One of the easiest ways to convince people to try a new diet ,or supplement, is to show them someone else who lost weight doing it. We are very visual, when we see changes we believe what we are told. This is why Facebook and Instagram are covered in advertisements showing before and afters. This is why many of the popular diets/supplements target people by advertising weight loss benefits. As a health professional, I would rather see numbers. Show me how you improved this person’s health outside of the weight loss because weight loss is not always a sign of health. Show me how you decreased their blood pressure, increased their energy levels, and helped them get a good night’s sleep. Show me how you improved their life.
Ten months ago when I decided to stop taking my birth control pill, it was not with the intention of losing weight. After doing research I knew there was the potential for weight gain, but I pushed that aside because I knew this was a step towards better health. Two years ago when I started getting regular B12 shots, it was not with the intention of weight loss. It was with the hopes of being able to get out of bed in the morning feeling energized rather than feeling completely exhausted. Six months ago when I really committed to my own nutrition, it was not with the intention of losing weight, but to decrease joint pain, and heal my damaged digestive system. I have made dozens of decisions over the years, and the ones that resulted in weight loss were the decisions I made to improve my health. The weight I lost recently was a result of focusing on my overall health. I just wanted to feel better. I had accepted where I was at with my body but refused to accept the brain fog, fatigue, joint pain, and stomach aches I had been living with for years.
If an advertisement for a certain diet or supplement is all about weight loss, you need to take a long, hard look at the company. Are they really out to help you improve your health, or are they just out to make a quick buck helping you slim down for a short amount of time? There is nothing wrong with before and after pictures, I enjoy seeing them. I just want people to tell me about the other, more important, health benefits they have achieved along with the photos. “Jenny lost 20lbs, you can too!” is not a convincing argument. I could go on a rice cracker diet right now and lose 5lbs by Friday, but it would not improve my health in any way.
Whole body health is not a new concept. It is how many cultures treat sickness. They don’t just look at the symptom, they look at the whole person. This is how we need to think of our own health. Don’t lose weight for the sake of losing weight. Weight gain is a symptom. It can be anything from a hormone imbalance to an autoimmune disease. It isn’t always because of overeating. Starving yourself, or limiting yourself to the point where you don’t get the nutrients you need might cause short term weight loss, but it could cause long term damage to your overall health. A balanced and healthy body is also a lean and functional body. Make health your goal and let the rest happen. I’m not all the way there yet, but I will never stop trying. If you need some encouragement, don’t be afraid to drop me a message!
Eat Your Veggies!
Photos by Andreane Fraser <3