As the weather starts to warm up, I brace myself for the endless advertisements urging people to get ready for a beach body, or to go on a spring clean detox. A detox that I think is a bit of an insult to the mighty liver and kidneys that do it 24/7 all year round all by themselves without the aid an expensive tonic full of ingredients we may or may never have heard of. And, these amazing organs do it for free out of love for the body they live in.
However, I get why people try these diets, detoxes, and miracle foods. When you are struggling with obesity or excess weight you are extremely vulnerable. Vulnerable to criticism, judgment and blame, and vulnerable because the pain of this harsh spoken or unspoken attitude in our society is so painful that we want to try anything that has a promise of hope attached to it.
The narrative around weight loss is so wound up in myths and false premises that it has become somewhat gospel. That is “eat less and move more”. Along with the narrative that it is all your fault. Well, I am shouting loudly it is not your fault!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here is the problem. It simply is not that simple. Never was and never will be. Oh sure, maybe for a few weeks or a few months that will work but we know now that there are so many factors that are involved in managing weight that this approach is destined to fail. There are genetics, biology, your own relationship with food, possible trauma,illness, medications, injuries and many other reasons that are often out of our hands.
It never ceases to amaze me just how critical people are of others who have weight issues, and how supposedly well meaning comments such as “I just care about you” or, I was only trying to help” or “have you ever thought about eating grapefruits for every meal”? can sting and only reinforce a sense of hopelessness. Because, for the most part the person has thought of nearly every single possible option available to them already. They have usually tried, diets, and shakes, and pills, and gyms and hypnotherapy and machines that shake you up and promise to slim you down. They are also acutely aware they have some weight challenges so don’t really need it pointed out by a stranger on the street or even a loved one.
Thankfully we have extraordinary scientists who are delving into the complexity of weight management.
In my practice I combine the latest scientific research with emotional and behavioural support in a safe space where people can feel they are not being judged or blamed for a weight loss trajectory that often doesn’t meet everyones expectations.