Episode 402 Topics: truths & lies about weight loss, the calorie equation, and why willpower doesn’t mean what you think it means.
Transcripts are automatically generated, so may not always accurately reflect the words/phrases used or the individuals speaking.
Welcome to the new Balanced Bites Podcast! I’m your host, Liz, a nutritional therapy practitioner and best selling author bringing you candid, up-front, myth-busting and thought-provoking conversations about food, fitness, and life. Remember: The information in this podcast should not be considered personal, individual, or medical advice.
I have spent YEARS researching whether a good multivitamin is truly necessary for overall health. The truth is, there are a LOT of opinions out there, including from people like me, who love to ask lots of obnoxious, overly detailed questions. But the truth is, if I’m paying attention to how I FEEL, my answer was clear: I will be taking my multivitamin, and it will be from the brand Needed. Needed third-party tests EVERY batch for performance and quality, which is incredibly rare in the supplement industry and incredibly important to me! To get started with Needed, head to thisisneeded.com, and use code balanced for 20% off your one-time order or your first three months’ subscription. While you’re at it, add Stress Support to your cart. I’m loving that one, too.
Liz: Hello friends. Welcome back. Today I’m gonna talk about something that is usually addressed in an incredibly oversimplified and one-dimensional way, and I’m going to attempt to bring a percentage point or two of nuance to it, which I know could get me excommunicated in certain circles. But anytime there are like two warring factions, which is what I sense at least in my Instagram feed, in this case, it’s kind of like diet culture versus.
All of the alternatives to diet culture, right? I tend to think there’s some gray area worth discussing. I’m gonna talk about a little something called. Weight loss. Now I know we aren’t supposed to talk about that anymore, and this is something that traditionally I’ve sort of done the Heisman, right, like straight arm, knee up when it’s been brought up.
My response over the years has been like, whoa, whoa, whoa. That’s unnecessary. It’s. Just about vanity. It’s not about health. For many of us, it’s triggering and [00:01:00] counterproductive. So let’s all just realize that in general, this is a topic that is a marketing construct that makes lots of money for Weight Watchers, for influencers who genetically possess the type of body that is generally considered desirable by our culture for biohackers with products to sell and for gyms around January of every year, weight loss was invented by Hallmark to sell cards, right?
Just over. . Okay. So yes to all of that. But here’s the thing. Here’s why I bring this up right out of the gate in the second episode of this new Evolution of the Balanced Bites podcast. It’s because weight loss is probably, and I say probably because I don’t actually know, but I have a reasonable expectation.
It’s probably the number one search term for people in the so-called health and wellness podcast world. It’s the first place most people go, who? The very good intentions of bettering themselves, being the best that they can possibly be. So I would [00:02:00] be completely remiss if I didn’t address it, or at least like give it dressing down as we start this new evolution of the podcast.
Because after everything I said in the previous episode, sort of introducing what we’re gonna do here and all of our upcoming interviews and conversations and everything I say here today, people will still be here because they. weight loss or something similar and that’s fine. Whatever gets you in the door, right?
So despite the fact that I’m addressing this period, I think you’ll find that I take a different approach to this conversation, and that might take a few episodes, but we’ll, we’ll draw it out. But real quick, if this particular content feels triggering to you, if it feels violating, if it puts you in an unhealthy mindset, not the kind of mindset that like just doesn’t wanna be challenged, that’s not what I’m saying.
That’s like a lazy mindset. , but a mindset where is really like, it’s just not the time. We should all be willing to challenge our beliefs, but if this is really putting you in a place where [00:03:00] you need to back off here and start somewhere else, do that. This podcast isn’t going anywhere and there’s no urgency here.
You can consume this at any point that’s right for you. . Okay. With all of that said, let me start with a few like sound bites for my approach to the weight loss question, and then after that I will get into several weight loss myths that just need to die. First of all. Not only is the process of losing weight, not straightforward or one size fits all, the conversation itself is not straightforward or one size fits all.
It’s true that most people are striving to lose weight for reasons of vanity and like so-called aesthetics versus actual health reason. So that’s important. We need to, we need to put that out there. It’s true that most means for losing weight are not beneficial to overall health. Think like short term yo-yo dieting.
[00:04:00] And that’s also in part because statistically we know that at incredibly high percentage of people who lose weight gain it back within five years and are right back where they started. That’s the long-term. Yo-yo right there are short-term yo-yos and there are long-term yo yo-yos. . It’s also true. that we live in a toxic soup of stimuli and inputs never before seen in human history.
