Beauty

Weigh THIS Diet

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Truth be told, I’ve always found the word diet to be a bit annoying. I feel like it’s a particularly anti-feminist word — especially in the way that it’s used nowadays. It’s almost always about depriving yourself in order to get skinny and fit the media’s view of what’s ‘sexy’.

You’ve seen the headlines. “The Bikini Diet You Must Try”, and “The Diet That’ll Get You Looking Sexy in Two Weeks”, etc. It’s pretty much always next to a photo of a woman in a swimsuit or skimpy clothing, and a tagline that reads something like this: “You’re not good enough the way you are. Stick to this deprivation diet and you may get the chance to be what every woman wants to be — skinny! Then, thanks to this diet, you can snag a hot man and have people envy you.” Ok, well maybe I’m reading into it a bit too much. But the message is certainly always superficial and never empowering.

Weigh THIS Diet

Wondering what you can do about it? We’ve found a way for you to take a stand. Lean Cuisine has started an initiative to help women break free from the word diet. They want women to define their self worth not by what they weigh, but by the accomplishments they’re most proud of. To wit, they filmed a wonderful video asking women what they’re proud of. It made my cry. Seriously. Check it out:

Touching, right? They’re asking women to share what really matters to them, with the hashtag #WeighThis. I’ve done it, and I’d encourage you to not only check out what others are posting, but post what you want the be “weighed on” — ie. what really motivates you — with the hashtag #WeighThis. Because it’s up to us, as women, to stand up and tell the world that we’re not defined by our bodies or our weight. That we’re defined by our actions. Our love. Our personality.

Stand up and tell the world that you will not be defined by external superficialities!

Not sure what to post? Lean Cuisine was so overwhelmed by the outpouring of response from their video that they decided to take the #WeighThis submissions, all the things that people are proud of, and celebrate by creating a massive art installation in Grand Central Station. Scales were used to showcase each #WeighThis submission because it sends a powerful message about valuing the amazing things women do over the number on the scale. Check out the video for some touching inspiration:

To further their initiative to promote healthy self-esteem and remove the word diet from our vocabulary, Lean Cuisine has made a TV plugin (which is currently being beta tested by influencers) and a Chrome browser extension (which you can download now) that will block the word diet from whatever you’re watching or reading. When you filter the word “diet” using the Chrome extension, Lean Cuisine will give back to Girls Leadership, an organization that teaches girls the skills to know who they are, what they believe, and how to express it — empowering them (and us) to create change in their world.

Here’s more about that:

Imagine never having to see or hear the word diet again. Would that make you feel empowered? Stronger? Sexier? Would you start weighing yourself based on what matters, instead of your appearance? Comment below and let me know how it makes you feel!


Disclosure: Although this post is sponsored by Lean Cuisine,
all words are my own and I fully support their initiative.

A writer, artist and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary spends most of her time in France, but still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC and has traveled extensively around the world, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.

71 Comments

  1. Sara Williams

    Lean Cuisine — if you’re listening: Please introduce some vegan options. I can’t find anything in your list of meals that doesn’t have tons of factory farmed cheese, dairy and meat. The vegan movement is growing fast, and it’s getting known as the best diet for losing weight, so don’t get left behind!

  2. “Diet” is such a vague term today! So much media out there is trying to tell women how to look hot, but does it really make them feel good? We should pick the healthy lifestyle that is right for us and not everyone else. Great article and btw Lean Cuisine has some fabulous dinner options.

  3. Oh wow this is beautiful! I’m sad I missed this at GCT. It’s absolutely unhealthy to fixate on any numbers… weight, dress size (as a designer I can say this is absolutely just an arbitrary number!)

    I’m a bit on the other end of the spectrum–and to that I say I hate the word ‘skinny’. I’m naturally a slim girl and just small in size (my bones are very small). I am in no way ‘too skinny’ or at all like typical model skinny. But yet, people (often those that don’t know me well) will comment negatively on my ‘skinny-ness’. I remember one defining moment when someone (not close at all) accused me of being anorexic just cause I wasn’t hungry at the moment–Before this, I was so innocent of any notion of diet and body-image concerns. Constantly calling people ‘skinny’ can be negative too–it just adds to this notion that we are valued by our physical appearance, weight, etc.

    If you value life, saving yourself from future cancers, health concerns, you will naturally eat and be healthy–mentally and physically. That is all that should matter.

  4. Yeah! I’m also one of the lucky ones to have the TV filter – it’s an interesting experiment!

  5. Cornelia Green

    I totally love this article!
    Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be much easier with the support and motivation of like-minded friends.

