You’re not a bad person for wanting to lose weight

I love talking to people about my job. I believe in the work that I do and it makes me insanely happy. If you don’t stop me, I could talk about it for hours. One question pops up super often when I tell people about what I do:

Do you hate people who want to lose weight?

People usually ask me this question very carefully after I’ve spent the last ten minutes ranting using avid hand gestures and a couple of swear words about the negative consequences of diet culture and the diet industry.

A bopo coach won’t help you lose weight

It’s true. I’m not a fan of dieting and I am not afraid to share that opinion. That’s partially because I feel it’s important that potential coachees who come to me for help know what they’re in for. I won’t put you on a diet. I won’t help you lose weight. In fact, I want to help you foster a relaxed relationship with food and your body. It’s important to me to be as honest and clear about that as possible. I would definitely have a lot more clients if I advertised with weight loss, but I just can’t support that. Diets don’t match with my ideas on body positivity and scientific research shows that diets don’t cause significant remaining weight loss in the long term.

Body positivity is not the same as body autonomy

Body positivity and body autonomy are two different things. I feel that everyone should be able to do with their bodies whatever they please, as long as they’re not hurting others in the process. Want tattoos? Go nuts. Body mods? Hell yeah! Do you dye your hair? Shave your pits? Refuse to shave your pits? Want to lose weight? You do you. It’s your body. Your choice. If you want to lose weight, you can.

I don’t hate people who want to lose weight. It’s your body and you get to decide what you do with it. I’ll never judge you for it.

In fact, I can relate.

We live in a culture that idealizes weight loss

We live in a diet culture. Sometimes it’s as if losing weight is our primary purpose in life. As if we HAVE to lose weight before our lives can really begin. The diet industry makes billions each year and pressures us to get skinny. Prejudice about weight and health are rampant.

And that’s why this can be hard for people who’re invested in body positivity. Who, by now, know that diets don’t work. Who want to accept themselves for who they are, who want a relaxed relationship with food and their bodies but who still find themselves thinking every now and then: “I want to lose weight.”

You’re not a bad person for wanting to lose weight

You live in a culture where losing weight is the ideal. Where you are being told, time and time again that losing weight is your life goal. At an early age, we learn that thinner is better.

It’s not your fault if you can’t let go of your desire to lose weight (yet)

It’s understandable. It makes sense. It’s connected to so much more than just weight loss (happiness, fashion, being desirable, having a good seks life, finally being accepted). It’s understandable to foster this wish, even when you deep down know that losing weight won’t help you.

It’s not you.

It’s the diet culture around us.

It’s okay if this thought still pops up every now and then. A relevant question, however is: Is this thought helpful? What does it give you? What does your desire to lose weight symbolize? And is a new diet really going to help you?

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