top of page

Hello, Grief? I'm here: Grieving Diet Culture's Unfulfilled Promises

I’ve been in a number of conversations lately that meandered to a place my clients didn't expect.

As they share with me the various ways in which they have disconnected from their bodies.

How they first came to believe that their bodies were a problem to be fixed.

How they’ve tried to fit in, feel acceptable, and feel enough in this world.

How they’ve manipulated food and tried to control their eating and their bodies.

And have come to new understandings about what they’ve internalized about themselves through all of this efforting and striving and hustling....

We meet grief.

Kori with wounds on her face and grief inside
It was a bike accident that changed how I looked that was yet another reminder of how much stock I was putting on my appearance. I had internalized worthiness beliefs that I was unaware of until these sorts of experiences.

We meet the grief around all the life we’ve not been present for because of the obsessional focus on food and our bodies.
We step into the grief of letting go and feeling the loss of something that felt like it was, but never could be, what would make us feel whole and worthy.
We grieve the death of a dream.
The dream of being a certain type of beautiful.
The dream of a body coveted.
The dream of a feeling of ultimate control and discipline.
The dream of happiness and power because we finally achieved this pinnacle of fitness.
The dream of an appearance that represents having it all.
The dream of respect, and idealization, and validation, and acceptance.

I am working with a woman who has had multiple surgeries to her spine and now has fused vertebrae.

She has one knee replacement and will be having the other replaced soon.

She can’t resistance train like she used to.

She can’t squat.

She can’t jump on her horse with ease like she could earlier in her life.

She can’t do a lot of the activities that brought her so much joy before.

She's been on every diet.

She’s gained weight.

Feeling like a failure.

Feeling like she should be able to do those things.

She’s being viewed by others as lazy and unmotivated.

And the more she pushes herself, the more she’s laid flat out, her body screaming for her to stop.

When I mentioned that she’s suffered so many losses, and asked her if she has grieved them, she said, “I never thought about grief.”

Why would she?

We live in a culture that promotes getting over it, working harder, husting, efforting, striving, and thinking our way toward exceptionalism and perfection.

There are no shortage of products that we can buy and services we can jump into in order to OPTIMIZE, DEFY, TRANSFORM, CONTROL, and FIGHT reality.

And we reckon with and grieve diet culture's unfulfilled promises.

But another topic for another day.


Grief asks us to meet the loss.

To touch into the disappointment.

To invite a gentleness that acknowledges that things have changed and are not as we would like them to be or wish they would be.

But grief can also lead us to passion and fury directed outside of ourselves.

At the systems that we’ve believed were really working in our favor but had ulterior motives.

Grief can lead us back to ourselves, to reconnect with what matters, with who we are inside.

Do you have grief to connect with?


If you'd like to help me spread a more compassionate message...

One that supports the belief that our are our bodies are not problems to be fixed or controlled...

And gives everyone their agency back in the face of a system that cares not about their true health and wellbeing...

I invite you to cast your vote to make me the next Ms. Health & Fitness.

This contest is sponsored by the magazine, Muscle & Fitness Hers, and if you're familiar, it's often showcasing a specific type of physique.

That is fine.

What isn't, is what the message that many of us have internalized about what beauty looks like, what health looks like, and what fitness looks like.

You cannot tell by a person's appearance much of anything! Much less whether they are healthy or fit.

Winning this contest would allow me greater visibility to speak up about these things and work with the many amazing other weight-inclusive practitioners to fight weight stigma, the beauty ideal, and diet culture's harmful consequences.

Click the button below to cast your vote! Thank you so much for your support!


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page