Dietary Panopticism and the rant that ensued…

Those are from my IG stories. I was typing rants and I hate typing on phones. So I started recording a rant but a) I had my baby with me who is so adorable I can’t focus and b) needed a bath and c) the rant got cut up and I dunno how to edit that shit yet.

So I am finishing my thoughts here.

I have noticed this trend and am grateful that Kivan Bay has a term for it. I love it when people have words for concepts I am trying to articulate. Oh and here is where you can find Sofie.

So dieting is under attack and the ephemeral powers that be that make a fuckton of money off of us hating our bodies and promoting diets are shifting the terminology to be harder to pin down. If you promote a diet you might be challenged by a mighty influencer these days. To say you are on a diet might leave you at the receiving end of a friends passionate plea not to harm your body which includes facts about how diets do not work. Thanks to brilliant fat activists and body positivity, diets are becoming a thing of the past.

Except no. They are just changing the focus to “health”, because health isn’t something anyone can say is a bad thing. But it’s the same old pile of shit wrapped up in a package that makes it look acceptable.

The idea of monitoring every fucking data set we can, to optimise our health and live our best life is the new diet culture. Record your steps, your water, your calories, your resting time, your HR. All for “health”.

First of all, health is something I will never have access to. Not because I am fat, but because I have a genetic disease and it is incurable and it causes chronic pain. 10k steps in a day would cripple me for a week (as in literally not be able to walk. If I hit 3k in a day, it is guaranteed I won’t be able to walk the next two days). I get dehydrated easily from the Ehlers Danlos related health complications and have to drink a lot. I still can’t drink 8 fucking glasses a day and NOR DO I WANT TO.

But my personal inability to meet the arbitrary demands of the new health paradigm is kind of besides my point, but I did want to point out how fucking ableist the entire cultural shift is.

What I wanted to say is how prevalent it is and how ENTIRELY sick of it I am. Fiber podcasts turn into 20 min asides about how important it is to get the 10k steps in. IG accounts suddenly start showing BuJo spreads about water intake. Vloggers with the fitbit strapped to their arm.

What the hell does this data collection accomplish (besides collation of marketing data for apps)? Does it ensure health? No. Does it prevent disability? Sorry, that shit can fuck anyone up at any given point in life which is terrifying but true. What is the point of recording every action of every day? Of finitely planning every morsel of food and calorie and step and heart beat? How is this not unhealthy in and of itself? Where is the time to just BE.

Or do you have to earn that? After 10k you get to netflix and chill?

Where is the space in life to just exist these days without self help and self improvement being the forefront of every conversation. Why is the driving force behind everyones life right now seem to be improving themselves and pushing themselves and striving to better themselves? Why does it seem aberrant to question this like the answer is perfectly obvious and I am just missing it?

And listen – I don’t have a problem with goals and making plans and taking action to make those goals happen. That is not what I am talking about. I am talking about the obsession with recording the minutiae of our physical selves in order to measure and judge if we are achieving and maintaining health ALL THE TIME.

For me personally I instantly switch off now. I want to watch fibre artists talk about what they are making and what inspires them. I want to see pictures of my friends dinner – not how many calories it was. I want to see pics from walks and kids and dogs and I genuinely don’t care how many steps you took in your day. I want to see bodies of all shades and sizes at ease, comfortable, housing amazing humans and being taken care of without obsessive data collection being part of my socialising.

It’s all just dieting with a PR facelift.

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