This is my guide to eating and body image in 2016. But you can borrow it.

 In Addiction, Body Image, Life, Self Acceptance

Guide to eating and body image in 2016:

Don’t eat carbs. Focus on protein. Have some protein with your carbs. Have some carbs with your protein. Do not have either protein or carbs. Eat leaves and twigs instead.

Do a cleanse for one, three, or 14 days. Freak out at everyone around you.

Drink green juice. Every morning, right after your hot water with lemon and shot of ginger. Unless you’re eating the ginger raw, and then, ok…

Sugar is the devil. If you do eat sugar, please refer to it as a “cheat” as often as you can in casual conversation.

Please also add in phrases such as, “I was really bad last night. I had some fries with my lettuce wrap.” Or “I really shouldn’t, but I’m going to throw caution to the wind and put some kale gravy on my mashed cauliflower.’”

Purchase diet food and then eat twice as much.

Do Weight Watchers and self-congratulate for the first five days before you end up screaming in public at your husband because he took a small bite of the nachos that YOU SAVED UP POINTS FOR ALL WEEK.

Drink a glass of red/white/pink/green wine because studies show it is good for you.

Have another because if one is good, two must be better, right?

Have a third because…wait – what were we talking about again?….

Eat a nice brunch with friends and then head to the gym to “work it off.” Even though it is Sunday.

Steal food off your kids’ plates because somehow their natural ability to eat when they are hungry, stop when they aren’t, and take pleasure in food might magically rub off on you.

Try on the pants you wore last summer and realize they are a little tight this year. Spiral into shame and self-hate because this is a certain indicator that you are a bad, bad person and your pants are just trying to tell you what the rest of the world already knows.

Read a piece in the New York Times that says that people who lose weight can’t keep it off, because, well…the article was long and science-y, so who knows, but let’s just assume it’s because we’re lazy pigs, ok?

Read a similar headline about how breastfeeding women *gain* an average of eight pounds because they are feeding another human being with their bodies and biologically this might make sense.

Ignore headline because Jessica Alba, Gwyneth Paltrow, and a host of other celebrities “bounced right back” after baby and swore it was the breastfeeding that did it!

Later read Jessica Alba’s confession that in fact, she lost the weight by wearing a tight corset that made it hard for her to eat.

Ignore this confession and the headline about breastfeeding and weight gain and continue with the self-loathing that pairs nicely with caring for a small child and increased demands on your schedule.

Buy into the myth that fat equals lazy and stupid and everything that is wrong with America. Fail to be curious about the other factors – such as sexual and physical abuse – that might lead to obesity.

Continue to believe that skinny is the only way to go and makes everything else just fine.

Die happy with pre-chosen tombstone that reads, “Here lies Zelda. She had a nice ass.” Watch from above, satisfied, as everyone at memorial service talks about said ass and how much meaning it added to their lives. Watch them weep as they wonder just what they will do without your tight abs to hold onto.

And then watch them get into their cars and drive to the post-memorial lunch, where they will eat a salad – no dressing – because even in the midst of grief and life and love, having willpower and control around food and our bodies reigns supreme.

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