  6. Heather Strobel

    I managed to lose weight with Lean Cuisine, I feel more healthy and strong. I recommend this method to all women who want to lose weight like me.

  7. Jae Medina

    I want to be weighed based on how I have travelled all over the world and am a budding fashion designer.

  8. Lena Dzeko

    This #WeightThis Lean Cuisine campaign is outstanding! It shows that they truly care, not just trying to sell their product. Bravo!!

  9. Cassi Braun

    This reminds me of the time Guy Fieri threw an autographed Lean Cuisine pack to a fan lol

  10. This is a very cool ad campaign. Empowering ads are where the money is at nowadays. Women are getting more media savvy and really rewarding brands (like Dove) who are on their side. As a woman also in business, I can’t wait to hear how the campaign goes and what the response is like.

  11. Felicia Stewart

    Great message. I really like their video – it was so emotional! 🙂

  12. Matilda Parker

    I just downloaded their Chrome extension! Brilliant stuff! Love seeing big brands like this focusing on positive messaging.

  13. Kimberley Foulkes

    Although I work out for an hour daily, which includes both cardio and weight training, I try not to stress over my body shape. 🙂 I think this filter will help me to focus on being fit instead of skinny.

  14. Susanna Milton

    I ate Lean Cuisine when I was in college because it’s very cheap, delicious, healthy and great for college students when you live on campus.. otherwise all we got access to was fast food. I’ll have to check them out again – been a while!

  15. Melissa Princeton

    I want to be weighed by the fact that I decorated my own apartment and did a ton of DIY — and it looks good! #WeighThis

  16. Sabrina Wellington

    That video was so moving. I love that there was a scale, but they didn’t have to stand on it. I was moved to tears by the women’s stories…

  17. Molly Twain

    Not hearing the word diet would change my life because it would help me focus on the important things in life, instead of being distracted by thinking about how I look and how much I weigh.

  18. Ayla Pennington

    I actually lost a few pounds when I went vegan, although the goal is to be healthy, not to be skinny. 😉 I’d like to see Lean Cuisine make some vegan meals 😉

  19. Evelyn Sandler

    I believe the road to weight loss is eating healthy! I try not to focus on dieting, in general.

  20. Amelia Beckons

    I’d never really checked them out before, but looks like Lean Cuisine is the best brand for healthy eating and an active lifestyle!

    • Sara Williams

      Actually, no. They don’t have anything that’s vegan, and 99% of meat sold in American is from factory farms, and therefore super contaminated (not to mention the product of torture.)

  21. Kim Hartford

    Big fan of their campaign 🙂

  22. Sasha Rosswell

    I don’t get it.How are we supposed to lose weight if we don’t eat diet food? lol x

  23. Jennifer McSween

    I think the “diet” adblocking is a really interesting idea. Maybe I’m stating the obvious, but wouldn’t it also block out lean cuisines ads, since they are a type of “diet food”? Just one of the many thoughts that ran through my head as I watched the commercial and I admit I teared up!.

  24. Sabrina Grattidge

    Cool! I’ll take a healthy diet over a weight loss diet any day!!

  25. Diana Hewitt

    Sounds fantastic! I can’t wait to give it a try!

  26. Lynn Hayes

    I can’t believe more brands aren’t doing this sort of marketing. It’s so smart!! Made me a new fan 🙂

  27. Roberta Bennett

    Not hearing the word diet would help me to be less critical of my body. I’m sick of being told I have to diet and lose weight. I look great the way I am!

  28. Frances Seifert

    I’ll download the extension and see how I feel after a week or two. Will be an interesting experiment! I love that they donate each time I use it 🙂

  29. Amanda Roberts

    This was an awesome article! Love to read your writing! Thank you for speaking what many many woman have gone through & feel!!

    • I try to write about things we can all relate to. Feel free to suggest other topics as they come to mind. I’m listening on social media! 🙂

  30. Kimberly Thompson

    I have been the scale’s servant for much too long….when girls forget to be themselves and instead long to be everyone else. Comparisons become your new hobby and dissecting your new passion. It is a sad transformation and one I know well.

  31. Emma Blackwood

    Speaking of health wise though – a digital weigh-in every week shouldn’t put anyone’s self esteem into a tailspin. It’s what you weigh and it’s important to know.

  32. Catherine White

    I try not to let me weight define me, but it’s always a struggle. This plugin should help. Thanks for the great article!

  33. Nicky Bryan

    I love that you always write empowering articles that really challenge the status-quo. Thanks for sharing & writing! Always look forward to your blog posts!

