There’s so much money to be made in weight loss. So fucking much.
And I can’t even count on all my fingers and toes how many brands, individuals and reps spruiking their tele-summits, ‘lifestyle’ coaching, teas etc. approach me every week, asking to align with my brand.
They offer generous commissions. 30%, 40%, 50% of their customers signup fee to go in my pocket if I refer them.
They claim that their message is similar to mine (they’re not), so it would be a good fit (it most certainly wouldn’t).
They also want to know that they can milk me for all I’m worth (or how they see my worth) – in terms of FB followers, Instagram followers, email list size and engagement rates.
And every single time, I knock them back. Some I never hear from again, some are perfectly polite. But the bigger percentage… maybe 60ish% of them…. they come back with vitriol.
“Don’t you know how much money you could make here?”
“But wanting to be slimmer is a part of life for so many people, including your followers? Why not help them do that?”
“No offence, but you’re deluded if you think that you can just not be part of the weight loss biz.” <—- YEP. WTF.
Here’s the thing folks: I *DO* know how much money I could be making if I pushed weight loss programs at you. I’m acutely aware of that fact. And my bank account and mortgage and endless stream of bills rolling in would absolutely *LOVE* that cash.
But I couldn’t live with myself.
I couldn’t. I wouldn’t want to.
Everything that I teach here, everything that I’ve learned…. it goes against all of that.
Here are some things that I know for sure:
1. Bodies change weight, all the time. On the daily. On the HOURLY. Gravity, hormones, menstrual cycles, water content… it all contributes. Bodies also change their mass outside of that. Sometimes they get bigger, sometimes they get smaller. Sometimes smaller bodies benefit from making health changes, sometimes larger bodies do too.
BUT – there is a HUGE distinction between the act of weight loss occurring and diet culture. The act of weight reducing itself? That’s neutral. It’s neither here nor there. Diet culture, however; the act of *intentional weight loss* using weight as the primary metric for measuring health and placating feelings around worth, love, sex and gender… I’m so not down with that.
I’m also not down with the idea that every time a body reduces in mass, that’s an inherently positive thing (I’m looking at you, Cosmo).
If you want to make changes to improve your health like eating more nutritious food or finding joyous movement or being careful around food intolerances or whatever else… that’s your perogative! And that can absolutely tie into self-care. It’s why I refer clients to dieticians to help them nourish their body and physiotherapists and trainers to help them find enjoyable movement and doctors to help them figure out underlying issues.
But… to intentionally reduce your weight as the goal itself (as tied to whatever beliefs you hold about yourself and your worth when you inhabit a smaller vessel) will never be body positive. It’s the opposite of self-care.
To hinge your worth on being smaller or small “enough” is not caring for yourself.
And aaaaaaall these brands that promise you declined body mass as if that in itself is something to be celebrated are profiting from your desire to align thinness with worth, fitness and health.
By aligning themselves, purveyors of intentional thinness, with fitness and health… we learn to associate dieting with health.
There’s a reason why diet plans don’t address the mental components of making sense of your changing body: If they did, they’d have to expose the fact that the “tips” they’re giving are incredibly psychologically damaging and doing so would be pretty detrimental to their profit margins (which, by the way, is the entire basis of their business – not your health).
2. Diets don’t work. Study after study after study after study proves this. Ultimately, the results are almost always identical too: eventual re-gain of the weight you’ve lost, blaming yourself, low self-esteem, overwhelm, frustration & desperation. Not fun.
The restriction mindset that every diet book under the sun tells us to embrace? Yeah… not so scientifically sound if your goal is long term improved health outcomes. The restriction mindset does however work in letting you lose weight and then almost immediately gain it all back plus more… which isn’t likely your goal but yay for diet companies, it means that they’ve just found a lifetime customer! When you’re fixed to the idea that repeated restriction will help you meet your goals, you’ll just keep coming back to diet companies for more.
3. The diet and weight loss industry in the US alone rakes in upwards of 64 FUCKING BILLION DOLLARS a year. EVERY YEAR.
From our insecurities.
By promising us that they can “hack” our body. By promising us that we’ll be happier and better liked and sexier and prettier and better mothers when we’re leaner.
By using tactics like fear, guilt and shame to market to us when we’re vulnerable.
So when I receive yet *another* invite to sell my followers to a diet company or push the latest “not-a-diet” diet program at them… my skin crawls.
Literally. I shudder.
Forget ghosts and ghouls… the power that the diet industry holds is terrifying. This is some scary shit, y’all.
It breaks my heart whenever I see another activist or teacher in the self-acceptance space giving in to these affiliate programs and kickbacks. It’s so damn disheartening. The lure of cash and reaching more people (through desperation and vulnerability) has become overwhelming for a lot of folks.
If I’d taken every offer that had come my way… I’d be living a very different life.
Instead of writing you this note from my little office space, I’d be off riding jet skis in the Bahamas and having strangers fan me and feed me grapes (that’s what multi-gazillionaires do, right?)
But I’m glad I’m not. I don’t want to be part of that.
I never *WILL* be part of that.
Because we all deserve the concepts of body positivity and self-love and acceptance not to be subverted by brands seeking to hitch their wagon to what they see as the latest ‘trend’.
Self-acceptance isn’t a trend. It’s a lifesaver. It’s intangible. It’s everything.
And it trumps diet culture.
And that, friends…. is why I’ll never, ever EVER EVER EVER align with anyone or anything that sells intentional weight loss.
Regardless of how much it would boost my bank account.
Regardless of how many new followers it would bring me.
Regardless of whatever other personal gain I’d see from the deal.
It’s not worth it to me.
You deserve better than that.
We ALL deserve better than that.