It’s that time of the year when everyone and their dog smacks us round the head with messages about losing weight. Yes new year weight loss resolutions are big, big business.
The programs, pills, powders, potions and lotions sold at this time of the year make up a huge percentage of the $100 billion dollar (worldwide – probably even more) diet and weight loss industries.
And there’s a nasty insidious little message creeping in that I’ve spoken about before but that you really need to start paying attention to, because it’s really gaining momentum.
And it’s this:
When you lose weight you will finally love/be happy in/feel comfortable in your own body.
No matter how often they say it, it’s still not true that any weight loss program, pill, powder, potion or lotion will improve anything other than the weight loss promoter’s wallet.
If you feel embarrassed about your bum now, you’ll still feel embarrassed about your bum when you lose weight. If you feel your breasts don’t measure up somehow now, you’ll still feel they don’t measure up when you lose weight.
Seriously – think about how you feel about your body now, what you don’t like about it – and think about any diet you’ve stuck out (I know that took massive commitment).
When you got to the goal weight were there still aspects of your body that you didn’t like much?
I’m betting you’ll say yes; most women I’ve worked with and spoken with about this also say yes.
Because the way you think and feel about your body is NOT about your weight, no matter how often the weight loss promoters say it is.
It is a very complex issue – like a deep and wide cultural structure that is vested in having women in particular feel bad about the way our physical selves look so we will spend money to ‘solve’ the ‘problem’. To achieve that we are encouraged to compare ourselves constantly to one another, to view our bodies as a collection of parts, and to put such emphasis on our physical ‘imperfections’ that they become a priority in our lives and our spending.
I get so *mad* when I see people I respect falling into the vaccuum of becoming a weight loss promoter because “losing weight will make you love your body”. It’s disappointing and I can’t help but get disillusioned and somehow my respect wanes… really people, is it more important to you to meet business goals than to be in integrity with your stated goals of actually adding to the overall happiness of the people on the planet? I don’t get it….?
You’ll notice that there’s no backlink because I won’t support them in even this small way – the message sickens me because it perpetuates one of the biggest most harmful lies of our time – that your weight is an indicator of your health when really it’s only an indicator of your size. For most people (except those at either extreme of the BMI), there is no ‘healthy’ size or shape. Research shows time and time again that for almost everyone the BMI is flawed as a health indicator.
For example a study released in January 2013 proved again that being what the BMI calls overweight or mildly obese is likely to make you live longer. Go figure.
Oh that’s right, the BMI has been manipulated constantly over the last 30 years, and the height-weight charts for decades before that, to create this lively marketing opportunity. The study also said that with a stroke of the pen we can all but elimiate the “obesity epidemic” because it’s an invented epidemic that is not supported by the science.
Okay I can rant on about this crap all day but that’s not helpful if you really are looking for a way to feel happier in your body and are thinking that maybe weight loss was the way to do it, but now you don’t know what to do… here’s my prescription:
1. Get educated about the real risks of weight loss
2. Get aware of what you’re really trying to improve when you lose weight (is it a relationship that will magically get better if you’re thinner? Maybe a promotion or a job you really want, and will magically get if you get thinner? Or…?)
3. Work on that.
4. Give yourself the gift of really caring about you – check out the Health At Every Size movement for easy logical ways to look after you that are really about health and not how you look – you are capable of soooo much more than being looked at!
5. Subscribe to my newsletter or RSS (over on the top right) to get some extra support while you’re deciding what *you* really want, not what the weight loss promoters tell you you want.
6. Share your thoughts below, I do like to know it’s not just me who thinks this way… and I’m not always this cranky, I promise 🙂