It’s that time of year again. Time for the endless blogs, pins, articles, and commercials toting the perfect, no fail plan to get ‘The Best Bikini Body Ever, Ever, Ever Imaginable’.
Do you know what I don’t like about these “no fail/perfect” plans? EVERYTHING!!!
Most of these bikini body plans are prescribing the very criteria that I use to diagnose an eating disorder: restrictive eating, increased exercise, compulsive calorie counting and weight tracking, and an unhealthy focus on body size and proportions. For some people this can be incredibly dangerous and even life threatening.
This isn’t just a size thing either. Women in smaller bodies are shamed for not having rock hard abs or toned arms. No body is safe this time of year.
They Don’t Work
Researchers show that 95% of dieters regain all of the weight they initially lost, and sometimes more, within 3 years. People who yo-yo in weight are more likely to have health complications and depression.
They Rank Foods
According to the 30 different bikini plans I read TODAY, chocolate is “bad” and super foods, like avocado, are “good”. (Hands up in the air shaking and a noise similar to a scream coming out of my frustrated self). There are no “good” or “bad” foods!!
I have a friend who, at the end of a really tough day, will eat some chocolate. Her blood pressure goes down, the racing thoughts subside, and she is able to relax and enjoy the moment. According to my friend, chocolate is self-care in a wrapper. Avocado is helpful for energy, stabilizing sugars in the blood, and lowering cholesterol. So avocados can be beneficial, but for my friend, chocolate is too.
Did you know people are more likely to experience shame and engage in binge-eating when they restrict?
The only time a food should be off-limits is when there is a major food allergy.
It Targets Women
Women make up 86% of the consumers buying diet magazines, pills, services, etc. That’s 86% of the $66 billion dollar enterprise that is the diet industry. Their marketing strategy works: remind women about all of their insecurities and then sell them a product to “help”
The best part is in three years when the weight is back on they will buy the product again. It’s a win-win for them.
The Focus Is Single-Minded
Okay, now for the main reason I hate the bikini season craze: their focus is premised that only one body type looks good in a bikini. The idea that only women who are small, toned, and tan are bikini acceptable is disgusting, single-minded, and dangerous.
The fact that women are shamed into buying weight loss products every single summer should bother you. Whoever you are, regardless of gender or size, it should bother you. It bothers me.