but they didn’t fit anymore. Instead of beating myself up, breaking down in tears and obsessively researching ‘the quickest way to lose weight’ I sat down on the floor, took this photo and said to myself: “I’m proud of you”. 🥰 I’m proud of myself for realizing that our bodies fluctuate in weight throughout our lifetimes and that it’s perfectly okay to not do anything about it. ✨ In the past, I would have ate my feelings, felt even worse, then made some elaborate plans on how to lose some weight very quickly, only to end up binge eating again. 🤦🏻‍♀️ Not this time. I don’t care if I gained weight, how much I gained or why I gained weight. It doesn’t make me lazy, it doesn’t make me ‘unhealthy’ and it doesn’t make me less worthy of a human being. It simply means that my body wanted to put on some weight. Maybe because I’m stressed out, maybe because I didn’t get enough sleep, who knows. But it’s not worth spending time obsessing over. 😌 My body handles this for me and all I can do is take care of my body’s needs as best I can. Just wanted to share that in case you have been through something similar. ❤️ Changing your mindset about your body can do wonders for your mental health. It gives your body permission to relax instead of being under constant emotional stress. Was this helpful? . . . ______________________________________________ PS: I am taking off to Germany in a few hours and will share some of my travels on my stories, feel free to follow along the next few days 🙌🏻 ______________________________________________ #weightgain #edrecovery #selflove #bodyimage #bodyneutrality #selfcare #recoveryispossible #selfacceptance #mentalhealth

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Own It Babe

Rini Frey is a former binge eater and perfectionist who, after her husband discovered her on the kitchen floor surrounded by candy wrappers and empty ice cream tubs, started on her road to recovery from diet-obsessing. Now, she inspires her followers with courses, a podcast and on Instagram with photos of her newly soft abs, thigh cellulite, and zero shame or self-loathing. She doesn’t fit in her old jeans and she’s OK with that.


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I Weigh … 📣 #iweigh

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I Weigh

Jameela Jamil created this account after witnessing a photograph of the Kardashian family with each member’s weight emblazoned across her body. Jamil encouraged women to post what they really weigh—not by pounds, but their accomplishments and values. And women are showing up for it in droves.

Anti Diet Riot Club

This group is taking down toxic diet culture in the U.K. with talks, workshops and meetups, and they’re hoping to take their movement on tour. Check out their fundraiser where they hope to collect $20,000 for traveling workshops, classes and small events in 15 towns and festivals around the U.K.


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I don’t have an interesting ‘back story’ for you. I grew up in Nottingham with parents that are still together and a good relationship with my older sister.⠀ ⠀ Although I wasn’t one of the ‘c00L giRLs’, I always had mates in school. I might not have been an A* student but I always did my homework and stayed out of detention.⠀ ⠀ I experienced a bit of ‘light’ bullying from time to time. The most mortifying was hearing the boys in my tech class call me ‘bucktooth mama’ due to my protruding front tooth lol.⠀ ⠀ Oh, and also that time a girl in the year above called my brand new Jane Norman coat ugly. But nothing too scarring. ⠀ ⠀ I had my fair share of dick-head boyfriends however it was only as traumatic as you’d expect when dating teenage boys. I always seemed to attract the type that’d cheat on you with their ex but then turn up to your house crying with some roses from Asda and an apology love-letter. But nothing too toxic.⠀ ⠀ When I was 18, I went to uni because I thought that’s what you were meant to do, and enrolled onto a Primary School Education course as a ‘safe career’ – which is what I thought you were meant to do as well.⠀ ⠀ (It took me 5 days to remember kids were kinda annoying and switch to the course my new mate was doing instead.)⠀ ⠀ I’m telling you all of this because I spent a lot of my teens and early twenties following the path that I thought I should be following.⠀ ⠀ In truth, I am still doing that now. It’s just my mindset of what I SHOULD be doing has changed.⠀ ⠀ Rather than worrying about everyone else, I’m now doing what I think I should be doing – which is being creative and *hopefully* helping others. That’s the shit I wake up for.⠀ ⠀ This career didn’t exist when I was in school, picking my A-levels or applying to uni. If it did, I wouldn’t have pursued it anyway for fear it was too risky and I wouldn’t have been ‘good’ enough.⠀ ⠀ I know I’m not exactly saving lives over here. But I am sitting on a pile of books, MY books – a thing my 20 yr old self (and my science teacher) probably never thought I’d be doing.⠀ ⠀ Don’t forget we have one life. Try not to waste it doing shit you hate for people who probably don’t care anyway ❤️❤️❤️

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The Fashion Fitness Foodie

Lucy Mountain is a London-based blogger “passive aggressively calling out fitness BS.” And even though she’s not a chef and says she still burns her pancakes, she’s also the author of the NOBS Cookbook (currently sold out, but you can get on the waitlist!). Mountain’s goal with the book and in general is to help us have a better relationship with normal, real food that doesn’t take ages to prepare. She aims to show that healthy food doesn’t have to be “restrictive, complicated, fancy, or spiralized on a bed of massaged kale.” She works out, she eats pasta and donuts, and she’s damn funny along the way.

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