Holly Lowery
Eating Disorder Recovery Coach & Anti-Diet Advocate


Holly Lowery - Blog

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The desire to lose weight is destroying your positive body image efforts


"Can't I want to repair my relationship with my body and still try to lose weight?"
If we're being real, the answer is no. 

Please bare in mind, I can only tell you what I've experienced  personally, and some of what my colleagues and clients have experienced through the process of unlearning the body loathing language.  But the reason you can't have both is because the desire to lose weight isn't really rooted in health, and isn't really coming from a desire to feel good in your body.
The desire to lose weight isn't at all connected to the root of whatever it is that ails you. 

The desire to lose weight comes from a need to regain control over something else that feels out of balance in your life, the need to 'shed' some emotional baggage, and/or the desire to fit; to feel accepted.

We're taught that if we can juuuuuust lose those few extra pounds, all will be well. Logically, we can walk ourselves out of that lie, but we've heard it, seen it and been promised it sooooo many times, we've internalized it; it's been ingrained into our beliefs. 

But the truth is this:
Intentionally losing weight will not heal your heart. Intentionally losing weight will not improve your health, and intentionally losing weight will not improve the way you feel about your body- at least in the long term. 

Intentional weight loss (i.e. dieting) will do the following however:

  • Slow your metabolism and digestion

  • Reduce your muscle mass

  • Make you think about food all the time

  • Make you feel out of control around food, more so than you might now

  • Drop you back into the yo-yo weight cycle

  • Increase your chances of developing or falling back into an eating disorder

  • And amp up your feelings of anxiety, depression, loneliness, and low self esteem

And if allllll of that wasn't enough to convince you, maybe the fact that 95% of dieters will regain the weight they lost, and then some within 5 years' time.

So sweets, this is the one instance where I'm going to tell you, you can't have your cake and eat it too.  You can't want to improve your body image and sense of self worth, and continue down the dieting path of doom.

You can however choose to accept where you're at today. You can choose to admire your body for the things it does for you, and the moments it carries you through. You can choose to not skip or restrict your meals today.
You can choose to reject that notion that your body is something to fix. 

And when you're ready, you can choose to learn from the underlying emotions, beliefs and experiences that may be causing your desire to control your body, and take action to heal.  
You can choose self care over negative self talk.