Snag Book Club: How to Ditch Diet Culture with Laura Adlingtons New Bo
Snag Book Club: How to Ditch Diet Culture with Laura Adlingtons New Book Diet Starts Monday REVIEW

Snag Book Club: How to Ditch Diet Culture with Laura Adlingtons New Book Diet Starts Monday REVIEW

Snag Book Club: How to Ditch Diet Culture with Laura Adlingtons New Book Diet Starts Monday REVIEW

There has never been a book that I’ve related to more than Laura Adlington's Diet Starts Monday.

As a twenty-something fat girl who has been overweight her entire life, I know a thing or two about dieting. For most of my childhood, I was on one diet or another, the scales constantly laughing at my attempts to finally be skinny only to fail, stop trying then start up a new diet a month or so later.

This cycle of feeling terrible about myself so turning to dieting, only to feel even worse has been something that has dominated my life for so long. It's only in the past few years have I downed weapons in the war against my body and actually started to accept it for its glorious fat self and LIVE.

This journey of self-acceptance and reclaiming my body is something I share with Laura, and on every single page, I found myself nodding along to every word. I related so much to my own experience of being a big girl in a world of small-minded opinions and almost wishing I could have read it years ago when my self-worth really was at rock bottom.

Reclaiming your body

So, what is Diet Starts Monday all about? Well, let me tell you. Laura Adlington, Body confidence advocate and Bake Off finalist turned influencer has created this “no BS” guide to body acceptance in a looks-obsessed world.

With the help of experts like doctors and psychologists, as well as other advocates in the community, Laura lays out how detrimental diet culture really is, and offers practical advice to help readers undo the effects of society's beliefs about beauty and value and start truly living life no matter your size.

Split into two parts, Laura starts by unpacking the issues: explaining what diet culture is and how we might be affected by it in our everyday lives. Laura writes about personal experiences she’s had, as well as sharing the experiences of others in such an eloquent way that can’t help but break your heart. Not only for Laura but for yourself as well, as I found when reading I couldn’t help but think of my own life and the negative memories that have been etched into my brain all because I wasn’t thin. I felt a particular pang of emotion when I read how Laura felt she had to grow up quicker, as being bigger meant you looked older and were treated that way. And how even as a child you have to develop thick skin and arm yourself with ways to actually make it through everyone else’s prejudice. That one hurt.

Part one of the book also had me seething with rage, as Laura explained the different ways people get under your skin with their toxicity, whether they know they’re doing it or not. Ask any fat person, and they will all tell you that they’ve heard the words “I’m just concerned about your health”, and with a whole chapter dedicated to redefining health beyond scales, I felt very vindicated to see it all laid out in black and white. “Promoting obesity” is another bugbear of mine, so you can bet I highlighted the quote - “It's like when people accuse me of “promoting obesity” - as if I send all day handing out flyers to people on the street, trying to recruit them with McDonald's vouchers or something.”

Amen to that.

Not about a diet

As a recovering diet industry dropout myself, I love how much even the title of this book gives the biggest middle finger up to the diet world. The irony is quite delicious, and I love how Laura has played into a phrase that is a hallmark of toxic dieting, only to turn it on its head.

How many times have we all promised ourselves that our diet starts Monday? “No really, and this time I’ll stick to it”, we said to ourselves, over and over and over. The trauma that was given to us from years of simply existing in larger bodies is always there whenever you eat a “bad” meal, and it's still so easy to slip back into. But by binning diet culture for good and not caring about arbitrary numbers on the scales or our clothes labels, we CAN break the cycle.

Taking back the power

I think a key factor as to why I like this book is that it offers practical advice on how to reframe your thinking. Throughout the chapters, Laura includes expert knowledge from a variety of sources, as well as short “self-empowerment tasks” designed to help you reflect and overcome your own body issues.

Saying goodbye to weight stigma and hello to self-acceptance takes a lot of hard work - which I’m sure people don’t necessarily want to hear. It's work that is so worth it, but hard nonetheless.

Letting go of years of ingrained negativity and trying to get out from under the weight of society's opinions can sometimes feel like an impossible task - and speaking from my own experience it often is. You have to make an effort with yourself, and having these little exercises that are backed up with practical advice and expert opinion could be an easy way for someone to start. Especially if they’re like me and often had no idea HOW to stop feeling like you'll never be good enough.

The journey can be long and tough, and to be honest it never really ends. There are always going to be days when you have a little wobble when the dress you’re trying on doesn’t look how you imagined, or you hear one too many fat jokes on TV, or even if someone says something awful to you in real life. Your skin can only be so thick, so it's only normal that some days you’re going to care more than others. But starting on your journey and just letting go of everything that's been holding you back can only change things for the better.

Wear the bikini, eat the cake and do everything you said you’d do once you’re thinner. With the help of people like Laura and books like Diet Starts Monday, it’s never too late to start breaking that cycle and actually liking yourself.

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