Well, misunderstanders are clearly and consistently going to misunderstand. It’s inevitable. It’s what they do. The last thing I ever wanted to be accused of was being a diet pusher, and yet here I am.
Back when I was floundering in terms of food, embedded in the struggle habit, ricocheting between extremes of eating, I became interested in the “body positive movement.” I hated dieting, so I loved its message about diets being damaging to our health and happiness. I loved the overall mantra of radical self-acceptance. It was a refreshing change in so many ways and I tried to make it mine.
Except I never felt what they were purporting – that sense of satisfaction with my obese body that I wanted never came. I accept that many in the movement would have said I needed deeper disengagement from societal ideals of beauty, more “deprogramming” as it were. I’ve written about how Intermittent Fasting helped me with all of that in my post here:Get With the (De)Program .
Ultimately, my heartache wasn’t because of comparison to other people with slimmer bodies. It was not due to striving for something unattainable. It was because I knew, deep down, that I was not taking good care of myself. The problem is that I didn’t really know how. Within the clamor of conflicting information about nutrition and what/when/how much to eat, there was one fact missing: my body needed a concentrated daily time to be freed up from digestive demands. I was fasting-deprived and I did not even know it. Luckily I learned the missing facts and now I have all I ever wanted. I fast and feast daily, enjoying radiant health at my body’s ideal weight.
Back to the body positive movement and why I bring it up today. I still follow some of the social media accounts from my learning process way back, and I enjoy a lot of the content. The message that we are more than our physical bodies, that we deserve to live free of shame and self-hatred, is one that resonates as much now as it ever did. Yet in my social media travels, I do spread the message about what Intermittent Fasting has done for me. I see people struggling and they are placing ALL the blame on society’s expectation that they be a certain size or shape. I want them to understand there may be another piece of the puzzle, a pearl of self-care practice they may not yet have uncovered. That gem is IF. More often than not, I am met with resistance and scorn.
I know the risk when I mention Intermittent Fasting on a body positive account, a place with a stated “no diets” rule. I get how offensive it may seem to the people who’ve created those place to have space from diet oppression. But Intermittent Fasting is not a diet – it’s a health practice that brings the elusive freedom many of these people long for. It’s freedom from emotional and mental exhaustion. It’s the ability to feel self-acceptance like I’ve never known, both because of rejecting external authority (society does not have my answers) and embracing my true capability (my body knew what to do all along, if only I’d gotten out of the way).
Intermittent fasting is not a diet, but I’m realizing the pushback isn’t haters hating. It’s misunderstanders misunderstanding, reacting strongly because they’ve been lied to over and over. It may take time (and some hurt feelings on my part as I get deleted or blocked), but the truth is out there and they will find it in time. Intermittent fasting is the truth. Now I understand.