    • Thanks! We really try to make sure we only publish articles that inspire and empower our readers. Appreciate the feedback, Nicky 🙂 xo

  34. Pearl Nguyen

    Forget the number on the scale. I don’t want to see it. It doesn’t matter because I see it in the mirror everyday. I’m more than my weight, but when it stares you in the face despite every effort to lose it… it’s hard to ignore. It would be nice to feel good about myself, and even though it’s what’s inside that counts (which is awesome, by the way 😛 ) I’d like to like what I see in the mirror.

  35. Grace Stirling

    I am beautiful and so is every single other person on this planet!!! 😛 I #WeighThis myself based on how my sister is my best friend.

  36. Leslie Williams

    I love this attitude. I really do. We will know that we have the attitude right when foods called Lean Cuisine don’t exist. When we are not faced by a calorie count on the front of every package we pick up. Until then we are lying to ourselves.

  37. Helen Dark

    This is great. I agree its so hard to just be happy with what you have. Your words inspire me! helps me to realize that i’m not the only one and the’re a lot of women who struggle with this. Thank you so much for writing this!

  38. Emily Wentz

    I totally agree that the diet craze is damaging women’s self esteem. So many of my friends obsess about their weight and diets. It’s sad, really! It means they’re wasting energy on that instead of working to get ahead in their careers, etc. Diet culture holds women back in so many ways.

  39. Sibel Jenkinson

    Ahhh..this post is what I needed, what I need to stick to my forehead everyday! For as long as I can remember I have had a love hate relationship with the scale, with “that” number. It always defined how I felt about myself. I pray that there will be a light bulb moment where I will realize that this way of measuring myself will eventually fade away. Hopefully this plugin will help.

  40. Pamela Sanabria

    Beautiful post, Hilary. I totally agree with you.

  41. Delilah Peyton

    I am proud that I don’t let my weight or looks define me and that I will fight like hell for my health and self-esteem. Not reading traditional magazines like Vogue, Allure, etc. and staying away from tabloid rags helps a LOT.

  42. Merry Robinson

    Your blog is inspiring and you should be very proud of it. thank you (:

  43. Kaitlyn Barrett

    Now this is a post I can relate to. Sadly, I ALWAYS use the blasted scale to determine my self worth. Depending on the number, it will dictate my mood for the day. I hate it, I know this, yet it is a tough habit to break.

  44. Rosemary Robles

    I am working to learn how to love myself even as I am now and start making changes toward improving myself. This was very encouraging.

    • That’s great! All women should make self-love their #1 goal. It’s hard in American’s current media culture, but it’s a goal worth achieving. Meditation helps!

  45. Ashley Moore

    This is a very interesting read! I want to be healthier and I want to feel beautiful! I’m always motivated with your posts and advice. thanks!

  46. Kimberly Vigil

    I am so fortunate to have a man in my life that loves me for who i am. He’s always complimenting me and telling me all of the things he loves about me and my body.

  47. Elsie Spurlock

    i have to agree.Thanks for the motivation, I want to learn how to be good to myself. I will now stop wasting my time on feeling bad about my body. I think that our bodies are amazing creations and should be celebrated. Thank you a ton for this! i will share this to my friends!

  48. Esther Earl Harris

    I already have one kid and i’m a single mother. It is really hard to look in the mirror and still love my body. After giving birth to Clarence, stretch marks started showing up on my tummy and i have gained extra pounds. But today when i woke up and looked in the mirror, i though of how lovely I looked standing there and I just now realize that even though I’m not perfect, I have Clarence to show for it. Now, i look and feel amazing.

  49. Hazel Collins

    I am all for this movement about being comfortable in your own skin. Everyone should love their body. Anybody who judges you for doing so should take a good look in the mirror first. Worrying too much about how much you weigh can stress you out, affect your health and may lead to gaining more weight. Don’t let your size define you.

  50. A cliché “change is the only permanent thing in the world” makes me feel positive when it comes to “diet” issues! Indeed, diet is a word I’ve been hearing since the start of the year! I don’t really care about my weight, but I’m very much concerned of how healthy I am. Being thin doesn’t equate with being healthy. So I don’t really watch my weight, but I do watch what I eat!

    It’s great to know that there are movements like this one, being done by Lean Cuisine, with the main objective of “changing” how one views herself/himself.

    If people, especially women, would learn to weigh themselves based on what matters, based on achievements and based on personality, I guess that “stronger” feeling would emerge 🙂

  51. Francis Woods

    EMPOWERED!!! That’s what I’m going to feel if I won’t hear or see “diet” again!

