Expert Insight: Losing Weight Naturally

“When you do start to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full after years of being on one scheme or another, you will most likely go down a size or several sizes.

Unless you have been eating drastically less than your body needs for years, your weight should stabilise at its natural set point, which will be lower than what you’ve achieved through dieting and bingeing”.

Susie Orbach, “On Eating”

When clients first seek help for their emotion-driven overeating issues, they often think if they can sort out their weight, everything else will be OK.

In this way, therapy can be seen as another weight-loss initiative.  There’s sometimes a sense of disappointment that we’re not focusing on weight during sessions and, as a result of this, some clients assume I’m anti-weight loss.

I’m not.

If your additional weight gets in the way of you being able to fully live your life, and you want to reduce in size to feel better, I’m all for that.

What I’m not in favour of is putting pressure on yourself to lose weight while you’re trying to normalise your relationship with food.

There’s a simple reason for this:  it doesn’t work.

If a part of you is entrenched in the diet mentality and pressures you to lose weight, you’ll always judge what you’re eating.  You can’t normalise your relationship with food if you judge what you eat.  You won’t listen to yourself about what you really want and will perpetuate shame about your food choices and your body.

But equally I don’t believe that if you’re no longer dieting your eating has to be chaotic and unstructured, and it’s up to you to find the structure that feels right.

I believe our bodies know what size and shape we’re meant to be and it’s our job to work with them and respect their wisdom.

I don’t believe we’re all meant to be thin.

I refuse to conform to the idea that women’s bodies in particular are supposed to look the same.

I believe in appreciating and valuing our bodies, whatever size they are.

I think the pursuit of body perfection is pointless and a waste of one’s life.

I feel we need to focus less on appearance and more on knowing who we really are.

That’s where the work is.

It’s not about looking good externally so we can feel better about ourselves internally.  It’s about working out why we struggle to regulate feelings appropriately and why we don’t feel good about ourselves.  It’s then about acting on our own behalf to heal and take care of ourselves, physically and emotionally.

Any weight loss then is a result of improved self-care and valuing ourselves.

That’s how we lose weight naturally and keep it off for good.

22 thoughts on “Expert Insight: Losing Weight Naturally

  1. Great post, as always Julie. It’s so refreshing to find acceptance of individuality and a refusal to conform to cookie-cutter views of what women’s bodies should look like and I applaud you for that. It’s also liberating to think that our own bodies know best and when we remove the distractions, they will find their own equilibrium, Lxx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. We need a LOVE button for this post. You have written so many simple statements that are true and valuable. And these two lines are so important.

    “I believe in appreciating and valuing our bodies, whatever size they are.

    I think the pursuit of body perfection is pointless and a waste of one’s life.”

    Thanks Julia.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re so welcome, I’m really glad that what I’ve written has resonated with you. I do believe that attempting to manipulate our bodies for the sake of meeting some cultural ideal is a sad waste of time. Our bodies are amazing – whatever they look like – and deserve to be appreciated. Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re absolutely right that it’s a journey, and it’s OK to struggle at times on that journey. Ultimately, life feels so much better when we appreciate and cherish the body we inhabit. Thanks for your comment, Cristy, lovely to hear from you.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It makes me so sad the way we can despise our bodies simply because they don’t fit with the projected ideal. Our bodies are wonderful. Thank you so much for your very kind and thoughtful comment.

      Like

  3. Another great post Julie – l totally agree – the moment you can regulate yourself and be happy with who you are irrelevant to your shape is the moment you can start to ask yourself what you want that is best for you.

    We live in a society that says one thing but is driven to achieve something else, and this makes it very hard to fully understand ourselves, it also comes down to shrugging off the stereotypes that society wishes to have us believe about shape in the first place which makes so many people so very unhappy.

    I often wonder why society is so fixated on impossible shapes, as in ‘expected shapes’, each one of us is not only an individual, but uniquely different to the next person along, we cannot by any imagination all be the same person, the same shape, the same thinking, the same mentality or ratio we can only be who we we were born to be, but more importantly is that we have to accept that first and foremost before anything else can happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Each one of us is not only an individual but uniquely different” – so beautifully put, Rory. And I agree that everything starts with accepting ourselves “first and foremost”. Often we can think we can’t accept ourselves until our bodies are culturally “acceptable” but, actually, self-acceptance begins with right where we are. When we accept ourselves, our individuality and our uniqueness, we can value and look after ourselves. Many thanks for your insightful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad Rory (a guy called bloke) shared this post. It’s excellent and contains many of the things I’ve found to be true over a life time. When I was about 16 my mother came to the conclusion that I was ‘fat’ (I weighed my actual adult body’s metabolic set point) and put me on several different ‘diets’. Of course yo-yo weight gain and loss ensued. Through diet and sensible exercise I got about 25 pounds off when I was 18. But that didn’t hold and through my adult life I’ve always had issues around my weight, which is too much at this point. But I rarely worry or think about it any longer. I believe that we must learn to love ourselves exactly as we are first, or no changes will be possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry to hear of your experience which is, sadly, all to prevalent – being put on diets at a young age which then interfere with your natural instinct and appetite, and lead to a dysfunctional relationship with food and inevitable weight gain. I’m really pleased, though, to hear that you no longer worry about it and I couldn’t agree with you more that change can only come when we love and accept ourselves as we are. Thank you for sharing your experience, Melanie, I think many people will relate to it.

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  5. I remember when Marilyn Monroe was the American ideal of the most beautiful female body type. Then I recall the backlash of that: Twiggy! What a devastating era that was! And now … something in between … who’s the “ideal?” Why do we buy in to that junk? Your blog is so helpful for those of us who fight to maintain what we are led to believe is our “ideal.” Heaven help us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely spot on – we don’t have to buy into someone else’s idea of how our bodies should look. I’m so pleased you think my blog is useful, many thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Like

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