At least not like you think it will.
Last week I had the pleasure of talking with an adolescent female who came to me wanting to lose weight.
She was accompanied by her parents who mentioned that her weight was encouraging her depression and they felt helpless, given that they didn’t think she needed to lose weight.
I agreed with them.
What I was able to gather right away was that this young lady was perfectly healthy and would not be helped by weight loss.
What I was able to gather after spending some time with her was that her weight loss goal had very little do with her health or weight and had everything to do with her perceived quality of life.
So I dug a little deeper.
“Tell me,” I said, “how does your life get better if you lose weight? What changes?”
And she gave me a transparent and truthful response, saying something to the effect of, if she lost weight she would be able to share clothes with her skinny friends, fit in and feel better about herself.
Because none of us really cares about weight loss. That’s not what we’re looking for.
If we’re being transparent and truthful, what we want is to feel better about ourselves.
Whether we’re in high-school and want to feel confident with our friends, swapping skinny jeans and crop tops.
Whether we’re in college and want to feel confident, getting dressed for a date. Or,
Whether we’re grown women and want to feel confident in the bedroom, on the beach, and/or in the boardroom.
We all want the same thing. To feel better about ourselves. To feel confident in our skin. And to feel accepted - not just by those around us, but by our own inner critics - showing up in our lives unapologetically.
Focusing frivolously on weight loss efforts won’t get you there. I’m sure of it.
I know because I’ve been there. With no weight left to lose, still hating myself, still ashamed of my body.
Focus your efforts from the inside out.
If what you really want is to feel better about yourself, focus on building a healthy relationship with food, focus on managing your mindset to support realistic expectations and powerful goals, focus your action steps on things that will serve your success long-term (not fleeting fat loss that leaves you more frustrated than before).
Can weight loss be an outcome of that process? Yes, absolutely. But it can’t be your first line of defence. Because at the end of the day, weight loss isn’t really what you’re looking for. Is it?
Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.