Wellness is the New Diet
Let's talk about "wellness". Wellness culture is the new diet culture. It's the same old shoes, just cleaned up and polished. This industry (that only makes money if you fail at what they are selling you, by the way) has figured out that we no longer want to drink meal replacement shakes and take diet pills. No, we know that's dangerous. Now we are all about clean eating and natural foods - neither of which have an actual definition, by the way.
When this movement moved to "clean eating" and overall "wellness" (cue the "it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle" comments), diet culture didn't go away. It got smarter.
That's why Weight Watchers rebranded as WW, stating that their new program is focused on wellness, not weight and therefore weight should no longer be in the name. Interestingly though, it's still a weight loss program using a point system to tell people how and what to eat (aka a diet). Those triggering Weight Watchers weigh-in "meetings", you know, the ones that people are terrified to show up to and starve themselves all day for?, those are now called Wellness Workshops. Huh?
Oh, and Biggest Loser is back. Except this time, it's taking a "new holistic, 360-degree look at wellness"...see what they did there? But don't miss it. They go on to say... "while retaining the franchise’s competition format and legendary jaw-dropping moments."
So...still having their contestants undergo unnatural and dangerous measures to produce radical, unsustainable weight loss. Cool.
THIS IS STILL DIET CULTURE!! These, and many more, companies are re-branding not because they are finally accepting what we know about body size and health (that one does not affect the other as much as we think), but because they are following the money! This new wellness culture STILL decides how you should eat and how you should look. They are still deciding for you what wellness is - a thin body. Celebrities like Beyonce are no longer telling you to follow the Atkins diet or take Hydroxycut. Now they are telling you to cut out dairy, carbs, sugar, and meat.
I feel like everyone is pretty decided about diet culture sucking. But what's falling through the cracks is that this new movement is diet culture too. I hear people all the time talk about leaving diet culture and following a paleo diet in the same sentence. We are being sold the message that these two things are different - "of course you shouldn't worry about counting calories, everyone knows that that doesn't really matter anymore. Butttttttt the calories you do choose to eat should definitely be clean, organic, grain free, and GMO free. You can have cookies, cause #allfoodsfit, but butter should be replaced with coconut oil, flour should be almond flour, and cookies overall should actually be a protein bar in disguise." I'm calling BS.
This is not to shame you if you prefer your cookies to have some fancy ingredients in them from time to time. That's not necessarily the problem. And this is not to shame you if you're still stuck in the diet cycle. It's confusing, and of course you'd want to keep dieting with the hopes of losing weight. We live in a society where this is thrown in our face constantly. Nutrition research changes weekly and it is getting harder and harder to decide what's actually true and what defines health.
That's why getting in touch with what wellness and health is to YOU is what's going to keep you sane. Only you can decide that. Wellness culture does not care about you. As a reminder, this is an INDUSTRY that makes billions of dollars if what. they. sell. fails. If diets worked, the industry wouldn't exist. Please keep your guard up and watch for wellness culture. The more we can take the focus off of food and external factors telling us what to eat and what health looks like, the more space we have in our lives for joy, peace, and freedom.