Food is a complicated thing in our culture: it brings families together, it carries tradition, defines identities and fuels our bodies. But since we live in a world so totally warped by negative body image, diet culture and toxic views on foods that are “good” and “bad,” it’s hard to always frame our thinking about food in the most positive way. And, I don’t know about y’all, but the pandemic has absolutely brought out some of the most toxic and harmful attitudes about bodies, food and weight.
After all, when you’re a part of a society that is consistently trying to sell you a new fad diet or a new workout system while making you feel awful and guilty about the ways you eat and exist in your own body, it’s kind of hard to keep your head on straight. There’s just a lot of powerful entities with a lot of stake in telling you that you need to consume less, take up less space and constantly work to reach some new slightly-tweaked ideal of bodily “perfection.”
For people dealing with disordered eating or for people who have loved ones grappling with a complicated food relationship, sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back and soak up some wisdom from people who have some much-needed perspective on what it means to keep your body fed. Whether its a celebrity who opens up about their old toxic patterns or activists in the trenches trying to educate their communities about how to think more positively (and less obsessively) about food and their bodies, just a bit of insight into how we can thinking more positively about the role food can play in our lives can do wonders.
Read on for a few of our favorite inspiring quotes to help reframe the ways you think about food and the way you talk to other people in your life about their bodies and food choices.
If you or someone you love is struggling with disordered eating, you are not alone and you can get help. Head over to National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) or call or text their hotline (800) 931-2237.
A version of this story was published February 2020.