More to Self Care than Weight Loss

I was listening to one of Christy Harrison’s Food Psych podcast episodes yesterday in the car. It was Episode #83: “Healthy Eating, Orthorexia, & the Truth About Elimination Diets” with Emily Fonnesbeck. Something Emily said struck me and I had to immediately take a voice note on my iPhone while driving.

Toward the end of the episode Emily mentioned a difficult message to get across to her clients:

“Health is NOT determined by weight.”

She goes on to explain that there are so many factors that come into play when we choose intuitive eating over diets such as more satisfaction with food, less anxiety around food, less bingeing, better energy, better sleep.

There are SO MANY benefits to other self care components that are NOT about weight loss and diets.

That is what diet culture tells us. OVER and OVER. If we feel crappy about ourselves, stressed, dissatisfied with our body image… we immediately turn to food. Maybe we start cutting out food groups thinking they are the culprit. Maybe we think another diet will fix our sadness and botched body image for good. You don’t need to go to such extremes to start feeling better. It’s not always the gluten, the dairy, the extra weight.

It most likely is NEVER ABOUT THE FOOD!!!!


It’s not about the food. So what IS IT about?

We need to be honest with ourselves that there is something else driving us to turn to food when realistically there is something else in our life we need to figure out.

If you are a chronic dieter and think just one more diet will get you where you want to be, I ask you to consider all of this very carefully.

Where have diets and weight loss brought you before?

Did you feel better about yourself?

What happened when you were at that lower weight and you overate, ate something off your “plan”? Did you beat yourself up?

Did you lose that weight in a way that you were able to sustain for the rest of your life to avoid gaining it back and blaming yourself over it?

Self care means SO MUCH MORE than going on yet another diet and trying to become what you think is a better version of you. A better version of you is not just what you WEIGH!!!

What about:

Good sleep.

Therapy for things you may be struggling with that have nothing to do with food.

Exercise and movement that make you feel energized and uplifted.

Social interaction with friends and family that allow you to connect personally with someone. You know that burst of energy you get after meeting a friend for lunch and having a great conversation?

Striving for a fulfilling career.

Getting back into hobbies that you love but maybe you’ve stopped because diets and other stress in your life has taken over.

SO much to think about here. If you think making weight loss a priority is a form of self care, think about how the process of weight loss makes you feel. If it makes you preoccupied with food, overly obsessed, and then you beat yourself up when you “fall off the wagon”, there is a better way. And that way is saying no to diets and getting help from a professional to dig deep and figure out how to accept yourself now and start feeling TRUE happiness.