“Regardless of my health status, I deserve respect at this size, which includes the right to make my own decisions about my body…
I’ve learned that the consequences of that weight cycling include greater risks for eating disorders, health problems, depression, lower self-esteem, and weight gain. So, when you keep talking about your diet, I’m just no longer interested.” ~ Judith Matz
SHINING THE LIGHT
I had a similar conversation a few days ago upon observing the pattern of an individual in my circle who is trapped in this very same cycle of dieting despair and weight loss triumphs. And on any given occasion, we will be subjected to the litany of foods they are abstaining from and the fitness program du jour they are “trialing” through in an effort to get their high school body back. I empathize with the struggle and am saddened and exhausted by the virulent self-loathing that fuels some folks’ mission to “improve” their health. So I was AUMing + AMENing when a dear friend, who is a registered dietitian, posted this article from Everyday Feminism.
In 8 Reasons Why I Don’t Want to Hear About Your Diet, Judith Matz , LCSW, breaks down the top frustrations of clients who are tired (like me) of being subjected to the mindless and harmful chatter about food, weight, and dieting that holds no regard for the deeply private struggles of others. More important, Matz offers ways to reframe these triggering conversations and to cultivate compassion and understanding for the multitude of experiences we have with our bodies.
The Buddhist Perspective
The 5th Mindfulness Training – Nourishment + Healing – reminds us to be aware of the suffering that arises from our unskillful consumption of the 4 Nutriments*: not just of Food but of Sense Impressions, Volitional Thought/Intentions, and Consciousness.
So how does it serve us to participate in conversations about the body that breed contempt, anxiety, frustration, and shame?!
What are skillful ways to discuss health and wellness?
*Note: In the Pali canon, the four nutriments are outlined in the Puttamansa Sutta, which I must warn, is a gruesome tale.
updated 7 april 2016