Just No, Gwyneth

What’s for dinner tonight?

Please tell me it’s more than that celebrity’s disordered eating plan I can’t stop ranting about. 

Yes, I’m talking about Gwyneth Paltrow and the “wellness routine” she shared in an interview.  

That is a disordered eating plan. That is diet culture. 

As expected, within moments of sharing this video and my thoughts on Instagram, the trolls came flooding in, claiming that I am “dissing” another woman. 

These people trying to silence my opinions? Also diet culture at work. 

Yes, I watched her entire interview. Yes, I saw the video she made three years ago, outlining a different eating plan. 

Make no mistake: what Gwyneth shared in this current interview with millions of women and girls is not a wellness routine. 

Coffee is not a meal.

I’m saddened by this, for the young women who follow her and might fall into an eating disorder after watching this. For the women who feel they need to silence the voices calling out diet culture. For Gwyneth herself, who believes this disordered plan is “wellness.”  

I’m also broken up about it because I deeply understand this. 

Fifteen years ago, when I was locked in a never-ending battle with my body, constantly trying to find the perfect diet that would finally work or the willpower to make it stick, I didn’t want to admit I was wrong.

I didn’t want to admit that my beliefs weren’t true, especially after sacrificing my joy for so long to try the latest diet fad, cleanse, or trick. 

It took a lot of courage to recognize that I was steeped in diet culture and admit I was wrong.

It took even more courage not to participate in diet culture any longer. 

And then it took a mountain of courage to start talking about it—writing a book, giving a TED talk, certifying women around the world in the BARE method, and constantly calling out the bullshit, despite the hate-filled messages that storm in every time I do.  

I get it. It can feel easier to stay committed to our old belief systems—even if it’s harming us—rather than challenge our beliefs and admit we are wrong. I have been there. 

This is one of the reasons people remain in cults, even when they want to leave, because admitting your belief system is outdated, wrong, and just plain not serving you is difficult. Talk about the “cult” of diet culture. 

Diets are not wellness. Diets don’t care for our bodies. It’s losing. Regaining. Feeling deprived. Then feeling discouraged. Harming your self-esteem, metabolism, and health. 

That’s not loving. That’s not treating our bodies like a friend. 

Body love is about focusing on what’s sustainable, energizing, and realistic—what works for our specific bodies, not what a random celebrity eats in a day. 

When we get up the courage to ditch diet culture and acknowledge our outdated beliefs, that’s the first step to changing our lives and making the world a better place for women and girls. 

That’s when we finally become free.

xoxo, Susan


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