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.

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