Why Cinderella Would Never Go on a Diet


Did you see the updated Cinderella movie that came out in 2015? I loved this movie. The fancy clothes, the wonderful actresses (especially Lily James from Downton Abbey), the incredible scenery, and of course the magic!


In this version of Cinderella we meet her mom before she dies. Her last words to Cinderella were; “I want to tell you a secret that will see you through all the trials that life can offer: Have courage and be kind.”


“Have Courage and Be Kind” becomes Cinderella’s mantra. She is faced with many difficulties and these words comfort her and help her be the best version of herself time and time again.


I believe these words are just as magical as the Fairy Godmother’s “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo.” The great thing about the words “Have Courage and Be Kind” is that we can use them to spark our own magic (no magic wand required).


OK, so you might be wondering what this has to do with why I think the Cinderella would never diet. You might be thinking, of course, Cinderella wouldn’t diet because she’s not overweight.


Dieting, however, has less to do with weight and more to do with self-rejection.


I know this from my own personal dieting experience. Although there were many times I was 20+ pounds overweight, there were also many times that I didn’t need to lose weight but still went on a diet. Most notably the time I joined Weight Watchers when I was 5 feet tall and weighed 98 pounds. This was clearly a sign of self-rejection.


I strongly believe we live in a culture where we are taught to “fix” our body by any means necessary. For many of us this means that we decided to lose weight by dieting when we were in our twenties, teens, or even younger.


Even though studies show that 95% of women who lose weight by dieting gain it back, we are often still searching for the next “fix”.


I believe it takes great courage to say no to dieting and even greater courage to get off the dieting roller coaster once we are on it.


New diets are seductive. They make us think that perhaps this one is the right one to make our body troubles disappear.


By having the courage to break free from the dieting cycle you open yourself up to the possibility to eat all sorts of formerly restricted foods.


This is where we need to bring in the “be kind” part of the mantra.


When we are being kind to our body we learn to listen to our body. One of the main fears women have about giving up dieting is they think they need to be restrictive with food or else they would eat everything in sight. This thought is far from the truth.


Your body wants to be healthy and be able to work at it’s best. It will tell you what foods make it feel great, and I promise that won’t be daily doughnuts, French fries, or pints of ice cream. It’s up to you to have the courage and kindness to test this out.


By being kind to our bodies we develop a trusting relationship with them. We learn that our body is on our side and we do our best to support it.


We also quickly forgive ourselves when we get off track, as opposed to the old techniques we used while dieting such as punishing ourselves with more restriction, cruel self-talk, or excessive exercise.


I challenge you to apply the magic of Cinderella’s mantra to your relationship with food and your body.


Practice by just repeating the phrase “have courage and be kind.” Pay attention to what your body really needs rather than worrying about your calorie count or point allowance.


“Have Courage and Be Kind.” These powerful words can change your life.


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Alice Fair