"No thank you, I do NOT want to join your slimming club..."
I’ve had a leaflet through my door from a well-known slimming club and it talks about how the two very happy looking ladies on the front have reached their dream weight and how they feel now.
It starts something like this:
“Before we lost weight, neither of us felt as if we were living life to the full. We didn’t enjoy shopping for clothes, we’d make excuses not to go out and we both dreaded seeing photos of ourselves.”
I read this out to the participants in my workshop yesterday and one lady said she found it really triggering for her. We went on to discuss why this was so, and realised that what the marketing does here is poke at the insecurities that many of us struggle with, our ‘pain points’.
It is true to say that these issues ARE painful for many people who struggle with food/weight/body image BUT, going to a slimming club DOES NOT FIX these issues. I know so many people who have realised that dieting is not the way to go to address this stuff.
Dieting, even ‘successful’ dieting, where a goal weight is reached, does not sort this out. I will concede that it might be easier to get clothes, (that’s another story) but you CAN live life to the full without dieting. In fact, unlike what the leaflet says dieting makes your life SMALLER.
- You stop going out, because you can’t eat what is on the menu, OR
- you are too scared to go out in case you lose control and break your diet OR,
- you make excuses so you don’t have to go.
- Maybe you look up the menu in advance so you can pick the least calorific option, to ‘limit the damage’ OR,
- you stay at home.
And hating having your photo taken, that’s all about feeling ashamed about being a certain size when in fact, we are brain washed to think that everyone should be a size 10 or smaller and if we aren’t we don’t fit in and we should feel bad about this. Except, most women are a size 16 or over. So really, women over a size 16 are the majority. So, why are we feeling bad about our bodies for not being smaller?
It’s because we believe the myth that being thin equals being healthy. WHICH ISN’T TRUE. You can be thin and not healthy. Think of people who have lost huge amounts of weight because they are ill, or stressed and can’t eat. Think of people who get eating disorders in the quest to be thin. Not healthy at all.
One of my clients reminded me of something I’d said to her once which she found really helpful.
We are not all supposed to look the same. If we were, it would be easy to mould our bodies (it isn’t) we would be able to diet once and it would work (it doesn’t). We wouldn’t need to get so caught up in the erroneous thought process that if only we could lose weight it would all be fine and we’ll be happy (we won’t).
As one of my participants pointed out to me last night, you can have all these things,
- Live life to the full,
- Enjoy shopping for clothes
- Go out and socialise
- Enjoy photos of yourself
WITHOUT joining a slimming club.
In fact, you can have all these outcomes by learning about how to eat mindfully, how to trust YOURSELF, recognise when you are hungry and when you are full.
If you do that, if you learn to approach your thoughts and behaviour with compassion and understanding instead of feeling bad because you’ve failed, then you have a chance at being happy, more relaxed around food, more accepting of yourself. Which would you prefer?
With love xx
If you’d like any help around these issues I offer one to one coaching and workshops to help you find 'Food Freedom and Body Acceptance'.
My next series of workshops start on 22nd February at 7pm in Bristol and run every Thursday evening for 8 weeks.
One to one coaching packages are also available via Skype.