My Thoughts on The F*ck It Diet Now
10+ Years Later
Update! I’ve decided that I’m abandoning my “Every Tuesday” schedule. Instead I’ll still be emailing every week-ish, but the new flexibility will allow me to take my time with posts and edit them more thoroughly, or wait til inspiration strikes. Paid subscribers will still get 2 exclusive posts or bonuses a month-ish. For instance, this article’s last part, and recorded voiceover, is just for paid subscribers.
Also just for fun, before we officially begin the subject of the today, I’d like to first post two wonderful reviews for my second book, Tired as F*ck, that really illustrate how much people love and appreciate me and my words. I’ve linked to the relevant information referenced in each review.
I honestly enjoyed this book, but I just found out that the author is a self-admitted 9/11 truther and I feel absolutely sick that I gave her money. I wish I could return this.
Someone else described this as “self-indulgent” and that’s probably the most accurate description I’ve seen yet of this book. Also, Dooner is a 9/11 “truther,” a white supremacist, and dishonest. Don’t waste your time and most certainly do not give her your money.
I mean, how lucky am I? Officially labelled a “white supremacist” in an amazon review. (That’s … sarcasm for anyone who can’t tell. And believe me, saying that is necessary for some people.) I share these partially because they are an example of what I’m about to write about further down.
The “dishonest” accusation is interesting. I wonder where that one came from. And, ironically, people are saying these horrible things about me, because I am too honest about what I think for my own good. If I were more concerned with my reputation in this ridiculous upside down world, I would be lying and pandering to all of these ridiculous people.
My Thoughts on The F*ck It Diet
It’s funny because… I still usually assume that all of the people who follow me, already know what the F*ck It Diet is. Because, for a very long time, that was pretty much the only reason people read what I wrote: I wrote about healing our relationship with food.
But over the past few years, that’s become less and less the case.
First, I got burnt out on talking about this same topic over and over and over again. So, my instagram started being about other things. Silly things. Ridiculous things. “Sagas.” Then more recently, “controversial” things. So, the people who have started following me in the past two years, may barely even know what The F*ck It Diet is.
Second, since joining substack, I’m actually shocked to learn that… people actually find and follow me on substack, and through substack. I did not think that was going to happen. Like… not at all. Because, unlike The F*ck It Diet (TFID), my writing here is all over the place.
When someone asks me: “Oh, cool, so what do you write about? What’s your substack about?” I say, “Uhhhhh… that is a great question.” I really have no idea.
So the fact that people find and follow me through substack is great. Really great. But it almost makes me nervous. Like… oh man I better figure out what tf I write about and not bore people to tears.
Before, I knew why people followed my writing: I helped them understand and heal their relationship with food. Now, I have no idea why people follow me and read my writing. Like, seriously, I don’t. (And still — I’m so thankful that you do.)
However, back to TFID. My journey with food is still a huge part of my life story and journey, and my perspective on food and health. I just got burnt out. Actually, I ran a Q&A for my TFID self-study course today, and even just after a few weeks of not having to talk or write about it, it was easy and joyful to run the Q&A. It just cannot be the only thing I write about anymore.
What is The F*ck It Diet
So for the people who don’t know, The F*ck It Diet is both a method, of sorts, for healing your relationship with food, based on my own experience, and the research I did while I healed. And it is also a book that I wrote, that came out in 2019, that lays it all out: why people feel so out of control around food, and what to do about it.
As the name implies, it is very anti-diet, (though somehow not everyone realizes that until they read it.)
To sum it up: dieting leads to bingeing. Guilt over food leads to dysfunctional erratic eating. And attempts micromanage your weight, usually, paradoxically make your weight more and more out of control. TFID puts a huge amount of trust in our bodies and appetites to self-regulate once we actually feed ourselves.
And, all in all, I am so so thankful for The F*ck It Diet. Both what it did for my relationship with food (healed it.) And, for what it did for my career (I am a now writer! Help!).
I have nothing salacious to say about The F*ck It Diet. I am not here to tell you that I’ve changed my mind. “Carbs are actually terrible for you! You should actually start going to bed hungry again, it’ll like… make you live forever and stuff!” That’s not how I feel. I stand by … probably 99.99% of what I wrote in The F*ck It Diet.
Is there anything I would change in the f*ck it diet book?
During the few days before I started my instagram break, I put a question box up, and someone asked:
Is there anything you would change in the f*ck it diet book?
And my quick answer was No.
No, on the whole, I think that The F*ck It Diet is really helpful for the people who it’s geared towards: people with disordered eating, who need to heal their relationship with food.
And I feel so lucky for that. I’ve changed so much of my perspective on the world the last few years, and it’s been extremely destabilizing. But thank God I can stand behind the book I wrote, that people feel so strongly about.
However, I do have some thoughts on it, and the way people interpret it, and what it’s been like to actually be “the author” of this book. And they’re all relatively small things that don’t change the core message, and lessons, and meaning of the book.
Here we go.
Disordered eating is, by definition, extreme. And there are a lot of extreme people engaging in it (hello! I was one!) They take an idea about food or health or weight, and let it take over their lives.
In many ways, and for many people, TFID becomes a sort of mild eating disorder recovery. I believe that there is a spectrum from totally healthy with food, all the way to extreme, deadly eating disorders. And many people fall somewhere in the middle, with a dysfunctional, disordered relationship with food and diets. Those are the people usually reading The F*ck It Diet.
Well, people are usually very extreme about their recovery too. Which is understandable, and usually necessary in the beginning. Especially in our culture that’s so obsessed with weight (and food!), there needs to be a pushback against the way we were operating before, that’s extreme enough to actually work. So, extremity is actually helpful in the beginning of healing out relationship with food. (Think: avoiding triggering people, needing to avoid people talking about diets, and labelling things in our culture as “disordered” or “diet culture” so they don’t let it sway their thinking or actions.) There’s a lot black and white thinking.
