“I’ll try Intuitive Eating…but let me go on this diet first!”
I recently shared a link to a podcast called Savor on my Facebook page. In the episode I shared, Linda Bacon, author of Health at Every Size and Body Respect, is interviewed by the two hosts, one of whom is a dietitian, and the other a therapist. I’ve blogged about Health at Every Size (HAES) before, but if you’re interested in hearing about this amazing philosophy from the source, I would highly recommend listening to this podcast, and/or reading either of Linda Bacon’s books. Anyway, something Bacon said in the interview really resonated with me, and I wanted to share it with you all.
At one point in the interview, one of the hosts asks Linda Bacon how she deals with clients who are on board with HAES/Intuitive Eating, but after a few months of not seeing results (read: weight loss), decide to go on a diet to lose a few pounds, and then they’ll give this non-diet thing approach a shot. I, too, have had clients and friends alike tell me that they love the idea of Intuitive Eating…but first they need to lose some weight. It kills me when people say this because I know (and a multitude of studies have shown) that diets don’t work, and that they will be worse off after this next diet than they were before, as the negative effects of dieting (both psychological and physical) are cumulative.
Linda Bacon’s approach to these clients is brilliant, and it makes so much sense to me! She talks to the clients about what it is they are looking for by losing weight (often times it’s something like improved health, being more attractive, etc.), and talks to them about how they can honor these goals without using weight as a mediator. The ability to achieve (and maintain!) weight loss is essentially out of our control, since our bodies have powerful compensatory mechanisms constantly fighting to maintain our weight. Because of this, and because of the fact that attempts to lose weight can be damaging to one’s relationship with food and can even have detrimental physiological effects, why not just try to achieve those goals directly, rather than having to lose weight in order to obtain them? If you start eating a healthier, more balanced diet and respecting your body, then it’s possible that a side effect can be weight loss (or maybe not), but that shouldn’t be the goal.
Besides the fact that attempts to lose weight have been shown to wreak havoc on a person’s mind and body, the truth is that the research just doesn’t support the idea that weight loss in and of itself leads to better health, so why are we so focussed on it anyway? Like Linda Bacon says…let’s try to focus on reaching our goals without using weight as a mediator. Take weight out of the equation!
Speaking of which…if you’re thinking about making a positive change in your life– treating yourself better, eating a more balanced diet, making peace with food and your body– now is the time to do it! The next session of my 12 Weeks to Intuitive Eating online course is set to start on November 3rd, and I would love for you to join me on this journey!
We’re just wrapping up the last session, and the reviews so far have been excellent! Creating this course has been a labor of love for me, and I truly believe that it can be the answer for many people who want to do Intuitive Eating but either don’t have time for counseling, don’t want to (or can’t) pay for it, or who simply don’t have access to it, since Intuitive Eating counselors are not available in all areas of the country. It makes me feel so extremely happy to know that I’m helping people from the comfort of their own homes to find peace and enjoyment in their eating again, and I hope to continue to help people in this way in upcoming sessions. Maybe you will be one of them!
For readers of my blog, I’m offering a 15% discount off registration for the November session. Cost of registration includes a copy of the book Intuitive Eating, plus a phone session with me. Sign up now with the coupon code BLOG15 to take advantage of this offer!