The Top 5 Body Positive Cleanses for 2018

How to detox from diet-culture

Posted Dec 28, 2017

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
Source: Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

The New Year is right around the corner, and you know what that means, right? It’s time to detox from our overindulgences, repent for the sins of gingerbread past, and cleanse our body with overpriced potions guaranteed to leave us clinging to the toilet for dear life. There’s got to be a better way! I propose a different type of cleanse for 2018—actually 5 of them—that will leave you feeling satisfied and nourished, no green juice required! These cleanses will help you detox from diet culture and leave you feeling ready for a diet-free 2018. 

1. Social Media Cleanse: It’s time to cleanse your social media feeds of any and all diet-culture messages. That includes health gurus telling you that the Whole 30 will change your life, proclamations that “it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change” (tip: if it requires you to restrict your food intake, it actually is a diet, albeit a rebranded one), or anyone promising that happiness awaits you just a few pounds away. Not sure where to start? Try searching your feed for terms such as #cleaneating #fitspo #paleo #whole30 #foodisfuel #strongisthenewskinny and hit "unfollow." Is your feed feeling too thin now? Beef it up with some body positivity. Try searching #bodypositive #bodyacceptance #healthateverysize #haes #mindfuleating #intuitiveeating #selflove #effyourbeautystandards #theantidietplan and hit "follow." 

2. Closet Cleanse: Do you open your closet and find yourself face-to-face with clothes of years past? Perhaps you see your formerly favorite pants that are now two sizes too small or that gorgeous—and expensive—dress that still has the tags on it because every time you try it on your realize it doesn’t fit quite right on your current body. If you think holding onto these items will motivate you to lose weight, I can assure you, they will not. Feeling bad about ourselves doesn’t serve as motivation for anything; in fact, self-hatred only makes us more stuck in dysfunctional patterns. Purging your closet of clothes that don’t fit will prevent you from starting each day in a funk as you search through hanger after hanger of “inspirational” clothes for your future fantasized body while your current body is denigrated. If your clothes are still in good condition, consider donating to your favorite charity or sell them to a resale shop and use the money you earn to treat yourself to something that makes you feel great. If you simply can’t part with the clothes, at least get them out of your closet and into storage.

3. Kindle Cleanse: Here is a simple 3 step end-of-year cleanse for your Kindle, courtesy of Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RDN, CDN from her Eat To Love blog. Step 1: Go to “Manage Your Content and Devices” option at your Amazon account. Step 2: Locate all diet books. Step 3: Click “Delete” while singing “You Don’t Own Me.” Consider yourself cleansed.

4. Inner Bully Cleanse: You know that voice inside your head berating you all day long? The one telling you that you’re not good enough in 101 different iterations? Well, it’s time to give it the old heave-ho. The best way to evict your inner bully is to start recognizing the voice as just thoughts that your mind is engaging in, not facts, not reality, and not gospel to be obeyed. Mindfulness practice can help us become more aware of our thoughts without getting lost in them, allowing us to quiet our inner bully and redirect our attention. Try starting with a simple 3-minute guided mindfulness meditation.

5. Diet Cleanse: No, I don’t mean detoxing sugar, carbs, gluten, or whatever the food villain du jour is. Our body actually does a pretty good job of detoxing those things all on it’s own (thanks liver!). This cleanse is to expel diets from your life. We live in a culture that convinces us certain foods are good or bad and that we are good or bad based on what we eat. It’s no wonder so many of us feel crazy around food! Let’s make 2018 the year that you make peace with food and work towards deeply nourishing your body, mind, and soul. Mindful eating is one technique to help us turn off the dieting mentality, learn to trust ourselves, and eat in attunement with our bodies. Bottom line is, you don’t have to go at it alone. If you need support, search for mindful eating, intuitive eating, and/or Health At Every Size® professionals to work with you along your journey or join one of the free communities online. Here is wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and diet-free 2018! 

Dr. Alexis Conason is a clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of psychological issues related to bariatric surgery, overeating disorders, body image dissatisfaction, and sexual issues. She is the founder of The Anti-Diet Plan, a mindfulness based program to help you stop dieting and start eating in attunement with your body. Sign up for her free The Anti-Diet Plan 30-day starter course today. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.