I know that this is the time of year when everything is all about “New Year, New You”, but something has happened over the last couple of days that has got me really hot in the pipes!
Over the last 3 days I have seen a Facebook post and an email from influential women that I follow online, who are encouraging their tribe to join them in their weight loss journey, but they are not qualified to provide this advice.
One of the lady’s had just signed up to a weight loss program using hypnosis and had a photo of her in a bikini back in the day. Her post was encouraging her tribe to also join the program with her, as it has a 100% success rate (I’d love more data & evidence!). Women were commenting asking for the link and sharing personal stories around how they can’t lose their post-baby weight, and how they are desperate to lose weight. You could just feel their desperation. These women are vulnerable, and especially this time of year where there are so many messages to encourage weight loss (which often leads to self loathing). These women are just searching for the next thing to ‘fix’ them so that they can lose the weight, feel great and live happily ever after. I call this fantasy thinking. This is when you’re life is on hold now until you are at your ideal weight.
We are looking in the wrong place for the answers.
Anytime you are looking outside of yourself, there’s a part of you that is looking for an external fix for an internal issue. I whole heartedly believe in an internal strategy to deal with an internal issue.
I was feeling quite passionate about this topic, so I posted it in my private Food Freedom Facebook Group as I felt so conflicted as to whether I should educate these women more around the evidence that diet’s don’t work, the psychology around why we eat and self sabotage.
I decided to let it go and move on, until an email from someone who has a HUGE following and someone who I really respect sent out an email this morning describing how she had lost weight and then encouraged others to look into the program she has been following for a few months. The program she was endorsing is in essence involves not eating sugar and wheat.
Let’s be honest, who hasn’t tried this approach?
You can dress it up however you like but it’s still a diet which involves a large amount of restriction. We know that 95% of people who diet then regain their weight and more within a 12 month period.
She is setting up her tribe for failure (but probably doesn’t know it).
Can’t we just stick to what we know? I think we have a duty of care, please don’t underestimate your level of influence when you have a platform.
Aren’t we best serving our tribe by operating in our zone of genius?
Many women who struggle with their eating & weight feel vulnerable, so if there is someone who they look up to and respect provides them with advice – they are going to listen and most likely join.
But this might not be the right thing for them to do.
When you promote such things outside of your area of expertise you don’t have an intimate understand about women’s triggers, why they are struggling with their eating in the first place, and why they self sabotage (except for maybe your own experience). When we diet we start to get into the ‘in control’ vs ‘out of control’ thinking and eating patterns and as you know – this is incredibly stressful and unhelpful.
Everyone has their own journey and own story.
Their eating & weight is happening for a reason. And it’s not as simple as eat less and exercise more!
Let’s not do these women a disservice. Feel free to go on your own journey with your eating and weight, but if you aren’t qualified in this area, please don’t make recommendations.
For the women reading these posts who are feeling vulnerable, I’d like you to know this:
- You’re not broken
- You’re not a failure
- You do not have to go on a diet to lose weight
- You do not need to lose weight to feel good
- You have all the answers inside of you (don’t look outside of yourself)
- Start to tune in and trust yourself (hint: that’s the secret that we are really searching for).
I’d encourage you to take the no dieting pledge and instead join me for my 5 Day Food Freedom Challenge here – which is an inside out approach to reducing your emotional eating.