    Yeah, weighing oneself based on what matters instead of appearance is better but realistically speaking, it remains to be ideal at present! I would really want this to happen because I’m sick and tired of hearing complaints from friends: “Oh, I’ve gained weight!!!”

    Filtering diet from TV and Internet is a great way to start. We should also stop patronizing magazines that indirectly say, “You’re not good enough!!!”

  52. Sarah Evanston

    I’m taking a stand, from now on I’ll be using #WeighThis in my social media accounts and I’m really excited to check out what others are posting and how my friends and family members would react!

    It’s really high time that we start empowering women! Young girls should be taught that personality and behavior matter most and weight does not define who they are as a person. Yes, we really need to take an action!

    Checking out Girls Leadership…

  53. I’ve watched all the videos and I would say that the first one really inspired me! Yeah, I noticed that “weighing scale” is the women’s most feared object.

    I agree that change should start from within, one must appreciate her own body and realize her true worth! And I guess, women should also hold hands and work together to change how advertisers portray women in magazines, TV ads or Internet. WE need to move in order to make an influential change!

    To Lean Cuisine, great initiative! To Urbanette, great article to introduce this project!

  54. Gabby Williams

    Everyday, I make sure to teach my children the value of respecting their bodies and appreciating their self-worth. Weight is not an issue but of course, I don’t want them to be obese. That’s why I make sure to cook and prepare healthy foods for them! I also teach them to get enough rest and avoid too much exposure on these high-tech gadgets because being “very” hooked to these will make them lazy and will just expose them to wrong “connotation” of oneself.

    I’m interested in downloading the Chrome browser extension and having that TV plugin! If there are other ways I can help Girls Leadership organization, shoot me an email! #WeighThisDietFilter

  55. Louise Stone

    Everyone has their own concept of beauty and I think we all need to support each other. Thank you so much! this article is really great.

  56. Heather Strobel

    I agree on all counts. I love my body because it allows me to do sooo much. I am not stressing out about what I look like or what my body is doing. Sure, there are a few areas I would love to be different, but I embrace and own everything I have. I thank god for my body every single day. I have a job, eat the best foods and I get lots of sleep. 🙂 I guess not hearing the word diet wouldn’t really have an effect on me because I don’t care about diets. Then again, maybe it’s having a subliminal effect… Hmmm…!

  57. Hannah Mayers

    “Diet! Diet! Diet!” Yeah, my colleagues are very obsessed with losing weight. “DIET” is a word I hear them speak all day esp. when we get back to work after the holidays! Admittedly, we might have eaten unhealthily (or overeaten) during the holidays, but that doesn’t mean that we should be obsessed about losing weight, to the point of taking slimming pills or skipping meals!

    I still believe in toning your body naturally, regular exercise and healthy food intake coupled with ample sleep and relaxation is very important!

    • Sounds like this plugin would be perfect for them! Please send this article to them 😉 xox

  58. An inspiring read! Being a mother and having all these weight issues and concerns is really causing me worries. I’m afraid my daughter will see herself as “less than”, just because she has gained weight. Thank you very much for sharing this project by Lean Cuisine, how do I get the TV plugin?! I’m really one of those who would like to filter and totally removed “DIET” from my daughter’s vocabulary!

  59. Jenny Garett

    Although I agree with Lean Cuisine’s initiative, I think being on a diet is important for some people. My mom is overweight and I worry about her health. Being proud of your body is nothing to be ashamed about, but i think that’s it’s also important to live a healthy life. Obesity is the most common health problem but with regular checkups, you can get in track of your condition and weight. Regular health exams and tests can help find problems before they start. People only tend to go and seek professionals when there is something wrong with their bodies, when it actually occurred and when they’re already experiencing disease and ailments, and that’s really wrong. My mom never takes action about her health. Not sure what to do…

  60. Courtney Watson

    This is the BEST and most high-minded article on diet I’ve read so far. I must admit that I have been victimized by the need to be “skinny” just to be in and sadly, I had done it the wrong way 🙁 Now I’m back in good shape!

    This is the first time I’ve read (or heard) about Lean Cuisine and I’m really commending the “diet” initiative! Using the #WeighThis Diet Filter from now on!

  61. WOW! Great initiative started by Lean Cuisine! I definitely support this and am sharing to my network! Weight (like age) is just a number, it does not define the worthiness of a woman. What makes a woman outstanding are her skills, talents, personality, achievements, and most of all belief in her true worth!

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