Hello–how are you doing? Do you have a reaction to the word diet? For me, it’s a bad word. It hurts. This anarchist bunny doesn’t like it either. Riots not diets!
Even through the denotation is neutral, the connotation of
“diet” is painfully negative. That has to do with how I’ve been treated in culture and my family of origin, but especially in medical situations.
I’m pro-pleasure, as you know. I’m here on earth to enjoy having a body, learn, share my truth, use the gifts my ancestors handed to me, and feel pleasure and happiness.
Also I’m pro-choice about what we eat, how we do health, abortion, psych meds, all the gender options, and medical options. I like disability justice and fat liberation. All bodies are valid bodies, and that’s one of my necessary ideas. It’s central.
I enjoy mutual respect with all people. I need to treat medical professionals as consultants or advisors, not gods. I’ve been fortunate to have a couple trusted experts who would relate to me in a safer way. One was an acupuncturist who advised me on health issues for a year or so. The other was Chaya Grossberg, who helped me with information, ideas, and support about getting off psych meds.
Both of these experts I paid out of pocket to see, because I had to. In order to find medical experts who would meet me with equal power, I had to spurn mainstream medicine and its dysfunctional twin health insurance and find rogue medical care.
power in medical situations
Mainstream medical workers like doctors and nurse practitioners don’t want that me to believe we’re equals. They think it’s wrong for me to hold onto my power. They want me to hand over my power, as a requirement of our medical relationship.
Fat shaming is part of how they enforce the power imbalance. When I start to feel mutual respect and begin to trust I’m being seen as a valid person, the medical professional has to ruin it by shaming me for my fatness. It’s a shitty way for them to assert my wrongness and their superiority.
Thus diet is a cringey word for me, even though the definition is neutral. It just means what we eat. But it’s got bad associations now. Kind of like if a belt was used to beat you. It’s no longer just a belt.
But some people think emotions are a joke. So if you cry when you see the belt, you are shamed for the weakness of having feelings. That’s like being beaten… more!
All this to say–if you use the word diet and your friends wince, this is why. You might want to use a different word that hasn’t been used to harm us.
All bodies are valid bodies, including fat bodies. Including mine. Thank you for your care.