in eclectic curiosity

Weight Loss is Never About the Food

Every time you look up, there’s a new “super food” to help you rid your body of “toxins” and give you all the energy you want to manage your hectic and busy life. A new “diet to end all diets” seems to pop up every other day. You’d lose weight if you eat this and not that. You just need to exercise more. Restrict your calories. Go on a juice fast. As a matter of fact, you should just STOP eating. Completely. Breathing is good enough.

Because food is evil.

And it must be avoided at all costs.

Even destroyed.

In my decade as a health coach and community food educator, if there’s one thing I see over and over again, it’s that the first thing is never the thing. Being “overweight” or “fat” is not the problem. Food is not the problem. What I’ve learned during my coaching sessions, cooking demonstrations, sampling events, and in conversation, is that it’s never about the food. We understand so very little about how our bodies use food for energy and health, but we remain adamant that it’s as simple as calories in, calories, out, low-fat or no-fat, dieting, deprivation, and willpower.

And clearly, none of that is working. At least not with any long-term results.

Counting calories is not sustainable.
Restricting food is not sustainable.
Dieting, deprivation, and willpower doesn’t work.
In the beginning, sure.
Until someone brings doughnuts into the office.
Or you get invited to a birthday party.
Or you go on vacation.

And yes, there are all kinds of tips and tricks to work around those events.

But why do you have go through all of that?

Why can’t you just be around food and not feel manipulated one way or another about it?

Simple:  there’s no money in it.

There’s no way to package and sell the idea that you have everything inside you necessary to eat well and feel good in your body.

There’s no money to be made from telling you that you don’t have to give up food to lose weight.

And that’s where health coaches come in.

We know there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to healthy eating and living.

In fact, “healthy” is subjective.

I can eat leafy greens from sun up to sun down, but if I share them with someone who is high-risk for strokes, it could kill them. So leafy greens would not be a “healthy” food for them.

So how can we have a new conversation about food and weight loss?

Here’s an idea:

What if your relationship with food is about love? The love you have for yourself? The love that was expressed to you throughout your childhood? The love you look for in your work, your relationships, your life?

What if the food you eat directly corresponds to the messages you believe about your self-worth?

What if you could tell a new story about what it means to be nourished?

What if I’m right, that weight loss is never about the food and there was another way?

What could your life look like if you didn’t punish yourself with food?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

This summer, I’m ditching the scale in favor of a life that makes room for everything I love, including ice cream. And you're invited! My online program begins Wednesday, June 25th and runs for 12 weeks. Together, we’ll transform our relationship with food by focusing on what we want more of, instead of what we don’t. Click here to learn more and to sign up.


  1. Preach it. I have had a blog post in my mind about this topic. I dieted since age 10. I was never overweight except for after 2nd pregnancy, then ate traditional-diet, plus high-fat low-carb healthy type eating and exercised 1.5 hours-plus/day–to me, that’s more of the same: attempting to *manipulate* my body. I dropped the 50 lbs.

    Slowly the weight came back after I stopped dieting and began to allow my body to heal from the years of dieting. I’m 30 lbs. heavier than my ‘dream’ weight of the past. I only know that because I was at the doctor’s this week. I ditched my scale 2.5 years ago.

    I love my softness, I love my mush, I love my femininity, I love that I’m not longer in a battle with my precious body, I love that I don’t give a SHIT if anyone else thinks I’m sexy or should lose weight. Body love.

    I eat what I want without feeling the need to binge because I know I can have it whenever I want for whatever reasons I want. In general, I don’t eat much in the way of sugar foods, etc.; because it’s all fair game for me, I can go by how I feel (emotionally and physically) rather than a sense of scarcity and lack. No apologies.

    Healing from this long-time issue is a miracle for me.

    A side note: You might love, how I do, the book called _The Woman’s Belly Book_

    P.S. Thanks so much for the ping back to my single parent post. It made my week when I saw it!

  2. Amy!

    Thanks so much for sharing your truth here. I’m going to check out the book.

    p.s. You’re welcome! It is a great complement to my post.