Weight loss is not the key to health

Weight loss = healthy. Health = weight loss. It’s a simple, tidy equation. Nothing to it! If you want to be healthy (and who doesn’t???) then you could probably stand to lose some weight (and who couldn’t???).

If you aren’t losing weight then you clearly aren’t trying. And if you aren’t even trying……well. Shame on you. You clearly don’t care about your health.

Ugh. This time of year, you can barely take a breath without being bombarded with “New Year New You” marketing, promising RESULTS for your HEALTH and WELLNESS. Of course, in this diet culture world we live in, that usually boils down to one thing: the pursuit of weight loss.

If you’re new to the ideas of intuitive eating or body acceptance, it will truly test you. Because it’s not just annoying; it’s extremely, sneakily persuasive. If you think one thing but everyone in the whole world seems to think the opposite, it’s hard not to feel…all alone, and kinda crazy. It feels like 7 billion against one.

According to diet culture, weight loss is so simple. But in truth, that idea is grossly oversimplified. I want to share an article that touches on why the weight=health false equivalence just won’t die.

It’s from September 2018, and if you haven’t seen it already it’s an insightful and worthwhile read. It’s called “Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong” and focuses on the shameful attitudes around weight and weight loss, including the persistent myths of dieting, fat stigma in the medical community and beyond, and society’s unwillingness  to embrace and adjust to new ideas.

Here’s one passage:

As early as 1969, research showed that losing just 3 percent of your body weight resulted in a 17 percent slowdown in your metabolism—a body-wide starvation response that blasts you with hunger hormones and drops your internal temperature until you rise back to your highest weight. Keeping weight off means fighting your body’s energy-regulation system and battling hunger all day, every day, for the rest of your life.

If you’re struggling to stay positive in this body-negative world, I hope this article gives you a bit of support. The research is there — it’s just that the fairy tale persists. Maybe it’s all about making money. Maybe everyone is trying to convince themselves that the same old nonsense will suddenly start to produce different results. Let that be their problem. Don’t let it bring you down and pull you back into old patterns.

Stay strong, my friend. We have so many better things to do with this one precious life.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Eager for sanity says:

    Hi there, 6m2s!

    It’s good to see you’re still around! I hope that you and your little one will remain happy and positive, and that this new year will bring you wonderful experiences together!

    As far as I am concerned, I can say “new year, new me” with much more joy than ever: after more than two years of intuitive eating, my period came back 1st January, and although it may seem almost ridiculous, it really felt like something magical for me, as if it was a magical sign of the universe.

    Indeed, an intuitive eater can sometimes feel lonely, living in an economic system that earns money at the expense of compulsive consumption, exploiting the body-negative culture they created. It’s sad to see how often people fall into the delusion of diet culture, thinking that weighing less will make them happier. But no one can blame them, I think it just distracts us from problems we don’t feel able to face, and gives us a false sense of control as we lose our willpower little by little.

    As Nietzsche said, once you are awake, you shall remain awake eternally. No matter who tries to convince me, intuitive eating has given me back things I thought I had lost, made me enjoy food like a child again, without prejudices.

    To all our friends out there, stay strong, don’t let anyone brainwash you, and make sure to be super happy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh. my. goodness. I can’t tell you how much your comment fills my heart up with delight and HOPE. I’m absolutely ecstatic for you — periods are a funny thing (haven’t we all wished them away at some point or another?) but such a reflection of how our bodies are doing in ways we can’t even see. Truly magical that it happened on the first day of the year. I hope this is only the beginning of sweet, precious, underrated normalcy.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share your amazing update. What a surge of inspiration for anyone who is struggling and for me personally — I get so fired up every time I hear that one more intuitive eater has joined the team. Welcome to the dark side 😉

      p.s. It’s truly a pleasure to read your writing and follow your journey. Let us know when you start YOUR blog 😀 I know it would be fabulous.

      Like

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