Glamour Health and Fitness online just published an article by Jess Weiner, size activist, hero to many, author of Life Doesn’t Begin 5 Pounds from Now. It’s called Jess Weiner’s Weight Struggle: “Loving My Body Almost Killed Me”.
I encourage you to read it and the comment I posted (see below). Then, let us know what you think.
I think Jess has misunderstood the message of the new health-centered, weight-neutral paradigm that’s finally beginning to take hold in this country. Those of us who have seen much damage done in the pursuit of weight loss are now encouraging people of any/all sizes to focus directly on “health”, not on how much weight they can lose to “get healthy”. As the Vice President of BEDA; the Binge Eating Disorder Association, and as founder of A Weigh Out, I encourage people to shift their focus from weight to, instead, developing sustainable, healthy, practices around emotional, physical, nutritional, and spiritual health. When engaging in healthy behavior, a body is likely to get healthier and weight is going to do what it’s going to do based on living healthfully. From what she shared in her article, Jess is seeing just that. Her improved health is the direct result of working on her emotional and binge eating issues, eating more nutritious foods, and moving her body more. Her weight loss is a byproduct of healthier living. If health is her goal, good for her. If weight loss is her goal,and it is not as much weight loss as she expected, or it’s coming off too slowly for her and she’s disappointed despite her wonderful health results (at 225lbs), maybe she might benefit from further exploring her motivation. Beware the seduction of weight loss, whatever the guise! Is this truly about health or is she at risk for just being on a “diet” to lose weight? We all know how well diets work in the long run! I wish her health!
Ellen Shuman is a Life Coach who specializes in emotional and binge eating recovery. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Eating Disorder Treatment, Vice President of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), and Co-Chair of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”, firstname.lastname@example.org