And there is no one reason any individual might be carrying more weight than they feel is meant for them. Even those who insist that weight is genetic cannot reasonably dismiss the impact of environmental influences that were simply not present, not available, and not impacting people the way they are now 50 or a hundred years.
That said, it’s also not only our environment that’s having an impact. . Okay, next up. It is also true that the so-called health [00:05:00] reasons, air quotes for which people are encouraged to lose weight are actually sometimes specious. In particular, there are very few actually permanent ways to lose weight, so as to reduce the strain that excessive body fat has has on the system.
So knowing that, is it actually a good idea to recommend weight loss in the first place? Like as practitioners knowing that there are very few ways that are actually permanent and the likelihood with almost anyone is that whatever it is, Whatever it is that this person does, the person you’re working with or you yourself, is probably not going to be sustained over the long term.
Knowing that, is it actually a good recommendation in the first place? Why not replace the recommendation and that focus on losing weight with the recommendation to simply add in behaviors that we know, reduce health risks that are so much less rife with yo-yoing. [00:06:00] Psychological risks, like things like walking or establishing strong community ties, stress reduction sleep.
It’s also true that excess body fat is for some people, and outward manifestation of internal risk factors for multiple conditions and outcomes that can severely limit one’s life or worse. So if excess body fat is present, . It’s worth looking deeper to see what’s going on underneath the hood. And to that point, insufficient body fat and excess leanness also present problems that can be severely life-limiting.
We just don’t talk about it as much because our culture still rewards leanness and extreme lifestyle choices as representative of goodness or or a personality type that is superior to a personality type that has. More issues, so called sticking to something, right? It’s a sign of willpower, which is something that I’m also gonna talk about.[00:07:00]
So it’s also true that some people would be healthier if they lost weight. I feel like we’re not allowed to say that right now. And that bothers me. And maybe it bothers me because I’m coming from a place of curiosity and not I’m, I’m not taking offense. Right. I’m not, and, and that also probably has to do with where my body is at this place and time.
For some reason though, it feels like we’re not supposed to say that, that some people. Probably a very small percentage of people would be healthier if they lost weight just by virtue of that. But just because this is true does not mean it is mentally healthy or physically possible, and I’ll talk about that too.
It is also true that weight loss can be done and it can be permanent. And in that case, I can only hope that if the person undertaking that journey is you, that you have contemplated what is influencing the decision, [00:08:00] how to best approach it for maximum so-called success and minimal collateral damage over the long haul.
And I hope you’ve created a nuanced approach that takes multiple factors into account, not just the number on the. So, okay, let’s talk about these things a bit. Let’s mush ’em together and tease ’em apart and just have some fun with it. This is fun, right? Many people who think they need to lose weight probably don’t actually have a health related need to do so for many people it’s an aesthetic thing.
I, I don’t know what word to use here, whether I should use aesthetic or vanity. I’m gonna kind of use them interchangeably, even though I think it could be argued that they. Represent very different things. Aesthetic kind of sounds like, you know, we can all agree that it’s better looking to look a certain way.
No, I don’t feel that way. Vanity kind of sounds like, well, you think that, you know, this is really important for you to look a certain way, and I don’t know neither of those, Hmm. Neither of those [00:09:00] explanations sit all that well with me. But I think overall, you all know what I’m saying when I say aesthetic or.
So usually these types of things, these physical appearance, aesthetic vanity metrics, they’re usually defined and just ingrained across a lifetime by pervasive cultural expectations, familial expectations, whether spoken or unspoken. The media marketing, we know this, this is, this is old news. That said, there are people.
interestingly. Who can cultivate a particular aesthetic in their body without self-judgment and without this toxic mentality, I know them. It takes a very particular set of circumstances and a particular personality, but it can be done, and I would be completely wrong to paint all of this with a broad brush and say, people who engage in these behaviors of, for lack of a better [00:10:00] term, body modification, right?
Modifying your body to look a way that you want to, that you place value. To say that people like that are always victims of a perverted cultural push to look and exist in the world a certain way would be inaccurate. And I know there are people who would disagree, who would argue some kind of like Stockholm Syndrome and that’s fine.
I’m sure that could be argued as well, whether it’s worth arguing on behalf of those peoples debatable. It’s a moot point, right? Like a cow’s opinion. It’s moo. Which by the way, moot doesn’t mean what most of us think it means. It’s a fun fact. It actually means two things now because people got it wrong so often that the definition literally was changed.
