First, I want to say: you do you.
Second, I want to say that this post has nothing to do with the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” I just happened to have 13 points in this post.
If losing weight is your goal, I have no right to comment on that. It’s your body and you can do whatever you want with it.
In this post, I’m sharing my opinion, part of my story and backing up why I choose to not promote weight loss or teach people how to lose weight. If you’re on a weight loss journey, this post is not meant to change your mind or anything.
Are you trying to gain muscle while training for something? Great. Are you improving your diet because you just want to live a longer life? Awesome. Are you exercising more and eating more balanced meals because you just want to have more energy during the day? Sweet. Do you!
Here’s why I personally don’t promote weight loss with my content and products.
1. The diet and weight loss industry sucks
I don’t want to be a part of the industry that makes money off of people’s insecurities and keeps them in a perpetual state of not thinking they’re good enough.
Diet products and diet meal plans make customers feel like they’re the problem when the products/plans don’t work… when in fact it’s that these products/plans are simply not that sustainable. Weight loss, in general, isn’t sustainable. More on that later.
2. Life is more fun when you’re not trying to change your body all the time
Imagine waking up, getting dressed and not criticizing your body in the mirror. And eating meals without thinking anything other than about how it tastes.
Or imagine not comparing yourself to other people and not thinking any negative thoughts about the way you look or feel in your clothes. That doesn’t come with intentional weight loss.
It comes with self-love, compassion, acceptance and knowing that your body doesn’t define who you are as a person.
When you stop worrying about how you look in terms of your weight, you suddenly have all of this brain space to think about other more meaningful and important things.
3. Women, especially, don’t need to take up less physical space
I feel like women are already programmed to strive for only one thing in life: to please people. To be what society expects us to be (small, pleasurable to look at, not take up too much space). Have you ever seen a Disney movie? Exactly.
We make less money, it’s harder for our voices to be heard… weight loss only perpetuates this.
I don’t want to shrink myself and take up less physical space in a world where it’s already hard for me to matter as much as men do.
4. Reaching a weight loss goal is never the end of trying to lose weight
If you’ve ever lost weight, you know how addicting the compliments are. But if you reach one weight loss-related goal, you start looking to the next weight loss-related goal.
Or you reach your “goal weight” and can’t go back to your normal eating habits because the diet is the only thing keeping you at this goal weight. So you’re just going to be on this diet for the rest of your life? I’m not sure how realistic that is.
In fact, chances are low you’d be able to sustain a diet long term. Here’s why:
We’ve all heard that statistic that 95% (or more) of people who pursue intentional weight loss gain back all the weight they lost within five years, and the majority of those people will gain back *more* weight than they had initially lost—and that’s because our bodies were designed to protect us from famine. – Christy Harrison, Anti-Diet Dietitian & Intuitive Eating Coach
5. Food has no morals
Your size doesn’t make you better or worse than anyone else. What you eat doesn’t make you better or worse than anyone else either.
When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s easier to fall into the trap of thinking you’re not good enough when you “fall off track” or have a “cheat day.” Then the next day, you feel like you have to restrict… and you feel like you’re a good person because you’re exhibiting more self-control.
When I say it out loud like that, doesn’t it seem kind of silly? You’re not a better person just because you said “no” to free pizza at work when deep down, you wanted it.
6. Weight isn’t the only indicator of health
We have to look at the whole picture if we want to live healthy lifestyles. We have to consider sleep, genetics, stress, exercise, food, mental health, history of health issues, etc. Weight is just one small part of it.
Several studies have proved that obese people can be metabolically healthy while some thin people (or people who look healthy) are more at risk to heart disease. In the studies, it had more to do with exercise ability (like how easily one could walk on a treadmill) than weight or body shape. Obviously, this isn’t the case for ALL people of these sizes, but just because someone looks overweight doesn’t mean they aren’t perfectly healthy!
If you want to learn more about this, I’d also check out the Health At Every Size approach There’s some really eye-opening information here.
7. Does losing five pounds make a difference?
When someone says to me “I want to lose five pounds,” my first thought is… why?
What’s the point? How is weighing five pounds less going to improve your life? Will you suddenly be more confident?
If your self love and self-esteem is based on how you look, you’re never going to get to the level of confidence you COULD reach if you learn to base it off other amazing parts of who you are. Learning how to love yourself at any size is harder, but it lasts longer and won’t disappear when your body changes (and it will).
