Are you feeling desperate to lose weight? Or, maybe feeling pressured by others to lose?
I get it.
I understand how much pressure there is to be thin. And, I understand and get it that you would much rather be thin.
Through the experiences of those I work with, I also recognize the pain of living in our weightist culture in a body that doesn’t fit our thin ideals.
I have listened with anger as I have heard experiences of weight discrimination and prejudice.
So, please know that I do understand that you want to lose weight and that you want to be thin.
I wish I had a magic wand that would allow each of us to look just as we would like to look.
In fact, you have much more power to change what you see in the mirror than you think you do. For more about this, check out the Body Positivity page.
Unfortunately, when it comes to trying to change our body size unless we want to get larger, we aren’t very successful.
For most people (>90%), dieting or other “lifestyle” programs that are really just dieting by another name, simply do not work in the long-term.
One of the major problems with dietary restriction is that it sets off the multiple regulatory and alert systems in the body that are designed to protect you from famine.
This means that when you restrict how much you are eating, the body is going to respond by pushing you to eat more and to gain some weight.
The body doesn’t know you wanted to eat less; it only knows there were fewer calories and tried to make up for the famine and to be ready for the next one!
As a result, most people regain the weight, they lost through dieting and often regain more than they lost.
This often leads to the hopelessness that comes with weight cycling.
Most people don’t realize the body has pushed them to eat more.
Instead they believe they lacked motivation or self-control.
Did you know that a good predictor of future weight gain is a history of dieting?
Those who have dieted are likely to weigh more in the future as compared to those who have never dieted.
Weight loss as a goal usually leads to more long-term problems than benefits.
Programs, like Flourish, which focus on self-care
that is connected with your body’s needs
have the best chance of helping you move your body to its natural set-point
with far less risk of regaining the weight!
“But, I’ve got to lose weight to be healthy.”
Despite what we hear, the relationship between weight and health is far less straightforward than what we might believe. For specifics, see “Resources.” or my blog post “Weight and Health.”
It is important to remember that thinness and health are not synonymous!
Many people feel paralyzed around getting healthy because they believe that weight loss is necessary for health.
Do you see the problem here?
If I believe that I have to lose weight to be healthy, and I haven’t been able to lose weight, I am stuck.
The good news is that you can start work on getting healthy right away.
You don’t need to wait until you lose weight to get healthy.
Health is associated with healthy behaviors, at any size. Moving your body in joyful ways, moderate alcohol consumption, eating more veggies and not smoking all have significant impacts on mortality at every size.
There are a large number of health professionals, myself included, who are taking a Health at Every Size® (HAES) perspective.
In this approach, we focus on:
- self-acceptance and respect for body diversity (the idea that bodies come in all shapes and sizes);
- eating which is flexible, satisfying and attuned with hunger and fullness;
- and body movement which is pleasurable and adds joy to life rather than being a way to burn calories.
“But losing weight makes me feel more confident . . .”
We are so bombarded with messages about the value of thinness that it is easy to believe that we can’t be happy, confident, popular, etc. unless we are thin or lose weight.
The good news is that most of what you seek through weight loss is possible right now.
You don’t have to lose weight to get these rewards!
You may lose weight in the process and, despite what you may hope –
thinness does not bring
self-confidence, happiness, fitness, healthy relationships
or any of the other “riches” we are led to believe that it will bestow upon us!
You might be thinking, “but, I did feel more confident when I lost weight.”
Take a moment to think about that time.
Didn’t that confidence feel precarious? Wasn’t there always a fear below the surface about regaining the weight?
The “riches” which are often attributed to thinness are really the result of behaviors and skills. Some are lucky to arrive in adulthood with well-honed skills, and for many people, there is more work to do.
Without these skills, people often end up turning to food, alcohol or other substance, over-working, shopping, or other outlets as an attempt to cope with distress and to feel comforted. Unfortunately, the comfort is short, and the cost is long-lasting!
Anyone can learn or bump up their skills, no matter what their shape or size.
Skills don’t take the stress out of life, and they can result in less suffering, more moments of joy and more satisfying relationships.
None of this comes from a number on the scale!
You can learn to celebrate and flourish in your body right now.
You get to decide about your body
Your body is your body, and you are in charge!
If you are not ready to give up dieting – you are not ready to give up dieting. That is where you are, and that is okay.
I would be happy to talk with you about how that is going.
I would also encourage you to check out the resource page and learn as much as you can about the long-term impacts of dieting.
Are you stuck doing it the way you have been doing it, yet, feel unsure about approaching it in a new way?
Do you need more information?
Or, are you ready to start working on this?
Wherever you are in this process, I would love to support you!
Just click here for more information about working with me.