Have you just started exploring health without weight loss or maybe you’ve been experimenting with it for a while? Take a moment and congratulate yourself. You are doing something wonderful, rebellious, and positive for your physical and mental health.
But it isn’t an easy journey. You might find that you struggle with weight obsession. Working to stop obsessing about your weight and seeking weight loss is tough. All around you, there is diet culture and weight stigma. Things that tell you all the time you need to lose weight to be “right” or “good enough.”
Well, that’s a load of bull. You don’t have to lose weight to be healthy. You don’t have to be on the diet rollercoaster, AND you can be satisfied with yourself and your life at a higher body weight. But why is it so hard to stop our obsession with weight?
1. The people around you struggle with weight obsession.
Our environment and the people that you surround yourself with are very influential on how you think. If everyone around you is obsessed with counting calories, watching carbs, and weighing themselves then that is likely to creep into your mind too. You may find that you compare yourself to these other people. It is easy to think “if they are so focused on these things, maybe you should be too.”
But you’ve learned there is another way. That is why you are here! Embrace that. Take time to remind yourself that you don’t have to get back on that diet rollercoaster. You’ve decided to focus on your physical and mental health and drop the obsession with weight. The people around you may not be ready for such rebellion right now. And that is okay. There may be a day when they are ready and you can help guide them and help them live a happier life.
2. You spend too much time on social media.
Social media has a weight problem. No doubt about it. Some of the social media platforms have recognized this. Research indicates that women that spend time on social media are more likely to have lower body satisfaction and are more likely to use their looks as a basis for their self-worth.1 Some platforms have vowed to make changes to their sites to make weight loss and weight loss products harder to see. 2
But for most of us, we will still come across these types of posts as they may be slyly posted to avoid the platforms’ regulations. That can be very hard to see when you are on this weight-neutral journey. Similar to spending time with people that are obsessed with weight, spending time with social media posts that are all about weight or have lower-weight bodies can cause you to struggle. Seeing those ideas and behaviors makes them seem normal.
Unfortunately, participating in weight loss can even make us feel “normal”. But, there is nothing “normal” about weight loss products and strict diets that are promoted on social media. Very often these are actually examples of disordered eating.
What can you do?
Take time off of social media. Limit the amount of time that you are on and exposed to these types of messages. Better yet, curate your social media accounts. Delete the accounts that share this type of information or product placements.
You don’t need that crap in your life. You’ve decided to stop obsessing about weight loss and shift your thinking to health and wellness.
3. You’ve internalized weight stigma.
This one really bites. Internalized weight stigma means that you have taken to heart all of the negative things that you’ve heard about people in the larger bodies.3 This wasn’t a conscious decision. It just is something that happens. When you hear something for long enough you start to believe it. Internalized weight stigma can make it really difficult to ditch the diet mentality and stop the weight obsession. With internalized weight stigma, it makes it hard to believe that you actually deserve to live a happy life as a person in a larger body. And you 100% do.
Being in a larger body doesn’t make you any of those stereotypes you always see. You are as deserving as a person in a smaller body of a happy life where you don’t have to worry about weight and dieting.
What can you do?
Internalized weight stigma is a tricky thing. You can change your mindset though. When you think, “I shouldn’t eat this cookie at dinner because I had a cookie at lunch,” take a deep look at that. Ask yourself if you would think that about a friend in a smaller body. You probably wouldn’t. Make it a point to challenge yourself. Redirecting your words and thoughts can make a huge difference in breaking down that internalized weight stigma.
4. You don’t have a support team.
Environment, relationships, internalized weight stigma. All of these things can create a struggle when ending the obsession with weight loss. This journey is something that you need to have a support team for. Ultimately, you need people that you trust to support you. People that you know can pick you up when you are feeling down.
What can you do?
Seek out support! This support can be a friend or family member that is on the same journey as you. You will have shared experiences that you bond over and learn from. Check out this post about finding an accountability partner.
Support from a HAES and weight-neutral professional counselor or therapist is also beneficial. You will be breaking down decades-long internalized weight stigma that can bring up issues for you that you will need to work through. Having a wellness and nutrition coach to guide you in building new habits and behaviors will be invaluable.
At Weight Neutral Wellness, this is what we specialize in; helping you break down old weight loss guided habits and build up health and wellness habits that will nurture and sustain you through the rest of your life. You can stop the struggle with weight obsession, you just need some backup.
You can free yourself from weight obsession.
I believe in you. You got this. You’ve taken those first steps. I know that you can stop the struggle with weight obsession. You are here, finding out more about this new way of living. It is something that takes continual work, but 100% you can do this. I would love to be one of those trusted folks on your support team. I can help you on your journey. Schedule your free clarity call today.
- Casale S, Gemelli G, Calosi C, Giangrasso B, Fioravanti G. Multiple exposure to appearance-focused real accounts on Instagram: Effects on body image among both genders. Current Psychology. 2019;40(6):2877-2886. doi:10.1007/s12144-019-00229-6
- Chin K. Pinterest bans weight-loss ads. The Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/pinterest-bans-weight-loss-ads-11625171134. Published July 1, 2021. Accessed September 28, 2021.
- Puhl RM, Heuer CA. Obesity stigma: Important considerations for public health. American Journal of Public Health. 2010;100(6):1019-1028. doi:10.2105/ajph.2009.159491