But sometimes, this phase of black and white thinking never ends. Either, the person “heals,” but doesn’t let go of the drama of being constantly offended by things (which, we could argue how healed that really is…). Or, they don’t actually heal fully, and truly do stay in a perpetual limbo of constantly being triggered by things that people say and do.
And… for the past ten years that I’ve been writing about this, many of these people have looked to me to be some eternally non-triggering example of recovery, and I’ve wanted to be an eternally non-triggering person for them, but… it got too hard. I’m a holistic bitch. And unfortunately, “holistic” things also tend to trigger people who think in black and white.
Actually, let’s make that a whole new point:
“Everything Holistic is Bad.”
Many people in the “anti-diet world” also demonize something they call “wellness culture.” And while “wellness culture” definitely encompasses things that are not actually “wellness” at all (tummy teas, shady supplements, extreme protocols, extreme diets and orthorexia, intermittent fasting… etc), this somehow then becomes an idea that anything to do with “wellness” is disordered, which… is a pretty big umbrella.
With black and white thinking, this often translates to a belief that: anything holistic or “alternative” is disordered.
I personally feel that The F*ck It Diet as a whole is very holistic. And I’ve always been very holistic, even throughout my entire F*ck It Diet. I just knew that I couldn’t be too precious about it all in the beginning while I was healing, because I’d been so obsessive and disordered and afraid in the past. So, I held very loosely to my holistic worldview, and the more I healed, the more I was able to come back to it joyfully, and now: fully fed.
There is really nothing in my book that implies that holistic things are bad or disordered, but somehow, I think because of the other anti-diet influence(r)s that people have and follow as they heal, they adopt this belief or worldview: that everything holistic is bad or disordered.
So, this meant that for a long time, I kept my crunchier side hidden, so I didn’t “trigger” people. My "recovered" looks a lot "crunchier" than someone who doesn't have the same belief, approach, and worldview as me. So, lots of those people would think that my crunchy worldview and interest in pasture raised meat and like, raw milk and local honey is the same thing as "diet culture," thanks to the black and white view on what disordered eating and recovery looks like.
That doesn't mean I would have changed the book, I worded everything the way I did on purpose: to be the least triggering for the most amount of people. So they could take themselves through their own recovery without me shoving my crunchy worldview on them, which may have been triggering or confusing in the beginning, depending on where they were coming from.
But what's interesting, is that the book was able to speak to both flavors of anti diet people: the more mainstream pharma lovers (even though the book is extremely critical of pharma), and the more holistic people who've struggled with orthorexia or other eating disorders.
It's just that, lots of the pharma babes have turned on me now, thanks to the mass polarization of the last two years, and the demonization of anyone who criticizes daddy gov. Ironically, my stance has been the same all along: it's all corrupt and you've been lied to.
The social justice cult
Or some may say… the “wokeness.” And ugh, I wish there was any word or phrase that I could use instead of those, but I don’t know that there is.
Let’s see how the online Mirriam-Webster definition defines the US slang word woke.
woke: aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).
social justice: : a state or doctrine of egalitarianism
egalitarianism: : a belief in human equality especially with respect to social, political, and economic affairs or a social philosophy advocating the removal of inequalities among people
Now, how could that ever be a bad thing, right? HOW? HOW?
Yes, that’s exactly what I thought. How could it ever be a bad thing to be advocating for people different from you, or less privileged than you? It’s not. True social justice is a beautiful thing. But I don’t believe that our current “social justice culture” is truly social justice. In fact, it very quickly turned into a sort of… fundamentalist religion in our culture. Seriously, compare it to that, and it will make sense. Compare it to a cruel and judgmental and abusive Fundamental Christian church, where they preach love and acceptance and everyone having a place no matter who they are, but then coerce, shame, punish, and shun you when you falter or fall short of their doctrine. That is what I am seeing in social justice culture. The words they say sound like acceptance, but then it is weaponized.
Of course, the very religious wouldn’t agree that they are unreasonable or toxic at all, no no, they are calling you in. They are calling you in with love. Into
God’s the internet’s warm embrace. You? You are a good privileged bitch. But when you slip? When you don’t agree to continue condemning every single thing or person within an inch of its life? Then you’re out. You’re gonna burn, bitch.
Here’s one entry on urban dictionary for social justice: A competition where white people bully celebrities on Twitter to prove to one another that they are not racist (formally a movement to promote freedom, equality, and community for people who have traditionally been disadvantaged in society).
This is the religion: “agree with my extreme and slightly twisted view of justice, or be bullied and slandered, as you deserve.”
And it does feel like this turned very quickly into a religion in the last… 3 years. Maybe 5 years.
Now, that being said, I didn’t actually write anything in the book that I disagree with, not then and not now. I still believe the fat people are treated terribly, and there are big misconceptions about why people become, and stay fat. I believe this is a huge part of our personal and cultural dysfunction with food.
I just don’t subscribe to the religion that was formed around it, and all of the overlapping social justice religious doctrine. And a few years ago, I didn’t realize I had become a sort of… progressive social justice fundamentalist religion preacher, who would soon not be extreme enough to stay in the good grace of the religion, and now I’m a heretic.
Hence, problematic. Hence the people writing those reviews about my second book, whether they liked the book or not.
My first “feminist” editor
I told this story in one of my “author’s commentary” posts here. But, long story short: after I got the book deal, the editor (who I actually had to get rid of because she was so bad), told me that she wanted me to “add in more feminism” to the book. Or maybe she said, “make the book more feminist.” I searched my old emails to see what words she used, but then realized it was from a phone conversation we had.