The girls in these pictures are confident. They aren’t counting calories or worrying about exercising to make up for their ice cream. I’m sad and disheartened. I did not see the flood of emotions coming surrounding the controversy of the Weight Watchers kid inspired diet app. Spending the day with my own children I could not shake the overwhelming feeling of sadness. I have struggled so damn hard for so long in my life with disordered eating and body image I am heartbroken that a company would put something out there that encourages and rewards weight loss at such a young age. You may disagree or even argue that the intention is to help, but as a person who has lived with the aftermath of diet culture for 30 years I can 100% speak from experience what a tool like this would have done in my hands as a young individual. I started restricting at 11 years old-let that sink in. You know what else was happening at 11 years old in my world…puberty and growth. All of which were messed up by extreme nutrient deficiency due to low caloric intake. Put an tool in my hand to support the negativity in my head I had conceived and I may not be here today. If that seems too dramatic I’m sorry, but the truth is 90% of eating disorders start with a diet, 5-10% struggling with anorexia die within 10 years of onset, and less than 50% report ever report being cured. I was good at dieting… with this app no doubt I would have been great. That is sick and twisted, but it is the reality of what this tool could do.
As a 41 year old women I still am challenged by the way in which my brain processes that act of eating. I have come a long way and am grateful for all the support I have received, but I will NEVER be normal. That’s the tricky thing about recovery from disordered eating it’s not a linear entity and it never ceases, you are always working to rebel against your old behavioral patterns and thoughts – ALWAYS! With all that I have I will protect my children from the torment that my disorder has brought into my life and am so sad, as well as mad, that with all the research to support that diets are dangerous for children a company would look to leverage the epidemic of obesity to make a buck.
Please stand up for our children and protect them as best you can. Diet culture is a powerful force in all of our lives and I would not wish the path that I took on anyone. Our children deserve this conversation to be had by adults who have vowed to love and support them. We need to be the change. We need to rally against the forcefulness of diet culture and flip the script. We are enough no matter our size or weight. Being healthy and happy should be our goal, not fitting into an unrealistic mold that is frankly perpetuated by a standard that can only be achieved with photoshop. Speak kindly of yourself and please express to your children you love your body as is – lumps, bumps, and everything else that makes you gloriously you!
#BeKind #BeHappy #BeActive