It's okay that you want to lose weight

The desire to lose weight isn't necessarily incompatible with a non-diet lifestyle. As with most things, reality isn't so black and white.

The Flourish team
A woman stepping on a scale in a bathroom

So maybe you’re been mulling over this "not dieting" thing. Or you're all in, but there's a little part of you that's wondering if you can still want to lose weight.

Unfortunately, in the world of you vs. them, it can feel like there is only one "right" approach. When you were dieting, you felt like you had to eat your vegetables, cut carbs, or shrink your body.

But now that you’re exploring the world of not dieting/eating intuitively, maybe it feels like you now have to eat foods that are making you feel lousy or ignore those previous desires to lose weight—all because body acceptance and self-love, right?

Applying the same black and white thinking involved in dieting to the non-diet approach can be shame-inducing. It can lead to you beating yourself up, and how is that any different than where you started?

You can feel like eating intuitively is not for you merely because you have weight loss goals. But when it comes to desires for weight loss, no one can say they're wrong or bad. In fact, so much of re-learning to eat intuitively is about experiencing agency in your health, rather than letting external expectations dictate the way you live your life. Our mission here is to support you by asking questions and untangling what the pursuit of intentional weight loss may look like for you.

Let's be clear. Wanting to lose weight doesn’t necessarily mean you hate your body. Or that you hate larger bodies. Our desires for our bodies change over time and it's okay to be a work in progress as you learn to accept, appreciate, and nurture the body you are in. And if weight loss is an outcome of that- great! But if not, that's okay as well. 

You deserve to feel your best self, hands down. So how does the pursuit of intentional weight loss play a role in that? To cut the pounds, what will it take? Extreme calorie cutting? Intense exercise? Isolation for social events? Ignoring your hunger cues? Do those behaviors fit into what it means for you to feel your best?

Contrary to popular belief, many of the mechanisms that dictate your weight are out of your control. The oversimplification that your weight is merely due to a formula of calories in = calories out can lead to disruptive behaviors that look like fighting natural energy intake regulators.

You can visualize the pendulum swing:

Intentional food restriction to manipulate your body size --> binge-like behaviors and food obsession.

The food intake pendulum swing leads to extreme weight fluctuations. This is an approach to weight loss based on disconnecting, ignoring, and dismissing critical signals your body is trying to communicate.

So what could it look like for you to reconnect with your body cues to curate a calm and trusting relationship again?

I wonder if the drama would dissipate—if those binge episodes would diminish, and with it those recurrent waves of shame. I wonder if that pendulum would stop swinging and your weight could finally settle and rest at a natural place where you can thrive and feel her best. 

Now this process may not include the quick gratification short-term weight loss may provide. It may take patience and taking a hard look at the ways you've been mean to your body for so long, whether that's through negative self-talk, food deprivation, or even the “screw it” approach.

You may have to realize that you can’t hate yourself thin, and that the self-loathing you've been engaging in is only holding you back from the confidence and peace that you so desire. And when you’ve taken the time to sort it all out and have learned to reconnect with your body, weight loss may come if that is what's supposed to be. And if not, will you be able to still see your inherent value regardless of the number of the scale?

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