Many of us can remember the flurry of media attention when the infamous model Kate Moss made the tummy curdling statement that: “Nothing Tastes as Good as Skinny Feels”.
You may think there is a fat chance that anyone would believe this, but that reality is, very unfortunately, far from the truth. What this inevitably led to was a growing belief that we all need to strive for the ‘taste’ of being slim. Many swung into unhealthy dietary and exercise behaviours with the pure (yet soul destroying) aim of feeling better about themselves in appearance - armed with the false hope that simply losing weight and being viewed as slim would bring them acceptance and peace of mind about themselves (something we believe can only be gained through the approval of others rather than ourselves).
While it may be clear to most of us that we can’t really taste what being slim or ‘skinny’ feels like, we can’t deny that Kate Moss’ statement led to an expanding lineup of individuals needlessly working about their weight. Many, like myself at that time, were already on a rocky roller coaster of self-destruction, with a dangerous quest of starvation to lose more and more weight.
Even though Kate’s statement wasn’t the only factor in such a pursuit, Millions of people world wide continued to literally starve themselves for this quest, even though they had been spoon fed a very large lie. Weight loss companies fattened up their profits on the back of this bandwagon. Like the situation today, this leaves so many of us losing significantly more pounds from our wallets than waistlines.
But what can I say, using a Nourishing Routes perspective, about the statement that nothing tastes as good as skinny feels?
Well, firstly, a God Dam Lot tastes SO MUCH BETTER than skinny feels!
Freshly baked bread, chocolate truffles, frothy cappuccinos, buttery fudge, warm cookies, decadent brownies, peanut butter, roasted veggies topped with a mountain of hummus and lets not forget creamy hot chocolate on a winter’s afternoon.
As a side note, regardless if you prefer to alter these amazing foods to suit your dietary requirements ( which is completely fine so long as its purely for either allergy or ethical reasons), they taste so much better when Calories and macronutrients are NOT COUNTED.
Unfortunately, buying into the nothing tastes as good as skinny feels not only requires you to cut out many of your favourite and nostalgically comforting foods, but it also usually necessitates some for of nutrient calculation that strips food-related experiences of its natural vitality giving qualities. A Calorie counted brownie instantly feels less satisfying, as does hummus or peanut butter when spread very thinly to avoid eating ‘too much’ fat…
When the taste of slimness becomes the goal, over true wellness, food decisions begin to take on very unnatural qualities - being dictated by energy requirements over social relationships, hunger, pleasure and our true physical nutritional needs. Something we do need to say yes to a slice of cake alongside a nourishing salad. Besides, most energy deficit diets that subscribe to meeting slim ideals leave the body devoid of essential nutrients as well as joy.
Moreover, the taste of being skinny is not actually happiness. Tasting skinny is a short term pleasurable experience that is similar to a sugar hit or encountering any other stimulating substance. Short lived pleasure in such a self-destructive format will never lead to true happiness, especially as happiness largely relies on being able to truly accept and love ourselves just as we are. By contrast, any form of diet or pursuit for thinness definitely doesn’t incorporate this positive mentality. In fact, it would be much better for such a regime to make you feel the exact opposite, because if you initially are made to feel worthless and unloved, then at least that can be one trigger that can encourage you to buy into the false promise of feeling better once you attain a slim ideal.
From personal experience, I can wholeheartedly say (and shout) that ‘Tasting’ skinny is NOT worth the hollow and infertile soil it was planted in. I literally spent years of my life feeling joyless and unable to really live my life through the constant pursuit of losing weight. Even when I was at deaths door, slim beyond the so called ideal, I was definitely NOT happy.
In reality, I had become a soulless shell of my former self, even though my obsession with stripping away more fat from my bones still gave me a short-lived buzz of happiness. I now look back on this feeling as some form of addiction. Just like most addicts don’t want to live on drugs, they still feel the intense high that their next illegal hit gives them. In a world where everything feels black and lifeless, any buzz (including from losing a few more pounds on the scale) can feel intoxicating - providing joy for a split moment, followed by yet another nose dive of despair and hopelessness. I became dependent on a dangerous drug that allowed me to see a few spots of colour (rather than the masterpiece painting) in my life for only a split second.
In the grand picture of our lives, happiness is something that many of us strive for. Happiness, as we know now, is not about short lived pleasures, but instead about making positive social connections, expressing creativity, building memories and experiencing a life where we can become our authentic and most empowered selves. Becoming or ‘tasting’ skinny definitely does not allow true happiness to be founded, especially when food has so many symbolic meaning that impact our ability to connect with others, be creative, make memories and feel autonomous.
My final note on the ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ mantra, I would like to encourage you to find what really tastes good in your own life. This will be unique to us all. Perhaps it is when you are cosy at home with a really good book, sitting with a home cooked dinner with family or your partner, working through a relaxing yoga session, volunteering to help someone else, or throwing paint across a canvas.
We all have a unique happy place that we can create in our lives - things that genuinely add to our sense of purpose and meaning in life. Skinny only leads us away from our natural ability to find happiness, because it allows us to belief the false idea that anything other than skinny is unworthy, unlovable and unable to be happy right now.
I truly believe that each of us can find brightness in our present - no matter what weight we are, or what we have just eaten. Tasting skinny is a taste of madness. Only you really know what genuinely lights up your taste buds for life - follow those signs so you can grow and sow the real fruits of life, rather than striving for something that will only be a much bitter version of the beautiful fruit garden you have the potential to harvest.
I promise you that: Most Things Taste Better than Skinny Feels - unless you're talking about raw celery, the ends of a banana or spirulina...