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The Truth Behind Spring Break Bodies

Why unhealthy behaviors are being pawned off as healthy changes

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We all know what a diet is, but what is diet culture?

According to Sara Upson, a writer for a nutrition website, “Diet culture is a society that focuses on and values weight, shape, and size over health and well-being.” Just by reading the definition you can start to see how harmful this is, but let’s break it down even further. Diet culture can be identified by a number of harmful behaviors and ways of thinking but here are just a few I’m constantly hearing all around me.

  • Allowing the number on the scale or the size of your clothes to determine your happiness or self worth
  • Exercising for punishment rather than for joy
  • Eating more now because you feel like you have blown it – so what the heck – you will start over tomorrow
  • Feeling guilty after eating

Diet culture does not focus on how healthy you are, it focuses on how healthy (i.e. slim) you look. Even some who partake in diets may have a technically healthy diet, but a huge factor of overall health is mental health.  As teens, being constantly worried about what you eat and how it will affect the number you see on your scale, isn’t healthy. Around spring break, diet culture shows itself more than ever. “I need to get my spring break bod!” Is a common phrase you will hear the weeks leading up to everyone hitting the beach.

So are people suddenly deciding to be healthy, or are they just wanting to look slim? Oftentimes, diets push us to do whatever is necessary to meet our end goal. Unfortunately, the goal for many is weight loss, not healthiness. The “whatever is necessary” category can and often does include cutting out entire food groups, skipping meals and obsessively tracking everything you eat.

Look at people who have your same features you consider flaws, and watch them love them. Get off the dieting website, and search up body positivity. Weight becomes an obsession, not just a healthy lifestyle change.  I see many of my peers and friends decide they want to go on a diet and it becomes an unhealthy obsession, constant weighing yourself and unhealthy eating habits. They aren’t happy with themselves until they consider the diet successful. Why are teens starving themselves being covered up in the name of “health”?

Just a few helpful resources about Diet Culture and Body Positivity

http://www.bodyposipanda.com

http://www.mysignaturenutrition.com/2017/05/20/diet-culture-101/

https://thebodyisnotanapology.com/magazine/6-ways-i-navigate-the-pressures-of-diet-culture/

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The Truth Behind Spring Break Bodies