Why it’s more than a conversation about weight?
Recently I got in a heated discussion with a colleague about my brand. In short she told me, “You talk about everything except weight. Why don’t you talk about weight? You should sell people on what they want, not what you think they need.”
I suffer from a condition I call over-thinking. Also, I have an overdeveloped center of my brain called “Let’s be hard on Mary.” I like and respect my colleague. Her words stung.
After some soul searching and talking to the people that I have helped I wrote this blog.
While I do not struggle a bit in my ability to help clients. I struggle with my messaging.
If you want to lose weight, I can write your ticket. I am probably one of the best people in the business. I helped a 45-year-old CEO achieve a physique and body that makes him look and feel younger and fitter than he did in high school. I’ve worked with a client who once weighed over 300 lbs. He no longer needed the plastic surgery he came to me for in the first place. I helped a woman with a 3-decade-long metabolic condition lose weight, gain muscle and hit PR’s in her sport. I’ve helped multiple triathletes get on the podium: personal finishes and world class finishes.
Everyone of those people still has those results a year or more after our coaching. That’s unheard of in my industry. So, I must be doing something different.
I believe that I am needed for SO MUCH MORE than a change to your waistline. I also believe that there is groundwork in our world that is sacred and neglected. If I think that work needs to come first. I will stand by that.
I have always made my business NOT about me.
I know now that had I known what I know now about human physiology, had I not followed crummy diet advice and had I done the deep work I do now, I wouldn’t have gotten thyroid cancer. Weight loss at any cost is a costly proposition.
This is just the tip of the ice burg but here are a couple of things missing when you only focus on weight:
1. Trauma: Many of us have had trauma, personal setbacks or a loss that triggered weight gain. I think having whole people who figure out how to fully heal first is important.
Recently I worked with the wife of vet injured in Iraq. Before we ever talked about food, we dealt with the long-held trauma and fear. After we fixed her digestion, her weight dropped.
2. Thyroid issues: Almost 80 percent of my clients have thyroid issues. Suggesting that they eat less and exercise more will almost guarantee a further attack on their thyroid resulting in a metabolic slow down and causing them to feel worse.
3. Cynicism and false claims: We have never lived in a time when there have been more exaggerations, more marketing, more advertisements and more claims about nutrition and health. The number one thing I don’t want to do is add more disbelief to the pile. I will get you to weight loss but only if we do things that make you better not worse.
4. Gut issues: Between 50 to 70 percent of all people with auto-immune conditions have long standing gut issues. Weight gain is one of the most common symptoms of auto-immunity. I won’t be the person who slaps another band aid on someone only for them to get worse when I had a chance to help them. *Gut issues no doubt were at play in my own health crisis. Thus, my belief that this comes first.
5. Shame, Guilt and Perfectionism: This is the three-legged stool that the weight industry was built upon. It’s the platform of my childhood and much of my adult existence. It leads to an unhealthy and unrealistic relationship with ourselves and with food. I want to be a part of changing that conversation not to be a servant of it.
Before I sound like I am blowing sunshine up your you know what…. Excess weight isn’t any kind of party bus. It’s not good for our hormones, our longevity and our resistance to illness.
I personally do not feel good with 20 more pounds on me. I feel achy, anxious and less confident.
Could I lead with statements about how much weight I think you could lose and how quickly? Sure, I could.
But I want to do the deep work with people to give them strength, resiliency and healing. I think our world needs that. The weight will come. But this is the foundation.
Your comments would be so helpful.