So one definition of moot means debatable, and the other definition means not debatable. It’s very silly. Okay on. On that note, while I will spend some time doing this today, one thing I don’t wanna do is spend inordinate amounts of time railing against this collection of pathologies. We could [00:11:00] collectively call like the man.
I don’t wanna just constantly be railing against the man or the media or diet culture because I find that when you’re constantly railing against something, you actually fall victim. Like being a victim, constantly engaging in a struggle with something beyond its usefulness to you, and doing that means that that something is sort of still the boss of you.
It’s like, why are you so obsessed with me? Right? So we’ll acknowledge what needs to be acknowledged and hopefully move on to the next layer. . Now for some that speed of unpacking things is too fast. Many people will need to spend more time unpacking these things to feel really empowered. And if that’s you, then absolutely do that.
Don’t stop with this episode. Maybe even don’t start with this episode. Get in conversation with a trusted friend or a therapist, or even a counselor who specializes in disordered eating or another professional. [00:12:00] I’m not any of those things. So further unpacking this in a way that a counselor would be useful for, or a therapist that’s not within my scope of podcast.
So as you listen to all this stuff, just remember if things start to feel. More than just challenging If things start to feel like they are sending you in a tailspin to someplace that you don’t wanna go back to. That is your sign. Your sign that in order to get to a place where you can have a challenging conversation around this, where you can consider multiple aspects and different points of views for you to get there, which I think is a great place to be.
In order to get there, you’re gonna have to do some extra steps, right? Counselor, therapist, some professional that can really help you work through those things. And sometimes that is a very long process. But the last thing I want this podcast to do is, you know, I know people hate this word, but trigger anybody.
So let’s really be contemplative around our, our, [00:13:00] your, our mental state in attacking these topics and figure out where a good entry point is for this conversation. It might not be this podcast, and that’s okay. And also, by the way, if there’s someone you want me to interview around any of this stuff, like a therapist, be sure to make that suggestion by going to balanced with liz.com and filling out the form.
All right, back to the podcast. So as I mentioned, many people who think they need to lose weight actually don’t have a health related need to do so at the same time, there is science that suggests that certain individuals would likely resolve certain concerning biomarkers of disease or impending morbidity with an approach that includes.
The behaviors that might be expected to lead to weight loss. I should have been a lawyer, right? Like the phrasing is just ah, chef’s kiss. So perhaps in some situations it’s not actually the weight loss itself, right? Rather it’s [00:14:00] the behaviors like dietary shifts or adding foods that support physiological processes like muscle synthesis or blood vessel function, or its physical activity leading to increased muscle mass or cardiovascular function.
And even like the more peripheral behaviors like developing personal resilience strategies, meaning honing your stress capacity and emotional regulation tools that can lead to and also result from behaviors like for example, prioritizing movement consistently over time. So there are all these different factors.
It’s like a factor soup, right? And they can all sort of exist together and sometimes one of them is linked to another. Sometimes it’s where you start and sometimes it’s where you end up. An example for me would. For example, say all other things being equal, I start taking a walk every day. That small act can increase self-esteem.
Some might say disproportionately, I would say. Let it increase your [00:15:00] self-esteem to whatever point you want. Something that small can increase self-esteem to the point that you start thinking, gosh, maybe now I’m gonna do some meditation. Sometimes meditation and taking some time to develop your stress capacity and your emotional regulation tools can actually lead you to do something else positive, like prioritized movement.
So it’s a chicken and egg thing, right? It all sort of. Together, interacts with each other and you kind of at, at our best, we’re figuring out what the little thread is that we can pull that will add to our lives rather than take away. Now, some people, depending on their body composition, might reasonably expect to improve their health directly as a result of weight loss.
But in order for this to actually be a long-term shift, the approach is important. It’s more than important. It’s everything. And I’ll talk with Michelle Shapiro about this in an upcoming episode because when you do it wrong, [00:16:00] it can actually be very toxic and temporary. And unfortunately, this happens more often than not.
We have no safeguards against. Anywhere in the dominant narrative, but there are brilliant people like Michelle. She’s a registered dietician who are talking about it. So these things can all be true at the same time, despite a lot of well-intentioned discussion To the contrary, I think at least here we can acknowledge this.
We can acknowledge that the truth, the reality, the good stuff like the journey upward is probably neither on the side of like, suck it up and use your will. nor everything is diet, culture and thus all attempts to change, your body must be rejected now and for the rest of time. It’s nuanced. It is, but the truth is not black and white.
and we can also acknowledge, I think that in almost any situation where weight loss is the goal or one of slash [00:17:00] the only means to reach an end goal, whether that end goal be improved biomarkers of health or reducing morbidity or just flat out looking different, we have to deal with the reality. That engaging in the process of losing weight can actually mean engaging with a range of behaviors, both short and long term that actually leave us way worse than they found us.
