This is something I’ve been thinking about since Zibby Owens and I talked about it during my episode of Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books. Zibby told me she’d done some genetic testing and found out that her current weight was more or less exactly what her genetics predict it should be — and she eats dessert every night. Right!
Because sure, there’s an “ideal weight” we’re all supposed to be, according to diet culture. And for some tiny portion of the population, that happens to be the weight they land at effortlessly, which is probably kind of cool. But for most of us, research shows clearly and consistently that achieving THAT ideal will only happen through unsustainable levels of restriction and deprivation. Which means it’s not failing, or letting yourself go, to stop chasing that goal — it’s recognizing that the whole idea of an “ideal weight” is bullsh*t. When it’s used as a medical term, it boils people’s health down to one difficult to control variable. When it’s used to reinforce a white, thin, femme beauty standard, it’s rooted in, and perpetuating, a system of oppression.
There is no ideal weight. There is just your weight, which is arguably the least interesting thing about you, and then there’s everything else you’re doing with your life.