8. Your body is going to change (again) in the next 10 years
Even if we all reached our goal weight, our bodies are going to change again and again depending on our age.
A few years ago, I longed for the body I had at age 18. If I had that body at age 26, people would be concerned about my health. It would look weird.
Your body is going to change. Let it happen and appreciate it for what it is now. Instead of trying to turn back time (impossible), focus on treating your body as well as you can now so it can function best at whatever age you are.
9. It’s easy to go overboard with health with weight loss in the picture
I think in our current culture, we go overboard with health and food choices. It becomes a competition of who can eat the most organic food. Or who can find the best organic, gluten-free, sugar-free, fat-free, oil-free, dairy-free pizza… even if they have zero food allergies (lol)
This practice, in particular, drove me so crazy I stopped following accounts on social media that went so far out of their way to find these types of “healthy” products despite not having any food sensitivities or allergies. Going overboard like this just makes health more complicated when it’s really simple.
I want to teach people how to check off the box of healthy eating and move on. Not dwell on each choice, but eat well enough to function.
10. Weight loss makes it convenient to avoid deeper issues we aren’t dealing with
When people who have no history of health issues tell me they want to lose weight, I always think about the deeper issues.
Why don’t you love yourself? What’s the real reason?
And do you think you will find love easier if you lose weight? Do you think you’ll be more successful if you lose weight? Can you really love yourself AND want to change your body to fit the thin ideal? If your jeans don’t fit, why not just buy new jeans? What’s the big deal? Are you just trying to control something in your life because you feel out of control? Why are you scared of your natural weight? Are you scared of being fat? If so, why?
Weight loss is never the answer. Personally, I found that dealing with my self-love and confidence issues head-on was more effective than trying to fit the thin ideal.
I had problems when I weighed 132 pounds. Those problems didn’t vanish when I weighed below 120 pounds. I still have problems at the weight I’ve maintained through intuitive eating… but I don’t use food or deprivation to deal with them anymore.
11. Life doesn’t start at your goal weight
Weight loss is not the purpose of life. Weight loss doesn’t get you closer to finding or executing your purpose in life.
Everything good in your life that has happened so far and everything you’ve accomplished happened DESPITE your weight.
There are so many more meaningful endeavors to pursue than trying to be smaller for a certain amount of time! Think about all the cool things you could be doing now. Why wait? Just start.
12. I want to support body diversity
Do you really think we were all meant to fit into a pair of size four jeans? Hell no.
If it’s hard for you to wrap your head around body diversity… it’s not your fault. We can easily blame the media for not showing us all types of bodies in all types of roles. It’s getting better, but we still have a long way to go.
If I were to promote weight loss on this blog, I’d be basically trying to help people all look the same. That’s not realistic, nor do I want that to be my reality.
13. Trying to lose weight made me do some crazy shit
Like putting a cookie in my mouth, chewing it, then spitting it out in the trash. And missing my period for nearly an entire year. And crying after eating a bag of M&Ms. Mentally beating myself up for actually chewing and swallowing a cookie (or five). Skipping social events because there would be “unhealthy” food there. Crying in dressing rooms.
How screwed up is all that?
I’ve been there. I have successfully dieted. I’ve lost weight. I’ve gained it back. I’ve been “toned.” I’ve lost muscle.
But after learning how to trust my body, work through my issues, and eat intuitively, the quality of my life has improved greatly. I feel like I’ve set myself free so I can live fully and do/eat whatever I want.
Turns out, when you address your deep issues head-on, give your body the control and you trust it… you naturally go for nutritious options because your body wants you to survive! How about that?
I know. I’m making it sound easy. If you want to learn more about intuitive eating and how to get started, I have a post about it here.
Diet culture teaches us to NOT trust our bodies, ignore hunger cues and that we are not good enough or don’t work hard enough unless we see “results.”
The only result I’m interested in is finding ways to get more out of life instead of finding more ways to eat less, weigh less and take up less space.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading.
This post means a lot to me. Through building Workweek Lunch and teaching people how to crack the code to easy, healthy eating without the stress, I’ve found a passion for empowering people to do MORE with their lives and learn how to trust their bodies again.
Want to share your thoughts? Drop a comment below or hit me up @workweeklunch on Instagram.