Recently I got the chance to be on Aron Bender’s show on KFI Los Angeles (a recording of the interview and pictures are below.) Aron, Brent, and the entire team were amazing and we had a blast (if only I had video of the dancing!) He asked me a question that I get asked a lot – is my choice to practice Size Acceptance and Health at Every Size about giving up?
Yes, in many ways it is. When I first read the research and found out that dieting almost never works long term, and that, in fact, by far the most common outcome of dieting is weight regain, I didn’t want to be a quitter. I wanted to believe that I could beat the odds if I just tried hard enough.
I believed the propaganda that people who didn’t succeed at diets were just weak-willed, I actually convinced myself that almost 100% of people were just doing it wrong. I convinced myself that I could lose weight through the sheer force of my will and by working hard enough.
I believed that weight was a simple matter of calories in/calories out. I believed that if I could create a calorie deficit with a combination of calorie restriction and activity then I would lose weight, so I didn’t understand why I kept creating a deficit but didn’t lose weight. I’ve since learned that it just doesn’t work that way. The body is much more complex than a calories in/calories out model.
That lead to another realization – this wasn’t just about hard work or force of will. This wasn’t just about my will, it was about my body. A body that I hated because it wouldn’t get smaller, instead of appreciating for doing everything for me.
I started to do more and more research and everything I found turned up the same results – intentional weight loss failed most of the time, there was no proof that it would lead to health even if it succeeded, and self-loathing is not good for our health. However, weight-cycling (yo-yo dieting) was very hard on the body and studies were suggesting that it could lead to long-term health problems. Dieting began to look more and more like playing Russian roulette with my health. Plus, for years I had been hating my body like I was getting paid for it, and it hadn’t made me thinner, healthier, or happier.
So I quit. I quit trying to do something nobody could prove was possible for a reason that nobody had proven was valid. I quit being part of a social construct that supported a $60 Billion industry with absolutely no proof that their product works. I quit fueling the machine that oppresses me with my time, money, and energy. As W.C. Fields said “If at first you don’t succeed try, try again. Then quit – there’s no point in being a damn fool about it.”
I got off the diet roller coaster for good. Now I have a wonderful life and healthy relationships with my body, food, and movement. So when it comes to risking that on a minuscule chance of making my body smaller, I’m out. Call me a quitter, I’m totally fine with that.
Here’s the audio from the show (my interview starts around 40 minutes)
And here are some pictures from my visit to KFI!
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Book and Dance Class Sale! I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!
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