How it feels trying to navigate the middle ground sometimes, am I right?!
I am pro bodily autonomy (in many ways). But, what am I referring to here? What I mean is this: how you want your body to look is ultimately your choice and your choice alone. How you want to achieve those results is also your choice and your choice alone. But they may not be the healthiest means to achieve said end. However, many people need help making an informed decision for themselves – this includes understanding the trade offs involved in health choices, tapping into your core values, taking into account how certain behaviors will impact your health and well-being, being intentional with your habits, biofeedback, taking ownership of your actions, and more.
Working on your health and losing body fat are not synonymous. Sometimes there is overlap, but getting leaner does not always mean your health is getting better – it can be, and is often, the opposite, something many females in our society get confused. In fact, in many cultures across the world, thinness is synonymous with illness. Now am I saying you shouldn’t be content with your physique? Absolutely not. But what I am saying is this: improving your relationship with food, exercise, and your body might mean letting go of actively trying to change your physique–for now at least. It could mean losing weight in the process, gaining some weight, or your body staying exactly the same.
Everyone’s results will be different, because every single person is different: biology, habits, hormones, lifestyle, digestion, etc. What I guess I’m trying to say is weight loss can be nuanced. We have been taught it is straightforward. I don’t believe that is true.
Add on to that being a smaller size does not guarantee you will be content, either. Unfortunately this mentality has been touted in our culture. Now, is there confidence gained in achieving specific results? Absolutely, but if you haven’t spent the time on the internal portion of contentment, being 1 size smaller will not give this to you by happenstance. Glamorizing fat loss and sending the message that being thin is the key to happiness is problematic and harmful, it’s also untrue. Specifically with females who have been inundated in and with eating disorders. I am not anti weight loss, but I also believe that actively pursuing weight loss can be the wrong first decision for many individuals, specifically females who are always running on stress hormones (FYI this is why many females oscillate with their weight.) Just remember, cortisol and insulin are storage hormones 😉 so if you’re doing “all the things right” but still can’t drop the weight, let me introduce you to insulin resistance. But, I digress. Moving on…
There are ways for some people (not all) to purposely lean out in a way that aligns with their values, does not worsen their stress cycle with food and exercise. But it’s actually the bi-product of getting the core tenants of health down FIRST (primarily reducing stress and balancing blood sugar at every meal) and typically the weight comes off as a secondary bi-product.
If you haven’t listened to my podcast episode with Jordan from Jordan Lips Fitness, we take a deep dive on trade offs for appearance. The reality is, many of my female clients are not in a good position to prioritize weight loss FIRST because we must work on making the body feel safe (i.e. not running on stress hormones on the reg.) you can listen to Jordan’s episode here: https://whollywell.health/jordan-lips-26/
And while you’re at it, add my friend Kylie’s episode to your list, too: https://whollywell.health/kylie-larson-28/
I wanted to write this little note to remind you that weight is just one piece of the larger health puzzle, but weight (whether it’s too much or too little) is typically rooted in imbalance in all other areas of health. For instance, I often joke with my female clients that they can sleep off the extra weight. I joke, but much of this statement is true, too many females are under-eating, overexercising, staying up too late, consuming too many calories later in the day which all impacts sleep. Lack of sleep both in quality and quantity, leads to a host of hormone imbalances, an increase in cortisol (storage hormone), effecting appetite control, decision making and… weight loss. If you’re struggling with sleep, find my sleep freebies here. And, my Reclaim Sleep course here.
Getting the foundations right can be pivotal for whole health AND weight loss, live a life of balance, prioritize general movement, water and nutrient dense foods and I think you might be surprised what you gain and what you lose.
Always in your corner,