This post is sponsored by Lean Cuisine — all opinions are my own.
If you remember, last month I started working with Lean Cuisine on their #WeighThis campaign, which asks women “How do you want to be weighed?” to shift the conversation away from weight and diet and messaging telling us we’re not enough.
As part of this campaign, downloaded the Lean Cuisine #WeighThis Diet Filter, a Chrome extension that blocked the word “diet” every time I saw it online.
Yup, even on my own site.
Working in the fitness media industry, I consume a lot of media about health and fitness. I try to consume as much body-positive as I can and not succumb to the clickbaity “lose TK pounds in TK days with this one simple trick!” headlines, and I’m careful to keep my own messaging away from this.
So, you know, I thought I was good. I thought I wouldn’t see a whole lot of “diet” filtered out online. But then I realized how much we talk about our diets. Even if I’m not reading about those fad diets, which, yes, I actually am, to understand the different trends out there, even if they’re crazy.
There’s no doubt that our society is more interested in health, fitness and wellness than it was even 10 years ago — and a lot of that is really good, and encouraging positive habits. But for every wholesome diet encouraging clean eating, not restriction, there’s a cleanse or waist trainer or some scheme designed to make you lose 10 pounds immediately.
And so I saw a lot more “diet” filtered out than I expected, which made me realize just how pervasive diet talk really is and how desensitized I am to it as I absentmindedly read.
Same goes for watching TV. I don’t watch a ton, and when I do…let’s be real: it’s stuff that went off the air 10 years ago or movies I’ve already seen. I guess diet talk wasn’t quite as pervasive then, but where I’ve really noticed it is on morning TV. I love it because it’s like brain candy, but just like candy…it provides a quick hit that leaves you feeling empty later.
As you know, Lean Cuisine asked me and a few other folks to test their prototype of the #WeighThis Diet Filter for TV. The TV filter mutes your TV when the word “diet” is used, and I was shocked how often my TV was muted having my morning TV on while getting ready, with talking heads providing viewers with 10 easy tips to help them change their lives immediately.
The filters showed me how much weight we put on our appearance — and on our weight. How media has come a long way but still preys on women’s insecurities about not being enough. Not thin enough, not pretty enough, not organized enough, etc, etc. Like many people, I gained some weight over the holidays, and this filter/campaign showed how often I was getting that subconscious message that it was something wrong with me. But the scale and the diet talk missed the memories I created with the ones I loved, and these are all valuable lessons to remember the next time I’m feeling a little insecure or that I don’t measure up to media images of what women should look like.
What would you want to be weighed on? Share it with the hashtag #WeighThis.