We Don’t Coach Weight Loss.
The term “weight loss” is meaningless.
I’m pretty sure you don’t want to lose weight by cutting off your leg. But when you use the term “weight loss” to talk about your goals, you may as well be saying that. Weight loss by any means? Sadly, that’s too close to true for a lot of people. I find that most people think they mean fat loss, but they get hyper-focused on the number on the scale rather than what’s happening in their body. Often, “weight loss” ends up being muscle loss. Weight is simply the measure of the pull of gravity on our body. That’s it. It says absolutely nothing about how you look, how you feel, or how strong you are.
Weight loss mindset prioritizes the number on the scale over health.
If we’re trying to accomplish weight loss, what do we typically do? Go on a diet. Restrict foods and starve ourselves. Do more exercise that makes us sweat or feel “beat up.” Berate ourselves for failing.
What if I told you that not only are these things unhealthy for both your mind and your body, they’re actually making it harder to accomplish your goals. Our bodies are excellent adaptors. If you overly restrict your calories, your body will decrease how much it moves to compensate. And then you try to exercise and you don’t have enough energy, so your intensity level is lower. You can end up in a vicious cycle of eating less and less and not seeing the number on the scale go down. Or it goes down because your body is burning muscle and storing fat, and muscle weighs more. THIS IS NOT GOOD FOR YOUR BODY!
Oh, and did you know?
Sweating does not equal fat loss. Sweating does not mean anything in regard to calorie burning. You can be sitting still and sweating buckets if it’s hot enough. What it does mean is that you’re losing water weight, which you want to replace so you don’t get dehydrated. What I often see happen is that people try to do exercises that are too hard or intense for their current fitness level, and they end up getting injured.
Keto and carb cutting are often used for weight loss. And you will lose weight, but not like you think. CarboHYDRATEs are named as such for a reason. For every gram of glycogen that is stored (this is how the body stores carbs), 2-3 grams of water are stored. So if you significantly reduce your carbs and deplete your glycogen, you get automatic weight loss that has no relation to your body composition.
But we see the number on the scale go down, and that makes us feel good regardless of the reason. How fucked up is that?!
Belief that we need to weigh less is a product of the patriarchy.
Who gets to decide that there a value related to the size of our bodies or the number on the scale? In my experience, the desire to “lose weight” is often related to a belief that it will make us more attractive. Who gets to decide what attractive is? People who are smaller, calorie deprived, and focusing a large amount of their energy on how they look are much easier to control. It’s time to say enough.
Ok, so now what?
What is it that you actually want to accomplish? This can be an emotionally difficult question to answer.
I want to feel comfortable in my body.
I want to feel strong.
I want the endurance to play with my kids.
I have a specific physical challenge that I’m working toward.
I want to be able to move without pain.
None of these things have anything do with weight loss, but most of us have the ingrained belief that it’s what’s needed to accomplish them.
Fat loss may accompany working toward these goals, but it’s not the goal in and of itself.