Blog 48, huh? The week of Inauguration Day? A real creative genius would have found a way to really wrap that together in a nice little package. I suppose I could have skipped more blogs to make this 46 OR even written more blogs to match the number of inaugurations (59), but alas, you get 48… Or maybe it’s 47 continued… I’m trying to get there.
Regardless of my creative shortcomings, we’re on to the next topic… Or maybe the same topic in different parts… Industry Malarkey, also known as topics that may hold some value but are bastardized by an endless need of capitalization (though you’ll be relieved to know I’ll save you from any political rant here). I ended the last blog teasing a conversation surrounding food and dieting. So here it goes.
We’re about halfway through January (⅔ for those that need more accuracy in their lives), and you may have noticed something missing from our little corner of the fitness world – a Nutrition Challenge. There are many reasons that we choose not to partake in this, #1 being that “diet culture” is about the biggest load of shit that the fitness industry perpetuates; causing far more harm to participants that good. (To be very clear before we go any farther. I am not here to ostracize anyone for their own choices nor am I standing on any sort of pillar of perfection. I have perpetuated the bullshit as a participant and a trainer.)
But, what is this “diet culture,” I speak of? According to Christy Harrison, MPH, RD, CDN, and her article, “What is Diet Culture?” (Link below):
Diet culture is a system of beliefs that:
- Worships thinness and equates it to health and moral virtue, which means you can spend your whole life thinking you’re irreparably broken just because you don’t look like the impossibly thin “ideal.”
- Promotes weight loss as a means of attaining higher status, which means you feel compelled to spend a massive amount of time, energy, and money trying to shrink your body, even though the research is very clear that almost no one can sustain intentional weight loss for more than a few years.
- Demonizes certain ways of eating while elevating others, which means you’re forced to be hyper-vigilant about your eating, ashamed of making certain food choices, and distracted from your pleasure, your purpose, and your power.
- Oppresses people who don’t match up with its supposed picture of “health,” which disproportionately harms women, femmes, trans folks, people in larger bodies, people of color, and people with disabilities, damaging both their mental and physical health.
Again not here to prosthelytize (I’ll leave my rotation of Rage Against the Machine on the radio to do my subliminal messaging.), but the list of varying ways this appears in the gym is seemingly endless and all harmful. And to circle back to the original take on industry malarkey, the food industry knows this which is why it evolves its language to gaslight people into perpetuating their spending within their industry. For example, just a few years ago 4% large curd, cottage cheese was about the fattiest cottage cheese on the market… Enter Keto… Enter 6% “keto” cottage cheese… (It’s delicious, btw.)
This is not new, it’s just the modern evolution of the industry. It’s similar to Baby Boomers’ love for TV dinners, Hamburger Helper, and fast food. Yes, some are absolutely delicious, but it was also the first generation that raised children (in mass) with adults out of the home. We live in a generation that has bastardized conversations around overall health, and have a food industry to match. Industries will always exist to convince you to spend your money in the easiest way possible. And speaking from experience, it’s far easier to lose weight and receive external/social reward than it is to accept myself for who I am in a world that tells me not to be something else at every turn.
Put very simply, PDX Strength chooses to be a facility that strives for body and ability acceptance and self-actualization through exercise and NOT a facility that sells bullshit, controls your body, or perpetuates harm.
I won’t “to be continued” here, but as I’m sure you know by now, there’s always more.