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STOP focussing on weight loss.

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

You know what I struggle with the most since learning a little more about ‘anti’diet’ culture and all that stuff? The fact that many advocates or supposed advocates of movements like ‘Health at Every Size’ are capitalising on using their privileged bodies to encourage an approach, knowingly or unknowingly, I don’t know.

You know those super slim girls that post pictures of their ‘rolls’ reassuring others that ‘we all have them’ – yeah…that’s them. Perhaps inadvertently, but these people are actually fuelling the fire, those that follow them almost perceiving this anti-diet message as a weight loss method because they would give anything to look like them because society has taught them that they aren’t good enough as they are. Those that post transformations showing how much ‘better’ they look since they stopped trying to lose weight. No-one should feel not good enough if you ask me. How unfair is that? You’re glorious, all of you, black, white, large, small, accent or no accent, smooth hair or not, you are glorious.

Now I am fully aware that I am a slim, white female, exactly the kind of person I’m talking about here. I know that in the past, and still now, albeit unknowingly, I am complicit, in some ways, of producing oppression.

I am fully aware of my own privilege in the body that I live in – I have become increasingly aware about how my privilege and power because of that privilege helps my life and my practice in the health and fitness industry. I know how my prejudice as a result of that is present in my practice and I am working in every way that I can at the moment to become increasingly aware in helping those not so privileged. It’s a huge area and we can’t all know everything and we can’t all be perfect but it’s something I’m so keen to work on myself. This is a huge learning curve for me, I’m right at the beginning of my journey here and anything I can learn I am fully open to. The more we can chat about this, I believe, can only be positive.

This is one of the reasons that I have never and will never produce before and after pictures of my clients – don’t get me wrong, some of them take progress photos if they are hoping to change their body composition. There is nothing wrong, I believe, with having a body composition goal for the right reasons, we talk about why this might be a goal of theirs and perhaps why there may be better options in terms of both their mental and physical health. If, after this conversation, they still have these goals, I will not discourage a client based on that, however, it’s important I am true to my ethos and do my bit in helping them to understand my values.

The ‘body positivity’ movement was created as a way of celebrating those living in larger bodies and how marvellous they are as they are and it has become something used by social justice warriors in order to market their own agendas and that is kind of uncomfortable.

I know that I am considered to be physically ‘normal’ for want of a better phrase, I know I don’t face oppression because of that in many ways, I will never post on social media a photo of myself that talks about ‘accepting yourself the way you are’ because of that. I know that I will never feel as hurt as many others by how diet-culture has come to make many feel but I hope I can do my bit. Really, I don’t ‘get it’, no, but I will try.

I would like my practice to be fully focussed around how nutrition can influence our HEALTH which goes far beyond the physical – I have spoken about that many times and have blogs and videos that I can point you towards that talk about the many facets of health in my opinion should you be interested?

Those with more nutrition knowledge – primarily, as a result of many things in history, the ‘privileged’ – are not superior or more socially desirable, or at least, they certainly shouldn’t be.

I am, now a strong advocate of weight inclusive, NOT weight centric approaches – watch out for a video next week on my social media pages for more here.

Weight loss does NOT always and exclusively improve health, that is important to understand.

I have drilled home for a long time the notion that there are no ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods in isolation; equally, there are no bodies, sizes or indeed, people that are ‘good’ and ‘bad’.

Those living with obesity belong in the future just as you do! We have got to stop this notion that crafting better means smaller. It’s so damaging to the mental health of many. Of course, I am fully here for optimal physical health but not to the extent that it impacts negatively on the other facets of health present in the lives of all of us. Anything that I put out in the future or anything that I have put out in the recent or distant past that goes against this, please call me up on it, I’m learning, just like you are.

The solution to being a ‘good’ human being is not dieting, weight loss, making ourselves look like what society has taught us over years to be more desirable – rather it’s being inclusive of EVERYONE no matter what their situation and respect all people, no matter what they look like and that includes yourself.

How about you compliment someone this week on something not so skin deep?

Peace and love, A x

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