Ditching Diet Culture

My weight has constantly been in the back of my mind since I was 9 years old. I remember my cousin going on a diet around the age of 10. I was labeled by my elementary school peers as the “fat kid” around age 10. Since then I have struggled with the idea that weight directly equates to one’s worth in our society, but I didn’t know it. That’s one of the most insidious thing about diet culture: making us feel like our value is tied to our weight without us even knowing it.

I recently purchased this Intuitive Eating Workbook by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RDN and Elyse Resch, MS, RDN to help me further explore the idea that our weight is not tied to our value, morals, or character. As soon as I received it, I dove into the exercises geared at reminding us that our body knows when to eat, how much to eat, and what to eat. I didn’t realize how much diet culture plays into so may aspects of my life. From being insecure about what I order when out with other people to feeling like I’ll never be successful unless I lose weight. I’ve tried many a diet since high school which never lasts more than a few days. Which in turn made me feel like a loser.

Tribole and Resch’s book states that if diets were held up to the standard of the FDA like with medication, diets would never be approved. Diets are the only “medicine” that people don’t blame for not working, we blame ourselves instead. It’s not our fault, it’s the diet’s fault. We slave at the gym or deny ourselves the food we want because public health policy declared a war on obesity which has consequently turned us to a burgeoning diet industry which is valued at approximately $60 billion dollars a year. In short, rich white people are profiting off our hate for our bodies. If we hate our bodies, we will spend thousands and thousands of dollars attempting to make us feel whole and beautiful throughout our lifetimes. Makeup, diets, exercise programs, are sold to millions of people on the idea that whatever new product or fad diet will solve all of our problems. Have you ever told yourself “I’ll take that vacation when I lose weight”? Or “I will finally find love when I lose weight”?

This workbook has already helped me challenge beliefs that have held me back my entire life. Since I started the journey with this workbook, I have been able to get out from under the weight of my disdain for myself and my body. I’ve been on a journey of body positivity for the past five or so years, but this is really giving me some hard evidence to sink my teeth into. It’s okay that diets don’t work for me. It’s okay to eat donuts or candy or things that have been labeled “bad” foods. This idea has given me such freedom, and I’m fully embracing that. More like your aunt with weird boundary issues hugging the breath out of you. I’ve been waiting since I was 9 for this freedom, and I am ecstatic about it.

How has diet culture affected your life?

Warmly,

Maegan

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New Beginnings

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View of the Sound from Tiger Mountain

Hello, friends! I have an exciting announcement–no, I’m not pregnant–but I am relocating to an area just south of Seattle, Washington. My three years in Colorado Springs have been challenging, heart wrenching, beautiful, inspiring, motivating, and I could go on. So many things have happened in the last three years. I value the people I’ve met in Colorado Springs and Denver, and I’m so honored to have the privilege of being part of the community.

Now this blogger goes West again! Stay tuned for new life experiences and inspiration.

Sending out so much love and light,

Maegan

P.S. I’m in Seattle presenting at the National CASA conference. I am so inspired by all the connections that I’ve made here. I also became galvanized to actually sit down and write the book that I’ve been writing in my head for years. On a particularly rainy day in Seattle, I dreamed up my first chapters over a burger and fries in a downtown bar in grill. If anyone has any knowledge about publishing, I would love to learn from you!

5 Solo Travel Destinations of 2015 Review

In January 2015, I set some goals for solo traveling to San Diego, Utah, Mesa Verde, the Grand Canyon, and Yellow Stone here . I had also booked a trip to Prague, Vienna, and Budapest in February. Most of my travel plans were thwarted because I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Despite my medical dramas, I managed to visit a few destinations in the latter part of the year. IMG_5561
1. Denver, CO – Denver is only about an hour away from where I live. In 2015, I took the short jaunt north to see one of my favorite bands, Geographer. I also took day trips for tattoos, to see Mary Lambert, another favorite artist, for Denver PRIDE, and to visit some friends. I also spent Halloween in Denver at one of the best Halloween parties that I’ve ever been to. Denver is a wonderful city with such good vibes, and I would love to relocate there at some point.

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2. New Orleans, LA – My second time to New Orleans was on  a business trip in early summer. It was my first business trip, and it was such a relief not to have to foot the bill for the hotel, meals, and transportation. New Orleans doesn’t sound like a great place to go for business, but we still managed to have a lot of fun while we were there. It helped that a fun coworker got to go with me. I also was able to reunite with some of my former coworkers whom I hadn’t seen in years, which made for a very special trip.IMG_4404
3. Roswell, NM – I took my first solo road trip in years to Roswell. You can read more about my experience here.IMG_4892
4. Washington D.C./Baltimore, MD/Dewey Beach, DE – One of my friends, who relocated from Oklahoma City to D.C., invited my significant other and me to stay with him during the late summer last year. It was the first time traveling a long distance with my significant other, so it was definitely an interesting journey. We had so many wild adventures during this trip that I look back on it very fondly. It might have been my favorite trip of the  year.IMG_5217
5. Mesa Verde, CO – My second road trip of the year, but this time it was with my best friend. Being alone with my best friend for basically the entire four days was such a joy. It’s so grounding to be around someone who has known me for years. She always has a way of reminding me who I am. That trip was so healing in so many ways.IMG_54776. Albuquerque, NM – This was my third road trip of the year and my second time at the International Balloon Fiesta. Though I went a few years back, I found myself looking at the balloons in wonder and amazement for hours. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it. But you have to get up REALLY early if you want to see the Dawn Patrol. Traffic is awful before and after. But look at that sunrise! *heart eyes*IMG_5816
7. Dallas, TX /NYC– I grew up in a Dallas suburb, so I often go home to visit family and friends. I flew home for Christmas and flew to New York City before New Years to take a trip to Montreal in Canada. Most of that trip happened in the new year, so I count that as a 2016 trip.

Where did you travel in 2015?