I heard author and speaker Glennon Doyle say yesterday that when polled, the number one goal women have is to lose weight.
Number One. Lose Weight.
I think we need to sit on that for a moment.
Number one? It’s not changing the world, shifting a global movement, freeing people, creating a better place for our children, or working toward success on any front: relationships, careers, or health.
It’s losing weight. Becoming less.
I think it says a lot about us and I think it’s just time for us to recognize it for what it is. And I want to first of all say: it’s not your fault. That overarching importance of being smaller is not OF you. It was placed IN you, possibly for generations.
How it happened for me:
I remember wanting to lose weight when I was about nine. If you just read that in surprise, you must not be female, because nine is actually late comparative to other women who were told they were not enough at a very early age, and to be enough, you have to take up less physical space.
Be less in this world.
But I had been teased around age nine because I was still a little chubby. I still had a little baby/little girl chubbiness. And that wasn’t ok anymore. I wasn’t fitting the mold of pretty girlhood because I wasn’t thin enough.
So, I did what most women do. I made poor food choices.
So, you see, this “number one goal” has nothing to do with getting healthy. It has to do with being enough by being less.
I hit puberty at age 11, and the little girl chubbiness completely fell off of me. I was suddenly tall and rail-thin. This was exciting to me! Goal achieved. I take up less horizontal space, so I am better! Better than YOU, fat girl.
That’s right. This created a monster.
I became overtly critical of other girls. That THEY were not enough because THEY took up too much space and THAT is not allowed.
I want you to really consider the consequences of all of this.
- I was blocked from being my best self
- I was blocking others from being their best self
- I was obsessing over food rather than being my best self
- I was projecting this philosophy onto others
- None of us were focused on things that matter
I learned as an adult how incredibly toxic all of this was. And if you know me, you know that I had a major awakening and have completely shifted my life, in hopes of helping others as well.
The paradox for me now is that I do help women lose weight. But I don’t want it to be the number one goal…. nor do I want anyone obsessing about their weight.
Because we have a lot of things we need to do in this world.
What I know is that when we are our healthiest, we can do more for this world. But our healthiest means in mind, body, and spirit.
And our healthiest bodies are not food obsessed. They are driven to fuel the body with quality and use the body for means that matter.
I want you to consider this if you are still stuck in this paradigm of diet culture.
- What are you NOT doing while you’re obsessed with weight loss?
- How much of your power is given away to diet culture?
- How much of your mind space is used up with thoughts of worthlessness?
- How are you impacting others with your fear?
- What COULD you be doing instead?
It’s going to take time, patience, and a lot of lovely warriors to help us break free from this cycle. But we CAN do it, and ladies, I want this done by the time your kids are old enough to get stuck in this pattern.
We don’t use the words “fat,” “skinny,” “weight loss,” or “diet” in my house. We use “healthy,” “strong,” “smart,” and “powerful.”
Can you help me shift this? What could we shift together?