Book Corner 2020.2

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The Anti-Diet by Christy Harrison

Just like THE F*CK IT DIET by Caroline Dooner but with very little swearing. Harrison is a registered dietician, and uses what she knows to convince you that Health At Every Size (HAES) (TM) is the only way to go. Lots of proof showing that diets don’t work, don’t last, and actually make you gain weight (NOT THAT THERE’S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT!). Seriously, Harrison is always bending over backwards not to offend (with constant shout-outs to non-binary-gendered people), refusing even to use the words “overweight” or “obese” without quote marks.

There is only a very short chapter about how to do truly intuitive eating. Like THE F*CK IT DIET, this book warns you that by “intuitive eating” we do not mean being obsessed with hunger cues, which is just dieting by another name. F*ck-it-style intuitive eating means: just eat. Whatever you want, whenever you want, however much you want. Enjoy.

Who couldn’t get behind that?

Harrison gives lots of reassurance that this will NOT ruin your health. After a honeymoon phase with brownies, you will settle in, your weight will settle in, and your health will be fine – or not – but if not, it won’t be because of eating the wrong things. Lots of factors contribute to health, including many beyond one’s control. And dieting is about control, so that’s not a message many may want to hear.

But it’s true; and other things that are true are: adipose tissue itself has NEVER been proven to DIRECTLY cause health problems. It’s just body tissue, after all. And: being health-obsessed, or even health-conscious at all, is not a moral obligation. There are no “good” and “bad” foods because an apple and a hamburger are MORALLY EQUIVALENT. Running a marathon and watching a Netflix marathon are MORALLY EQUIVALENT. What is “health” for, anyway? To let you live longer and more productively … to do what? Whatever is meaningful to you, THAT is the moral obligation; not health per se.

This would all be obvious if not for what Harrison terms “diet culture,” the water we all swim in. We are all afraid of being or becoming “fat” and what it will mean for our status. But this sounds shallow so we cloak it in talk of health-consciousness and “wellness.”

Just chuck it all. In other words, F*ck It. ( )

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