[CW: eating disorders, weight loss, body image, overeating]
now that the Christmas traditions are (almost) done with, the more and more popular tradition of post-holiday dieting comes in.
soon, articles with headlines like ‘How to lose your holiday belly in 5 days’ and Facebook statuses claiming purchasing a gym membership as the person’s 2016 resolution will pop up.
you’ll hear people deem themselves ‘disgusting’ and ‘so weak’ for eating a bit too much during the festivities.
before you jump on the same track, please read this article and try to refrain from doing that – i’ll try to explain why.
we tend to associate holidays with overeating and neverending food gatherings more and more, and while many people might criticise that, i don’t think that’s something that bad. food plays major part in our lives; it is something that can bring people together (but can also become the topic of passionate, angry arguments), it is an endless topic for conversation, our eating habits indicate our social class and education and so on.
what i believe is extremely harmful is the post-overeating guilt and shame.
so, you ate a bit more than you usually would in the past few days.
what’s the big deal?
the deal is that we are constantly told that our bodies are just commodities that are supposed to follow certain norms and stereotypes to be perceived as ‘right’ or ‘ideal’. if these requirements are not met, we are told to try our best to do so. anything that violates that is considered strange, unpleasant or (even!) disturbing.
the pressure is literally everywhere, and it affects people of any age, gender, race or social class.
but, for the millionth time, our bodies do not define our worth.
(perhaps, saying ‘our bodies should not define our worth’ would be more fitting, as the society is endlessly trying to prove us otherwise)
eating a bit more or gaining a few kilos extra does not make you a worse person.
you should never feel guilty for eating.
you should never feel bad for taking up space.
one more thing – if you enjoyed all the food you ate during this holiday season (like i did) and if it made you happy the moment you were doing it, it was probably worth it. there’s no reason to feel guilty. we all need to treat ourselves every once in a while, right?
do not shame yourself for eating too much.
also, do not shame anyone else.
it’s okay to overeat, it’s okay to gain weight, it’s okay to have the body you have.