Disclaimer: I am going to use the world bullshit approximately 72 times in this blog post.
I regret to report that it has taken me about three decades to really see the connection between how much bullshit I consume about body image and how much I pinch my own love handles. I am slow. No doubt you, dear reader, have figured this out already. But ask yourself, despite knowing and probably agreeing that society perpetuates your negative body image, are you actively looking away from the bullshit messages sent your way about your body and its worth? Or are you buying a big chunk of BS stock with your actions? Consider:
- What shows do you watch?
- What magazines do you scan?
- What pages do you like on Facebook?
- Do you wear beautiful clothes and jewelry regardless of your current size? (Hint, you should be!)
- Have you ever met a mirror you didn’t glare at regardless of when, where, why you see it?
Well, I recently started actively looking away and it is doing wonders. I’m calling it the Negative Body Image Diet. I’m pretty much getting rich from it already. Let the dolla dolla bills roll in y’all.
What does this diet entail? Well, a whole lot of cutting down on my consumption of bullshit. Let’s review the details!
I canceled my subscription to Women’s Health magazine. That rag in particular has a high concentration of bullshit. Every issue is the same non-starter ideas about health and wellness all based on getting fast results or being sexaaaayyy. And it never serves my purposes as a woman looking for healthy support. I now unsubscribe to every email from ANY vendor that makes me think about my size or my behavior and value as a woman immediately. No questions. (Sorry, not sorry, Prevention.com!). Take the time and unsubscribe. You will be so happy you did.
I don’t watch any TV with commercials (Netflix in the HOUSE). Bullshit is the first ingredient of all commercials. Also, how much TV you consume in general is now an issue because ALL TV is FULL of the bullshit ingredient with perfect ladies all over, very NAKED ones if you watch Game of Thrones (Whoa now, no worries. I still love it, I’m just saying, you’ve got to be aware of quantity on this diet! If you’re watching GOT, skip another source of BS). When the art that is television includes bullshit you might compare it to Stevia. It isn’t blatant sugar from the likes of a Hostess cupcake (in this analogy, the cupcake is a commercial). It sneaks into your shows making you think its harmless because STEVIA! But in fact, it is just as bullshit shitty as the rest of the high fructose junk. I hear you, asking, “Why would you say that, Shannon? Stevia is totally natural and amaze-balls!” Glad you asked – because it MAKES YOU WANT MORE SUGAR/BULLSHIT.
I listen to a lot of nerdy podcasts and fun, take-me-away audiobooks. These have low bullshit content because I can imagine my own heroins and my own definition of attractive. Until they come out as movies and then things get dicey, but until then the bullshit factor is minimal.
I don’t go browse-shopping. Of course sometimes I need a new cardigan or want some jeans and when that time comes I do what I gots ta do. But I no longer shop for a fun activity because so much of the time is spent examining myself in a mirror. Dayum. That activity is high in bullshit. Nope, not for me any more. The me in my head looks bangin’ and doesn’t need to nit pick hours of the day for fun. Bullshit eliminated.
I don’t follow celebrities on social media who feed me bullshit. I’ve got a big ol’ capitol K for ya here. If you find real inspiration from people on Instagram or Facebook, by all means. But selfies, mirror shots of your declining waistline and post-workout ab close-ups are quite literally, your entire daily dose of bullshit. Just stop. Unfollow. Whatever the term. You don’t need that.
Oh, but I haunt myself. I am my own worst enemy. At some point, perhaps late at night after my third bowl of cereal (nighttime cereal, amiright?) I sometimes get really motivated to change my ways and bullshit appears to be the remedy! Perhaps I was making the rounds on FB and saw some motivational words on top of pictures of sweaty, gorgeous humans and thought, “hey that bullshit is looking GOOD! Why am I fighting it? Send me your bullshit! How much can I ingest RIGHT NOW?!” In this moment I probably thought that signing up for some app or buying a meal plan would magically change everything. And then I didn’t opt out of the fucking emails. Christ. Those emails. So now I get them on the regular. You know, the ones that are literally 100% bullshit: “Blast belly fat FAST!” and “Walk off that fat!” You know what to do now, right ladies? UN-subscribe. Do it.
Do NOT get me wrong. I am constantly working on being the best me I can be for my health and my family. And I know that not every message about body image is guilty of being bullshit. But let’s be honest. Most are. I have enough pressure in my own head for that. I know what needs to be done. I know I want to be healthy for a LONG time for my kids. I know sugar is my downfall and if I don’t stay vigilant, I not only gain weight… I feel bad emotionally and physically. So, no, I am not saying stay away from all messages about health and wellness and fitness. Just seek out ones with low bullshit content. You know it when you see it and one very big advantage of this digital connectedness is that you DO have control over how much bullshit you’re consuming. Remember watching TV and being forced to see commercials? If not, bless you, and don’t rub it in. You CHOOSE what you see just as much as you CHOOSE what you eat. And no, there’s no app to track these macros because the world wants you to stuff as much bullshit down your throat as possible. Bullshit makes us buy more. It makes us look to others for our worth. For approval. And the worst part? The more bullshit you take in, the more you want. And just like sugar, just like carbs—too much of anything is really not good at all.
You too can go on the negative body image diet. It is so simple you don’t even need to sign up for an email newsletter. You just need to watch how much bullshit you take in actively. Work to reduce it. And voila.
You’re looking better already. Nice work, tough girl.