essays

2019 Diet Inspo

LOL JK BITCH, YOU THINK I STILL BELIEVE IN DIETS!?

Like the majority of my fellow thiccies out there, I have tried a lot of wild shit in an effort to lose weight. I’ve done thousands of burpees, probably lunged the entire fucking distance of Bedford-Stuyvesant, and even briefly participated in The Whole30. I mean, come on, THE WHOLE 30 IS JUST BANANAS!!!!! And true to form, when I decide I’d like to eat a hamburger with a large side of fries and “fall of the wagon,” feelings of shame, guilt and anxiety wash over me, I inevitably lose the challenge of keeping those wretched 40 pounds off my body. The 40 pounds lost eventually turn into 60 pounds gained and the whole cycle starts all over again.

Image-1.jpeg

Imagine my beautiful cherubic face inches away from yours, while my impossibly small hands clap with every syllable: I AM DONE WITH THIS SHIT, AND YOU SHOULD BE DONE WITH IT TOO!!! THANK U NEXT, BITCH!!!

In preparation for what I believe is the worst month of the year for us thicc girls, I wanted to write you, my dear friends, a few reminders about why your weight or physical appearance don’t define your self-worth.

And if you’re not fat — as in, you’ve never had to leave a store because nothing fits you, you’ve never been shamed by a family member for looking like a [insert animal of choice here], or you’ve never lost job prospects because your physical appearance might make an employer believe that you lack discipline — make sure you read this entire post from start to finish because it will teach you how to become a better ally.

It will teach you about the things you do that are straight up fucking rude, but are so normalized, you never bother to apologize. It will teach you to stop exoticizing us for being your “confident fat friend,” as if daring to be confident and loving our bodies is a consumable act of extreme bravery rather than an act of sheer survival. We need to do this for ourselves because fashion brands, magazines and TV shows simply refuse love our bodies for us. Self-love is an act of survival and self-preservation before it is an act of “inspiration.”

2018-08-10 13:15:02.407.JPG

Let 2019 be the year that you make your mental health the cornerstone of your overall health. If you aren’t happy engaging in a negative cycle of dieting, simply break the cycle.

A few years ago, I lost a LOT of weight, and all my friends and family were telling me how great I looked, but my mental health was at its complete worst. My idea of success was people telling me how good I looked. But internally, I was screaming every minute of the day. It felt like small daggers lived on every one of my skin cells, constant reminders that my worth is attached to my ability to meet a physical ideal. Dieting and working out require precision, and the failure to follow its rules would result in guilt and shame, specifically from a trainer who would literally comment on social media that he would punish me with excruciating workouts for eating sisig (a very fatty, decadent pork dish served on a sizzling plate). Bro, I’m Filipino and sisig is practically a part of my DNA, so fuck off, my guy.

Dieting opens up an internal dialogue that allows you to punish yourself for doing something as natural as eating. Working out encourages you to be cruel to your body when it simply wants to rest. It’s literally the gateway drug for negative thinking, AND I NEED YOU TO STEP AWAY FROM THAT SHIT, FAM.

And I know. I know it’s not easy to break the cycle because the world will love you more and see your potential better when you become slim-thicc, but honestly, Fuck. All. Those. People. Let my existence and my voice remind you that people can see your creative potential, your spiritual wealth, and innate beauty as separate entities from your weight.

2018-08-10 15:59:18.731.JPG

Let 2019 be the year that you stop punishing yourself for eating “bad” food. I tried The Whole30 recently because I wanted to be guided by a formulated set of principles that would hold me accountable, but admittedly, I only lasted two days. I spiked an incredibly high fever on the third day, plus, I just really love cooking shit in butter, ok?! And I’M NOT FUCKING SORRY.

And you know what else? The Whole30 doesn’t give a fuck if you lose weight, if your blood pressure dips, or if your skin clears up. The Whole30 only cares about selling more cookbooks and finding ways for you to give them your money. Your gym doesn’t give a fuck if you lose weight or become stronger, as long as they’re collecting your monthly dues especially on the months that you “fall off the wagon” and stop going to the gym completely. They just want your coins. They want you to continue the diet and workout cycle because it ensures that they’re going to keep making money.

2018-08-10 12:27:59.928.JPG

Let 2019 be the year that you communicate with your body incessantly and always give her what she needs. When my body tells me she feels lethargic, I listen to her suggestion to eat a salad. When my brain tells me I really want to eat a chicken sandwich, I follow her suggestion to eat a chicken sandwich.

Imagine a world where eating a salad was simply eating a salad, instead of “Congrats, you ate a salad! You’re taking control of your life and making sure you don’t end up on My 600-Pound Life!” Imagine a world where your skinny friends don’t ask, “Would it be soooo bad if I got the chicken sandwich?” implying that eating something so deliciously salty and satisfying makes you a straight up sinner. NO, BITCH. EAT THE GODDAMN SANDWICH.

All the shame spirals attached with eating can be traced back to some kind of advertising. Or else, why would Sweetgreen be making a killing selling $14 salads!? If SoulCycle really gave a fuck about making people healthy, why can’t black + brown kids from low-income communities take their classes!? The emotions attached to your weight losses, to your weight gains, to your food, to your workouts, are fabricated by companies that want to profit from your insecurities. Listen to your body instead of continuing to let someone else decide what’s “good” or “bad” for you.

tids.jpg

If you’re looking for ways to be gentle with yourself, here are a few things that have helped me:

  1. Take lots and lots of selfies. Tell yourself you look good, no matter what. Over and over again.

  2. Unfollow celebrities selling diet and workout shit. Yes, even Cardi B.

  3. Watch a lot of Food Network shows and food documentaries on Netflix, specifically Salt Acid Fat Heat. And Enrique Olvera’s episode on Chef’s Table about Mexican food. And this video about a Filipino restaurant called Bad Saint based in DC. Just consume a lot of food-related content, because at the end of the day, I know y’all don’t want to miss out on this much life just because you’re trying to stick to a diet.

  4. Get a lot of sleep, drink a lot of water, and take long hot showers.

  5. A tip from my beloved roommate, Allison: take extra care when plating your food. Make that extra effort to make it look nice, whether it’s a homemade surf and turf or a 10-piece from McDonalds. It will make you feel like you’re worthy of a fine-dining experience no matter what the fuck is on the plate.

Let 2019 be the year you love yourself as much as I love you. Let 2019 be the year you love yourself as much as I love myself, hehehehe.

Signing off with lots of love and Big Fire Sign Energy,

B

2018-08-10 13:15:04.669.JPG

While these words and stories are my own, I’d like to give credit where it’s due. My education comes from the following femmes: Sonya Renee Taylor@thefatsextherapist, and Ashleigh Tribble.

beatriz kaye