Weight loss products are everywhere. I googled how much we spend on diet products and an ABC article states around 20 billion dollars per year. The way we market weight loss is destructive to mental health, physical health and financial wellness. I was convinced the key to happiness was being smaller, but even though I have my insecurities, I generally like how I look. I live in a society that tries to tell me I could lose an extra 5 lbs. in 2 weeks. Dietland is an honest depiction of what it’s like to wander NYC and to be. . . fat. This book wasn’t what I had expected, but I still think it’s worth a read because it’s eye opening to how we treat people who aren’t skinny.
Dietland depicts the daily struggles of Plum Kettle. She hides her appearance behind baggy clothes and being quiet. She is dreaming of her weight loss surgery that will turn her into Alicia. Alicia is the skinny, beautiful woman who gets dates all the time and probably has a handsome boyfriend. Plum gets connected with feminist icons who teach her what beauty truly means and how to accept yourself.
That seems so corny, but I love how Plum develops throughout the book. She becomes such a bad ass in the end. She’s confident and proud of her body and I think a lot of women including myself struggle daily with this concept. Plum deals with negativity from men and being called a “cow”. It sickens me that as a culture we have become so mean. Many of us often assume someone’s health status based on their size when that’s frankly none of your business.
Steering this post back to harmful diet culture, the diet industry tries to make people (men are included in this discussion too) feel bad about themselves so they purchase these products that may not even be healthy anyway! Our bodies aren’t designed to lose weight quickly. Under my ACSM Certified Personal Training Certification, it’s healthy to lose 1-2 lbs. per week. So these products that are saying 5-10 lbs. in a week… it’s not reliable or safe.
To end this post, put Dietland on your book shelf and be kind to each other. Don’t assume someone’s health status and be proud of the natural beauty that we all radiate.