09 Apr You say you want to lose weight, but what do you really want?
People often come to me saying they want to lose weight, and I start by asking them the miracle question.
Imagine you wake up tomorrow, and you have magically lost all the weight you believe you need to lose.
Tell me how that would affect your day-to-day life. How would you feel? How would others react to the smaller you? What would happen to you career, your relationships, your health?
The answers to those questions tell you what people actually desire; they just believe that weight loss is the mechanism for achieving those things. Generally, us human types desire recognition, acceptance, respect, good health, love, self-esteem and confidence.
Let me bring to your attention that the things that people desire are not actually connected to weight at all. Think of the people in your life that you respect, admire, and love. Do you know how much they weigh? I would hope it’s absolutely irrelevant.
Imagine one of your desires is to be healthier. There are lots of things you can do right now that have nothing to do with weight loss. You can improve self-care by listening to your body, making sure you get enough sleep, learning how to reduce stress, finding fun ways to move, learning about nutrition to discover what your body needs to thrive, socialising more, reconnecting with family, and stimulating your brain. These are the things that make you healthy, because mental health and physical health are equally important.
Imagine one of your desires is to be more confident. There are lots of things you can do right now that have nothing to do with weight loss. You could learn to improve your assertiveness and communication skills. You could do a review of your social media and unsubscribe to things that make you feel negatively about yourself.
The long-term aim is to create an environment where our mind and bodies are comfortable, stimulated, and well provided for, that we can relax and find a natural weight where we are happy to be, and one that we can maintain for the rest of our lives.
The calorie obsessing, the rules, the self-judgement and unreasonable expectations can cease. The fight is over, and by learning to accept our bodies in a culture that is constantly telling us that we are faulty, we will have won.
We will be the victor, not the victim of diet culture.
Director of The Australian Centre for Eating Disorders.
If you would like to find out more about this anti-diet stuff then you can contact Kyla at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is able to provide private sessions via Zoom, or if you would prefer to see someone face to face, we have a network of skilled practitioner across Australia and New Zealand.
If you are a health professional that would like to discover more and join our network, then please get in touch.