Ep 147 – But what if losing weight would help my knee pain/ blood work?
Welcome to How to Love Your Body - on today’s episode we are going to be talking about “weight loss for health / weight loss to relieve physical pain.” We get this question a lot - It seems as though people want to justify their weight loss if it’s for health - so let’s talk about this.
No matter what the reason is for wanting to lose weight - dieting/ pursuing weight loss doesn’t work for 80-95% of the population.
This means that if you are focusing on weight loss to improve blood work or reduce knee pain you have the same chance of losing weight and keeping it off as you do if you were pursuing weight loss to change your body size.
Your body can't tell the difference if you are dieting to get a smaller waistline or dieting for health.
Even though this is the case about the pursuit of weight loss - we want to share 3 points on why pursuing weight loss isn't the answer but what you can do instead.
1. No one is saying weight loss wouldn’t help BUT how will you do that?
Just because we aren’t in favor of PURSUING weight loss doesn’t mean we don’t think it could be helpful - maybe some weight loss could help bloodwork? Who knows ? Maybe weight loss could reduce knee pain? Who knows? THE POINT - even if weight loss may help - how are you going to pursue weight loss, keep it off, and live a sustainable life with a healthy mindset around food and your body? Because from the looks of it - our past is a pretty good indicator that diets don’t work and most of the time - we end up heavier after we pursue a diet. In this situation, trying to lose weight for health reasons doesn’t really justify pursuing weight loss this time around. You’ll find yourself obsessing over food, feeling restricted, and in a constant battle with your mind. Do you see how pursuing weight loss will actually backfire? Do you see how it will actually do the opposite of what your intention was to begin with - which was to improve your health. But all of that doesn’t not seem good for your health. Agree? We aren’t being negative Nancies over here - we just want to give it to you straight - in our next point we will share what you CAN do to improve health without the pursuit of weight loss and rigid dieting.
2. Losing fat doesn’t improve blood work, it’s not the weight loss, it's the behaviors that come with the weight loss - moving your body, eating nourishing foods may have you see health improvements, but it’s short term!! It doesn’t work long term and there are so many negative side effects to rigid dieting.
SO without the focus on weight loss here are positive health behaviors that can help - strengthening your muscles, stretching, moving your body in ways you enjoy, adding/ eating nourishing foods AND not restricting any other foods, enjoying life (having fun, connecting with friends/ family) , de-stressing, sleeping more, prioritizing your mental health, going to physical therapy, meditating, working on positive self-talk, going to regular doctor visits (advocating for yourself ie. asking to not be weighed if you don’t want to be, working with doctors that support IE/ HAES (or at least are open to it). You are not limited to this list - there are so many other ways to focus on your true genuine health without the focus on weight loss).
3. If you have been told by your doctor to lose weight to improve x health issues - Ask your doctor about what else you can do other than focus on weight.
If weight loss were the “fix” to all health issues - people who do lose weight / people who live in thinner bodies wouldn’t have health issues - but as we know that’s far from the truth - you can lose weight and be in a thinner body and have any health risk/ issues a person in a larger body has and vice versa.
A couple of amazing doctors to follow on Instagram who are aligned with this message is @fatdoctorUK and @drjoshuawolrich. There are doctors that stand for HAES, there are alternatives to focusing on weight. It’s breaking down the belief systems that we have been taught from diet culture and knowing there is another way to actually care for our health and there are professionals who stand behind it all! It’s not just us sharing our opinion - it’s backed up by legitimate experts and the science proves it too.
So the question for you is- how can you incorporate/ add positive health behaviors into your life and challenge your doctor/ team up with your doctor to create ways in which to honor your health without the diagnoses of weight loss?
Remember this is about adding to your life!
Also we have an exciting announcement - Our film is now on YOUTUBE - so you’ll be able to easily share it! You can go here to access the film and share it - at bit.ly/tblsdoc
Doors close to our app The UnDiet Collective March 1st!
See you next week!