What follows is NOT the opinion of a Registered Dietician. I have no more training in weight loss than any other American woman. What follows is my opinion as a human who has a body.
Advertisement images lie. Politicians lie. Parents lie to their children and (probably more often) to themselves. We lie to ourselves. You know what doesn't lie? You know what doesn't involve itself in the kind of magical thinking that can leave one physically unfit, mentally exhausted and spiritually paper thin? Math.
Math. Don't. Lie. It can't.
A calorie was not created to help you loathe your body. A calorie is a mathematical equation created by nerds in lab coats so that something could be better and more uniformly understood. Math isn't sneaky or mysterious. A calorie is a calorie and there is no amount of magical thinking that can change that. Surprisingly, I find this comforting because it takes away so much of the potential drama my monkey brain wants to create around food.
I’m NOT suggesting you start counting calories or use a scale. I don't do either. But in a world where I can't fix my problems with my own (at times) perilously imbalanced brain, math is a comfort. Unlike how people could have voted for Trump, the reason I have a soft belly is not a dark scary mystery to lament and wring my meaty peasant hands over. It's just math and centuries upon centuries of my ancestors being fucking awesome at holding onto energy because you never know when potatoes are going to get a terrible disease.
When I wake up, I want to feel three things: grounded, connected & silly. For me, this requires daily attention because—as I once heard RuPaul say—one's fucked-uped-ness is like a tail that grows back daily unless we attend to it. Daily. There are days when I carry around a long-as-fuck tail. Those are not good days.
Self-destructive choices around food are like a tail that grows back. My job every day is to wake up and shave the tail. It's dumb and it’s not fair, but that's the way it is. Some days I'm better at doing my job than others. Thinking about math helps me keep the tail in check.