And this is the double-edged sword in nineties terms. It’s a yo-yo pattern, and this is in many ways inextricable. It’s inseparable from the mental and physical trauma that is caused by diet. By misaligned priorities, by ignorant healthcare practitioners, by generational stressors, by inherited trauma, and by guilt and shame among other things, and even weight loss itself can set into motion.
In fact, we know we have scientific proof that weight loss, fat loss, most specifically because [00:18:00] note, it’s possible to lose muscle too. It sets into motion a. Of physiological adaptations that virtually guarantee that you will gain that weight back, and then some that is a matter of your body screaming to you, that it is being pushed in a direction that it does not consider safe and is activating all the alarm bells and safety valves to ensure it does not happen.
This happens mentally, it happens physically, it happens structurally, and this is why the statistics show that within five years, almost everyone who has lost weight will regain it, period. So yes, for some people the juice is not worth the squeeze, especially since you can focus on improving many biomarkers of health without even giving a lick of attention to weight loss.
For me personally, the juice is not worth the. is it for you? I can’t say, but I do wanna give some context so that you [00:19:00] know, not what you’re up against, but the waters you’ll need to navigate to give it the best chance possible. It’s an entire physiological, psychological, spiritual journey that needs to happen, and there are stages in which.
You need the right guide to help you access that inner knowing. And this process should always be a process of reclaiming and not outsourcing your power. So when I say a guide, when I say a guide, I’m not saying go find, you know, somebody’s pro metabolic eating program and download that. That’s not what I’m saying.
It’s more intricate than that. The value of a guide, a true guide in that process, not an online guide, a guide as in a person. It cannot be overstated. And I talked to Michelle Shapiro about this in some upcoming episodes are so good. So you’ll definitely wanna look out for those. Okay. Now, if we’re occupying the side of the weight loss conversation that says, yes, it’s possible and yes, it’s right for you.[00:20:00]
here is the number one myth I want to bust because it always, it doesn’t even matter what place I enter this conversation. This still comes up and it blows my mind. The number one myth that I cannot believe still persists is the myth that changing your body composition or losing. Or whatever terminology you wanna use around this.
Choice is a matter of calories in, calories out, or carbs in, or lack thereof, lack of carbs in calories out. And I think many listening would say they understand this. If you’re sitting there and you’re like, uh, nobody thinks that anymore. Hold up a second. Because even if you say you understand, At the same time, many people who say they understand it have dabbled or bought into approaches like keto or carnivore or intermittent fasting [00:21:00] as a proxy for calorie counting.
This is something we talked about on the Balanced Bites Podcast for years, but it bears. Because the motivations, the core motivations, sometimes the unspoken motivations are the same, right? It still comes down to weight loss or body composition changes as a simple equation. You know, you think it’s, it’s so simple.
It’s like how much you eat and of what versus how much you expend. And we’ve come up with many different ways to substitute and sneakily engage in this behavior without looking like we’re engaging in this behavior. , but what it all comes down to is that calories and calories out, or any iteration of that or.
Protocol or plan that narrows maybe the window that you’re taking in calories but then actually ends in you taking in fewer calories overall. It’s all nonsense. I just saw a very well followed individual on Instagram talking very [00:22:00] emphatically about how, boom. It’s as simple as that. People that aren’t losing weight are lying about how much they’re eating, period.
and it got a lot of engagement and it looks very valid because of all the followers he has. So I hope his soul survives the purgatory of moral bankruptcy. I’m kind of kidding. Not really kidding, but as a very interesting health writer, I followed Jo Joel Green. He would say the people advocating this approach cannot even produce the equation that validates it.
They just wanna believe it’s that simple, because simplicity sells and they have no other answer. You know what else sells? Guilt and shame are exploitable. And these are the tactics that are used over and over again to make people believe at first that they can do it. Because the path out of guilt and shame feels doable when it’s this simple, like less food or different food or less carbs or intermittent fasting or whatever.
Plus more movement, plus willpower. Times forever equals what they think they want. And when that fails, [00:23:00] because of the beautiful complex physiological mechanisms our bodies have in place to protect us from losing homeostasis, it feels so reasonable and so familiar to blame ourselves rather than to ask the question, was this necessary in the first place?
