Dietitians Weigh In
Scrolling through Facebook we come across a multitude of messages. Let’s face it, we can find something to fit almost every mood and personality within a one minute scroll (but who really limits to one minute scrolls?!). Over time I have learned to be more mindful of the things that I choose to post on social media and I hope after reading this blog, you will challenge yourself to filter the messages that you are sending, as well.
This blog is a little different than the blogs that Lemond Nutrition typically posts, but I would say that it is a topic that we are all very passionate about. I decided to survey our dietitians to get their thoughts on this meme. Below you will find four different perspectives that provide the reader with something to ponder.
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People laugh at things they can relate to, and this meme has gone viral because of this fact. Buzzfeed Community shared it and made it a joke (their comment: "LMAO"), but for people that work with individuals on nutrition, this is no laughing matter. Sadly, confidence continues to wane with food. These days, there is so much conflicting food and nutrition information on the Internet that even if someone wants to eat right, they don't know what that looks like. Additionally, our Instagram / selfie world demands aesthetic perfection at all costs, which can promote yo-yo dieting. People go from from unrealistic dieting practices (over restricting) to binge eating (revolt on restrictions). My role as a food therapist is to make people more confident around food, so these memes are not jokes to me at all. This struggle often wreaks havoc on some people's lives and can cause real sadness in one's unsolved dilemma.
Initially when you see this meme, it can be funny / relatable / lighthearted. However, as a dietitian, working closely with various eating behaviors / disorders, this meme hits a little closer to home. The cycle between body shaming, feeling inadequate, overeating and self control, self adequacy, achieving a healthy WHOLE person can be vicious. I would encourage anyone to be mindful before sharing as food is attached to so many different emotions and struggles, whether good or bad.
My initial thought is “I have no words”.
It makes me sad because it demonstrates that apathy is cool, or that "why try" is funny? When it comes to your health and wellness, you *need* and *must* care because that *will* result in successful attempts and efforts.
Also, it just epitomizes the old saying that "misery loves company." Everyone likes to talk about how things don't work, can't work... but yet a true and honest effort was never really applied in the first place. It makes me sad that people think that not trying is funny. I think we need to put more focus on what we can do and can have versus what we can’t and dieting.
To the blind eye, this meme may be humorous and honestly—prior to becoming a dietitian I probably would have even considered sharing it. I cannot tell you the stories that I hear or the pain that some of the client’s that we see deal with surrounding food. For some, food may be for fuel, to ease pain or even a fearful/scary thing—we see the whole spectrum. To use the phrase “the struggle is real” is an understatement. Food plays such a vital role in our daily lives, but for some it can be surrounded by guilt or even compulsive thoughts. Body shaming and a world driven by sex-appeal makes the struggle with food even more prevalent. For those that do not know what a healthy relationship with food looks like, a meme like this may be the very thing that they feel is their reality. The truth is when someone is so deep in their issues with food or have such a skewed view of their own body, this sort of meme is likely to provoke an emotional response.
While this is by no means the worst of the worst when it comes to food or body memes—it can serve as a reminder. A reminder that when we go to click the share button, we may also want to consider what message we are promoting. I challenge you to be mindful of the posts that you share. I challenge you to encourage others and post things that inspire body acceptance and promote healthy relationships with food.