bell hooks said that self-love cannot flourish in isolation. And I’ve felt very isolated.
As New Years resolution talks begin, the small space I’ve carved out away from diet culture and anti-fat attitudes feels exposed and vulnerable again. Weight loss, self-help, and fitness companies are eager to sell us on how to “better” ourselves and our body. The beauty of thinking about how we want to be different than before feels more distant as we are forced into narrow ideas about health, wellness, and our worth.
I’ve been thinking:
who benefits from the fitness and health fads being sold to us?
how do we define “health” and “wellness”?
what does equating health and morality mean for disabled and chronically ill people?
how might we act differently if we were more concerned with how our body feels and what we can do to nourish it?
who are erased from our conversations about health, wellness, and fitness?
Maintenance Phase is a podcast hosted by Aubrey Gordon and Michael Hobbes that tackles health and wellness fads with compassion, care and citations. Each week they cover topics like the Keto Diet, "is being fat bad for you?," and The Biggest Loser while exploring the historical and scientific context behind the claims we all see as Truth.
But what is most remarkable about Maintenance Phase is how it has created room for self-love to flourish. Among the sea of wellness podcasts, self-help books, and health foods, Aubrey and Michael have linked listeners' lives together in opposition to diet culture, anti-fat bias, and assumptions about health and weight. Where I used to feel entirely alone, I can recognize how many others are with me building new alternatives to lives governed by calorie counts and restrictive diets. I hope that it can do that for you.