I’ve been accused of being anti-weight loss because of my Health At Every Size™ and Intuitive Eating approaches.
Look, I get why weight-loss seems to alluring. We live in a world that not only promotes the thin ideal, but actively rewards it as well. You don’t have to look further than your television to know that thin is valued over fat. Firstly, we don’t see average sized people, let alone large bodied people. The only time my size is on TV is in the ‘before’ picture.
As a small fat I still experience a lot of thin privilege. I can shop at most clothing stores (although my size is the first to sell out because, ya know, it’s what most of us wear) geared to adult women. I’ve never been concerned about fitting into a seat on an airplane or amusement park ride. Without these privileges would my draw to weight loss may be stronger? Maybe.
We’ve all experienced, or at the very least witnessed, the onslaught of praise that comes from pounds lost. “You look so good” “You look so healthy” “You look so happy” “Good for you. Your commitment has payed off”… our character gets praised because our bodies changed.
And of course, the flip side…either the deafening silence when weight is regained or the litany of comments ranging from pity “Oh sweetie, what happened? You were doing so well” to full on disgust “I can’t believe you’d let yourself go like this. Have you no respect?”
So yes, I get why you want to lose weight. I hold so much compassion for you. Diet culture and the thin ideal have been woven into the very fabric of our lives. To not buy in may not feel like an option.
Choosing to reject diet culture is choosing to live as a Rebel. To choose health and happiness on your own terms in the absence of intentional weight loss can feel incredibly liberating and it can also feel lonely.
So no, I won’t help you with your intentional weight loss (IWL) goals but I won’t judge you for them either.
If you find that you’ve lost weight I won’t scold you but neither will I praise you.
I choose to practice the way that I do because I like to empower my patients. Taking charge of one’s life means working with what you CAN control. Weight is not a behaviour and therefore not in your control.
Just because I don’t agree with IWL doesn’t mean that I won’t respect you for making that choice. And it doesn’t mean that I won’t be here to help support your healthcare needs.