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5 Ways to Navigate Diet Obsessed People in Your Life

It can be difficult to be around people who are heavily focused on diet culture, especially when you've learned to overcome it. However, it still can be a sensitive topic of discussion. Here are some suggestions on how to navigate around people who are obsessed with their diet.

  1. It's a Journey: Recognize that breaking free from diet culture is a process that takes time and patience. Everybody has their own experiences and journey when it comes to how they process societal pressures. We've all been there before and none of us are fully immune from the societal pressures that we live in.

  2. Outgrowing Environments: Sometimes, distancing yourself from environments that perpetuate diet culture may be necessary for your mental and emotional health. Perhaps you have outgrown the values of a former social group. This is a normal experience and it's okay to feel uncomfortable and grieve that change. Multiple feelings can exist at once. And it's okay to have evolving and new boundaries with certain social circles or limiting exposure to media that promotes unrealistic body standards. Surround yourself with individuals who share your values of body positivity and intuitive eating, creating a supportive community that fosters growth and acceptance.

  3. Redirect Values: If you feel comfortable, perhaps encourage these people to shift their focus from external appearance to internal well-being. Emphasize the importance of cultivating self-love, confidence, and resilience, regardless of size or shape. Redirect conversations towards values such as Intuitive Eating principles and body neutrality.

  4. Practice Empathy: Approach interactions with empathy and compassion, understanding that some peoples' fixation on dieting may stem from deep-seated insecurities, childhood experiences, and/or societal pressures. Validate their feelings while compassionate provide understanding that the behaviors stemming from these feelings may be misdirected.

  5. Be a Positive Force: One common component to people's path to recovery from diet culture is to take on the role of being sort of a mentor! If you feel comfortable, you can lead by example by showing your skills at living a non-diet approach for your health and self-care. Demonstrate body acceptance and a balanced relationship with food and movement. For some, this approach may help others rebuild their relationship with food/body into a healthier one!


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