restricted access Taking the Devil into Your Mouth: ritualized American weight-loss narratives of morality, pain, and betrayal

This article examines narratives of the U.S. Christian weight-loss movement alongside secular U.S. weight-loss narratives and explores how these two movements express similar themes. In particular, I investigate shared themes of sin, the impurity of the body, the body as a temple for the self (a temple that can be defiled), salvation, and the need to prove that one is saved or at least trying to be saved. Through examining stories from individuals who have lost weight and popular dieting advice, I explore how a "spiritual hunger" that is essentially unrelated to physiology but that suggests personal pathology and responsibility is central to mainstream stories of weight loss.