A Radical Idea
Trigger Warning: Talk of diets and weight loss.
It began early this year, and came from a place I didn’t expect to see a “diet.”
I subscribe to The DailyOM, an email list that sends meditations and “self-improvement” messages to my inbox. Usually, the messages talk about allowing yourself to be “seen,” operating from the heart, releasing the past so you can go boldly forward to your future. You know, all that pseudo-psychiatric and pseudo-spiritual stuff. I go for weeks without getting anything of interest, and just about decide to unsubscribe, when something gives me an “Aha” moment, and I decide to to stick with it.
An email from December 29 changed my mind about it, though.
The email was titled “The Skinny Thinking Thought Diet.”
The what? Does that even make sense? “Think yourself thin.” Are we all to become Breatharians now?
Up until this time, I’d not received any diet talk emails from DailyOM, and since I don’t go to their site, this completely surprised me. Then today I went to the site and found an article titled “Heal Subconscious Blocks to Weight Loss,” so this may be more normal for them than I realized. What makes it worse is that both the original email and the article I found today, link to — you guessed it — online course work that you have to pay for.
Part of the description for “The Skinny Thinking Thought Diet” states:
Any one can force off weight on a diet, but it’s like pulling off the top of a weed. It comes right back unless you take care of the root — the way you think about food. Here’s why the Skinny Thinking Thought diet can help you, when everything else has failed. It radically changes your relationship to food by changing the way you think about it. To put it simply, it’s Eckhart Tolle meets food
Seriously? This has never been talked about before? Ever? Weight Watchers doesn’t talk about a “lifestyle change” that includes reviewing how you think about food? NutriSystem doesn’t profess to help you “change your relationship” regarding food? Right? These are RADICAL ideas we’re talking about here, people! Radical enough that you’ll want to pay $11 for the 24 course “class” (only 45 cents per lesson!)
Yeah, more of the same ol’ same ol’.
Let’s talk about something truly radical where food and weight are concerned.
How about a course called “Learning to Truly Love Yourself,” which includes whatever weight, whatever size, whatever level of health or unhealth, whatever sexual identification — in fact, which includes everything that has to do with what makes you “you” (or me “me”).
How about “Food is NOT the Enemy: 12 Steps to Learning How to Stop Counting Calories and Just Enjoy the Food.” Daily class emails would include such radical ideas as “Throw away your calculator,” “Enjoy life and the life-giving nature of food,” and the really radical idea “If we weren’t supposed to enjoy it, we’d not have taste buds!”*
Another radical internet seminar could be “How to Heal the Damage Done by Hating Yourself.” Of course, this one would be different from the “Learning to Truly Love Yourself” class, as this one would cover topics such as “Letting go of comparisons,” “Embracing diversity in all things, including size,” and “It’s only a number, it does NOT define you.”
Convincing people to diet is not a radical idea. Showing people how to love themselves? Giving them the tools to really change their relationship with food (from being a toxic one to a sustaining one)? Helping them overcome their self-contempt for all the times they’ve “failed” at diets in the past? Now those are some radical ideas.
*I know I am being flip here. I do realize that for people with Eating Disorders, it’s not this simple. I am parodying the article, not encouraging a real belief that “all you have to do is start eating and you’ll be better!”