Brood Letter 17 | New Year, Same You (You’re Great!)

by Brood

Content Warning: In this newsletter we discuss diet culture. There is mention of dieting, disordered eating, eating disorders, and body image. Please proceed with care.

I had an okay relationship with food, exercise and my bodyuntil I had a baby. As a millennial, I’ve contended with the pervasive influence of unattainable beauty standards and rigid health ideals that many of us have faced. 

During my younger years, I absorbed the popular content of that time, I wasn’t free from the hold of diet culture. Perhaps because I fit the “naturally” skinny and athletic stereotype, I didn’t confront it as intensely as my peers did. Despite never experiencing an eating disorder or counting calories, I eventually realised its impact on me around the time I got pregnant. 

My body has naturally evolved over the years, making “off the rack” shopping an impossibility. Yet, it wasn’t until my postpartum phase that I truly reckoned with my body image. Pregnancy brought rapid physical changes, accompanied by unsolicited comments about my size. My body ceased to feel like my own; it became a vessel for new life, subject to others’ scrutiny and expectations, a phenomenon I struggled to comprehend and control.

Diet culture and fatphobia are enormous challenges to confront, especially as one navigates parenthood. My thoughts perpetually revolve around food—grocery lists, ingredients in my child’s meals, and concerns about his dietary intake (are Juicy Packs a food group?!) . I worry about the impact of my own self-talk on him—will he witness self-acceptance and love or a perpetual desire for change?

This topic is vast, far beyond the scope of a single newsletter or blog post. It’s a continuous journey of unlearning and growth, step by step. Our upcoming workshop, “BAD MOMS: F*CK DIET CULTURE, Unpacking Diet Culture & Fatphobia In Pregnancy & Parenthood,” with our pals at Bad Academy, aims to delve into these crucial conversations and leave you with some tools to take on your own journey.

Amidst a season marked by goal-setting and restrictive habits, it’s important to remember your inherent worth. Many societal constructs are designed for us to falter repeatedly, so that we come back for more (hint hint: capitalism at its worst). You are not defined by what you eat or the numbers on a scale. 

We hope you’ll join us, or just read on to learn more below. Now take a deep breath, get a snack and drink a big glass of water. You’re doing great.

xo  Gill and the Brood Care Team.

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We work and live on the unceded and occupied territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. Since time immemorial, the original peoples of these lands have cared for their families and communities. We are committed to honouring their teachings, legacy and their sovereignty.

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