How to be anti-diet culture, but not anti-weight loss

I am anti-diet culture, but I am NOT anti-weight loss.

Can these two things co-exist?

I believe they can.

Someone recently asked me “how can you be against dieting, but be okay with people posting about weight loss in your facebook group?”

The truth is, some people need to lose weight to improve their health. Their bodies are suffering and their health is declining and the excess weight is a part of the whole picture. Carrying a large amount of excess weight can also drastically impact quality of life (the ability to sleep well, walk without pain, play with kids/grandkids, travel, etc.).

And at the same time, some people do NOT need to lose weight. They may think they do for aesthetic reasons or because of a cognitive dissonance in the true state of their body – but they do not need to lose weight in order to improve their health.

What I care most about is helping women to become the healthiest version of themselves.

For some, that will include healthy weight loss, through a realistic, balanced and nourishing way of eating. AND through potentially changing their approach to weight loss as a whole.

For others, that will include re-training their brain to stop thinking about weight loss and taking action steps in their life to disassociate from triggers that keep them in that flawed mindset.

It’s important to remember that we all have different needs. There is no ONE way to be healthy and the path to health will look different for each of us.

My question for you would be: do you know what healthy looks like for YOU? Or do you feel overwhelmed and confused by all of the conflicting information out there?

Let me know in the comments – I’d love to help!

xo,

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9 Comments
  1. Christine 2 months ago

    Confused over the conflicting information? YES! Stressed, anxious, worried I’m not doing “enough” to be “healthy?” YES! The moment I think I know what healthy looks like for me, it seems I learn some new tidbit of information that tells me I am doing it “all wrong.”

    • Elisabeth Callahan 2 months ago

      That is understandable given all the information and mis-information out there Christine! We actually have a lot more intuitive knowledge about what our body needs than we give ourselves credit for. You said you know what healthy looks like for you and I would encourage you to go with that. It looks different for everyone sometimes, but there are a few things (i.e. more water, more veggies, etc.) that we could all benefit from following. Trust yourself and the process! 🙂

  2. Cortney Eusea 2 months ago

    I definitely agree that I feel at a disadvantage in knowing what is truly best for nutrition.

    I think about what we were taught in school and in our most formative years cultivating a negative body image and anti food mindset which sticks so deep that even as I am grown up I am still trying to undo those things from so long ago.

    I just told my husband that it’s crazy, you can’t keep up with the fads. One day organic was the key, then gluten free will fix everything, then protein was the most important, cauliflower will save the world, now it seems our gut is the key to unlock all of our problems.
    I often wonder what’s next and what about all those other things?

    I sometimes feel helpless at the grocery because they’re trying to sell me “healthy” things and again, no one taught me what’s really true.

    In the bread aisle: “white, white wheat, whole wheat, 100% whole wheat, whole grain, multi grain, 12 grain, 24 grain, oat bread, flax bread..” What. the. heck bread aisle??

    I would love solid advice and resources that are truly good information, that is not trying to sell me something, but who’s objective is to empower us with knowledge.

    I believe the truest and most empowering knowledge is when you are truly informed with good information and have the ability and confidence to recognize the gimmicks and false information and know what is actually true.
    The health and wellness section at Barnes and Nobles is full of the “wheat and the weeds” if you will. It’s overwhelming and a toss up of what you’ll stumble upon.

    It’s a balance and a battle and I am grateful for the solid resources I have found as I try to find the best way of life for me and my body but always would love to know more.

    • Elisabeth Callahan 2 months ago

      You are right, Courtney! There is so much out there about food and it can feel overwhelming and it all changes so very quickly. Fads about food are so common and it can be disorienting. You are not alone in trying to un-do years of negative and damaging ideas about food, weight and our bodies. It sounds like you’ve found some good resources for your health journey and that is wonderful. You may also want to check out Food Rules by Michael Pollan which offers a balanced approach to eating in a healthy, responsible manner. 🙂

  3. Lori Laufenberg 2 months ago

    I have really learned so much about how to eat a well balanced, healthy diet, and I am very thankful for that information. I do know that when I truly follow through with healthy meal plans on a daily basis, that over in a short amount of time, I am really noticing a difference in how I feel….I have more energy, I sleep better, and am in a better mood! I’ve found that when I’m following a specific program (Summer Sculpt and Tone and Tighten), it’s easier for me to stick to the meal plan.
    However, my downside to following these great meal plans is that I’ve discovered that is not the best thing for my health. I have a 15-year history of growing pretty significant kidney stones, pretty frequently, and I’ve discovered that following a higher protein diet is bad news for kidney stones, as well as eating many of the delicious, healthy foods in many of the Balanced Life recipes. Unfortunately, I didn’t make the connection until after a couple of episodes of very bad stones shortly after following the meal plans for 4 weeks solid.

    My biggest challenge now is to continue to eat healthy, but trying to limit foods higher in oxalate, phosphorus, protein, which is very frustrating. I’m still trying to figure it all out.

    I have become an avid food label reader, and often times will pick up an item at the store, read the label, and then put it back on the shelf. Needless to say, grocery shopping takes a little longer. I am happy, though, that the majority of my time spent in the grocery store is spent in the produce area!

    Sorry for the long post, but bottom line…I am so very thankful for all of the resources provided to members of the Sisterhood. I am still a work in progress, but sooo much better than where I was before I joined in March 2017!

    Thank you Robin and staff!

    • Elisabeth Callahan 2 months ago

      We are so grateful you’re here, Lori! Glad you are finding what works best for you. Keep going- we’re cheering you on! 🙂

  4. annecummingrice 2 months ago

    Love the thoughts here. Knowing what to do and where we really are can be such a difficult thing to figure out when our information sources are not only conflicting but also motivated by their own bottom line. I’m one of those who didn’t really NEED to lose weight but felt like I should because it’s just what you’re supposed to do and what everyone else was doing. That led to over-exercising and some disordered approaches to food. I’m thankful not to be in that place anymore. The Balanced Life has been one of several outlets that’s helped me think about things differently.

  5. Jana Kryze 2 months ago

    I find the opening question of this post quite shocking, in fact. It’s sad that we all (I’m from Europe!) live in a culture where being against dieting BUT for weight-loss seems to be contradictory to many. How did we even get here…? From a medical perspective, there’s no doubt that to actually be healthy, you should fall within a certain weight range. That range isn’t so narrow as the dieting industry wants to make us believe but the fact is that yes, there is a number. A different number for each one of us? Yes. But it’s there and it’s delusional to pretend otherwise.

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