A few months ago I went to NYC to meet with some major women’s magazines. Something I am really passionate about is changing the body conversation in mainstream media so women all over the world stop waiting on the weight.
One of the magazines I met with was interested in doing a “before and after” piece on one of my clients. We talked about the piece being about her LIFE before and after. Yes, she did lose a lot of weight during Live More Weigh Less, but it didn’t matter to her and I didn’t want weight to be the focus of the story because that’s not what Live More Weigh Less is about.
We enjoyed sharing all the details about her life before and after and collecting pictures that showed how happy and connected she now feels.
The magazine came back and asked how much weight she lost.
We went back to them and said that this piece isn’t about the weight. The most we would report was “I lost weight, a lot of weight, but my life was so amazing, it didn’t even matter.”
Plus, I instruct all of my clients to throw out their scales and this woman hadn’t weighed herself in close to three years!
Unfortunately, the magazine had to draw a hard line with this column and wouldn’t run the story without an actual report on the number of pounds she lost.
Sure, my client and I could have gotten together and guessed how much weight she lost and given them that number. The opportunity for both of us to be in this magazine would have been HUGE. But I was clear that doing that would be promoting a message I am vehemently against.
I am thrilled that magazines are starting to promote a more balanced message when it comes to women and our bodies, but my work is not over until people really get that weight loss cannot be placed above actual transformation, ever.
I believe so strongly that losing a specific number of pounds is in no way more notable or worthy than celebrating than saving her marriage, starting her dream business or changing her daughter’s course with her own body.
My wish is that the media start celebrating what really matters when it comes to a woman’s happiness. It is the only way we are going break free from a paradigm that promotes body hatred and holding back in our lives.
Look, I get why focusing on weight loss is so enticing, not only does it help sell all the products that are being advertised in the magazine, but as a society we equate weight loss with so many positive life attributes.
When someone loses a lot of weight we assume that they are also much happier, healthier and having lots of sex. This is the whole weigh less > live more mentality. But that’s just not true. I know so many women (many of whom join my program for this very reason) who have lost weight by dieting and feel more out of control, low energy and miserable than they were 40 pounds heavier.
They have experienced first hand that losing weight doesn’t change your life, changing your life changes your life – and usually leads to weight loss if you are holding onto some extra weight but at that point, who cares.
Losing weight doesn’t change your life,
changing your life changes your life.
Perpetuating this assumption that weight loss causes all of these amazing things to happen is keeping us all stuck in body jail and in the constant cycle of dieting and emotional eating because we aren’t tending to what actually needs attention.
My dream is that women’s magazines everywhere will start celebrating and talking about what really matters: happiness, gaining freedom from emotional eating, adventure, joy, love and connection. As long as the media continues to promote a new number on the scale as a major accomplishment, we’re screwed. We deserve better.
I’m not sharing my clients story here because I’m excited to work with a magazine who is willing to change the conversation and celebrate what really matters. If you know anyone, send them my way:).
In the comments below I’d love to know what YOU want to see in magazines. What is going to make you feel inspired?
Can’t wait to hear from you.