Yesterday was International No Diet Day. Now, I don’t know who named it or if it’s a real thing or whatever or even what makes a Real Thing, but I don’t give a fuck. We’ve got Columbus on the National Holiday docket and if that conquering rapist gets a NATIONAL holiday, I’m all for celebrating a day of freedom from a diet practice and industry that preys on the misery of so many.
Still. Let’s be honest, people want to feel free and gorgeous and sexy. And to hear our culture tell it, that obviously means being thin and young. Here’s some news: our lives are worth living in any body we’re in right this moment, because here we are. Not only are diets proven to fail, the false idol of thin prevents us from actually living our lives fully as we strive for a version of ourselves that is yet to exist, and frankly, may never exist.
So, because I care, I have designed a diet I totally believe in that can work for everyone. While in my coaching practice I work from a place of abundance, I know many of us have become believers in the Golden Handcuffs of Restriction, so first, here’s a list of things that are verboten on the Steady Diet of Seinberg. Give the mighty middle finger to the following items for the last diet you’ll ever need.
1. Friends/Lovers/Dates/Family Members who comment on your body in ways that imply value. Whether you have lost weight, gained weight, or been the same size for years, your size has nothing to do with who you are in life or why you are fucking awesome. If someone doesn’t want to date you because you weigh too much, thank the world for editing this asshole right the hell out for you. You are now free to date people who have values that last over what is sure to be a life full adventure and love. Don’t date people who don’t want to date you. Winning the Prize of the Ambivalent is like winning a Sweepstakes for Cholera. And if your friend is uncomfortable with your thin frame because your appearance makes them feel bad, refer them to a good therapist and spend your time with people who like you as you are and value your contributions to the relationships you sustain and the world we live in.
2. No more uncomfortable clothes. You know how you have an entire closet filled with clothes that are tight or don’t fit? And you keep not shopping for anything new because you’ll do it “when you lose that ten pounds”? Because you can’t bear to see what size you might have to buy today? Because somehow that number defines you?
Well, that ten, twenty, thirty pounds you have is part of your actual body. Today. Right now. And this is where you LIVE. Wearing clothes that are tight and painful remind us every time we move at all that our minds are in a place of forbidding us to be happy until we are somehow different than we are today. In addition, this physical reminder reinforces through the elemental experience of physical sensation that WE DO NOT DESERVE TO LIVE. We bind ourselves to a package of yesterday or tomorrow when the only place we live is today. So, for the love of all that is powerful and Amazonian, dress for today. Because this is your one shot at life. Right Now. And I swear, you deserve to be here no matter what. You don’t have to believe me yet, but someday you might. And I’m here rooting for that by asking you to start now.
3. Internal Self-Hating Diatribes Yup. You can cut this shit right the hell out, too. When you find your thoughts ambling through the treacherous neighborhoods of crucifying yourself, employ your inner herding dog to gently re-direct your internal conversation to a friendlier channel. Simply notice the mean voice, wish it well, and walk away. Don’t try to smother it or shame it or even silence it. Simply bid it hello, an old familiar companion, and be on your way with the dog to a mental street with better lighting and no annoying parking meters where a quarter only buys you six minutes. Some of our inner cruel bitches were born of survival mechanisms when we were tiny. They served us in some way, but that’s over now. We are no longer beholden to this avenue of dialogue and we can cultivate friendlier narrators for our lives. Cruelty breeds more cruelty. And on the Seinberg Diet, you’re done with this shit.
4. Talking Shit About Other People’s Bodies. You are banned from this unhealthy and ineffective method of “feeling better”. Engaging in cruel commentary about a fellow human being’s body is a reflection of the core of our own desperate desire to feel better about ourselves and there are much more direct and honest ways to tend to that need. The Seinberg Diet forbids any and all verbal machete jobs on the bodies of any humans (including our own). Even those of people we loathe. When we disrespect the sacred keeper of our lives, The Body, of anyone, we disrespect ourselves. And that, my friends, is over. Which leads me to…
5. Comparing Ourselves and our Bodies to Others When the hell has this ever worked? When was the last time you compared yourself to Gina or Jenna, for better or for worse, and come out the other side feeling just wonderful? “Well, Katie eats everything and look at her cute figure.” Now first of all, we have no idea what Katie’s private hell might be. Comparing how you feel on your inside (scared, lonely, angry) to how someone else looks on the outside doesn’t even make any sense. Katie might be going through divorce or struggling with an eating disorder. But you know what: THAT’S HER BUSINESS. Focus on yourself and your own cute figure. Feed yourself nutrient dense foods and dance about it. Move your body, any size. Chew. Drink water. Let Katie do Katie.
6. And you know what else you are fucking done with on this diet? YOU ARE DONE WITH DIETS*. They are stupid and mean and they don’t work. They are the fist in your throat, the monster lodged in the base of your neck, the rage in your belly. Diets are the agent of doom. They convince us to stay in an adversarial relationship with our bodies and underwrite our lives with the promise of a tomorrow that never comes physically, emotionally, or spiritually. And they are also no fun.
Go out and have some fucking fun. Take your bikini body out and swim in the river you’ve always wondered about. Any body is a bikini body if you put a bikini on it. Go to the spa and get naked with everyone else. Go on dates and do zumba and take swing dancing and go to Europe. Do these things in your body because you can.
Don’t be afraid that people might be judging you because guess what: THEY ARE. Every second all the time, silent judgements are being hurled in your general direction and there is not a goddamned thing you can do about it. People think your hair is too big, your lipstick looks like shit and they can’t believe you are wearing those shoes. People think you’re a dirty hippie that should shave your armpits and that your face would look prettier with some make-up. Still other people think you’re too fat to be in love or happy and they think you’re too Jewish to be broke. They think you are too gay and too mannish and too loud. They think your art sucks and your salary isn’t justified and they can’t understand how you’ve had so many lovers. They think you’re a slut and they think you’re frigid. They are judging you right now. People think all kinds of crazy mean stupid terrible shit and here’s some news. It’s none of your business what they think about you, and you don’t need to make it your problem. So. Don’t be afraid that people are judging you because they are and you’re still here. And you are just fine.
Unless you are not fine.
Unless you are like my many beloveds who are ravaged by cancer treatments and dead from drug overdoses. Unless you are recovering from a car accident, in excruciating pain all the time. Or unless you have late stage Lyme and your body has become a parade of unexplained ailments turning your life into a circus of misery. And if you are living in a body that is not fine, that is fighting and enduring, I send you my deepest and most heartfelt wishes for healing and for peace. For moments of freedom from suffering.
But if you are, for all intents and purposes, in a body that is healthy. Think about the people living in the paragraph above this and go out and live. Take your thighs and your back fat and your butts and your chins out and get to living.
May the diet culture begin its decline by those of us here cutting off its windpipe and its funding through treating ourselves with respect, friendliness, and dignity.
Keep loving. Keep Fighting. And for fuck’s sake, keep eating.
* This excludes when a medical practitioner suggests a protocol of nutrition that supports your health.