And if so, was this particular approach literally designed to fail? And then this is where our obsession with willpower comes in. This is myth number two, that willpower is the key to short-term results and long-term quote unquote success. Now, because the public conversation around weight loss does not seem to have access or want to access the type of in-depth scientific knowledge that would enable truly permanent changes for those who need.
Where people go instead. This is nutritionist, trainers, everyone, it seems where they go is willpower. Right? At [00:24:00] this point in the process, we seem to think that willpower is what’s supposed to carry us, and if things don’t work out as hoped, we think it’s some kind of personal failing, right? A failing of willpower, and that is freaking ridiculous.
It’s not that willpower is not a thing, it’s that, first of all, in my opinion, willpower is meant for something entirely different than keeping yourself from eating something or some things. Willpower is something we can access that enables us to do extraordinary things that are critical to our survival, our safety, or the survival and safety of our families.
It’s when we survive on no sleep to ensure our newborns are properly cared for. That is sheer love and force of will is willpower. Willpower is how you resist peer pressure. It’s when my grandfather managed to survive for a week in the jungle when his plane went down in World War ii. I [00:25:00] talk about his story on my Liz Talks podcast, episode 52.
It’s when we call on our deepest strengths in our greatest moments of. It’s having the willpower to not punch someone in the face when they’re telling you that all you need to lose weight and keep it off is willpower. What willpower is not is this, willpower is not when we manage not to eat that piece of cake.
In fact, that’s the opposite of willpower. That’s system override. Or you can look at it this way. Willpower is not this magical ability to rise above these evolutionary mismatches that confront us at every. Our bodies are designed for survival and procreation, right at the core. Both of those things depend on resources.
Food, water, and a piece of cake presents an evolutionary mismatch in terms of its ingredients and its availability, but not in terms of our survival mechanism. [00:26:00] It’s a burst of calories. It’s a burst of energy. It plugs into all our reward receptors and our primal bodies have a food reward system that’s wired in with our survival instincts.
In the same way that willpower is wired in to the instinct to survive eating is wired in to the drive to survive. , yes, cake has sugar and other potentially inflammatory compounds. But that’s an evolutionary mismatch too, right? Never before have we had this problem of cake being available at a moment’s notice At every turn.
We can’t willpower our way out of this massive evolutionary mismatch. That is not a reasonable expectation. If we should do anything to address this mismatch, it should be by arming ourselves with the knowledge we need to address hormonal balance, leptin, the appetite signaling complex, our gut health, our social systems, all of the [00:27:00] components of our ecosystem that evolved along with us.
Not just paint over all of it with this nebulous term willpower that is so misunderstood that it just lends itself to the people on the internet or the voices in your head that are just shouting at you like, how bad do you want it? Apparently not bad enough. And again, this was just the topic of a very disappointing conversation on the page of a very popular fitness influencer who I.
Has just really honed the skill of influencing, and I don’t mean that in a nice way. The conversation he steered actually actually referenced how people in concentration camps didn’t get fat as proof of concept. Like, are you kidding me? Is that really where we’re taking the conversation? We are digging into this calories and calories out willpower conversation, blaming personal failings of willpower on people.
who simply don’t have enough information to know that you are wrong. And we are [00:28:00] bringing in concentration camps to say I was disgusted and that he earned an unfollow is an understatement. So clearly I cannot tackle how insane that is here today, so I’ll bring it back to Will. Again, when we paint over all of this with willpower, we are willfully disregarding the fact that the body and all its signaling molecules are unbelievably complex as if we can just override that.
outside of like the most extreme personality types, that expectation is laughable. We are literally saying it is simple, even though it is not. And decades of scientific research have supported that assertion again and again. But rather than spending the time delving into that information, that research that reveals the dearth of evidence for our current systems, and in doing so, Helps prove out the mountains of wisdom [00:29:00] around appetite signaling, and even the psychological components of our relationship with food.
We spend years of our lives in these cognitive loops that keep us in the same spot perpetually, for example. We say, but they did it. They don’t seem to have an issue doing exactly what I’m trying to do. So something must be wrong with. No, actually what you’re saying is actually proof of the opposite concept.
The fact that someone else can, while others can’t, is proof that this one size fits all approach does not work. It’s garbage. At best. It’s a cognitive loop and intellectually lazy, and at worst, it’s literally causing severe physical and psychological harm and attempting to use willpower to override. Our survival systems and drop valuable body fat reserves, most people’s bodies will simply not respond to that positively.
Yes. Again, there’s nuance. Some people do actually need to do this dance and lose [00:30:00] body fat specifically to survive, and that is a very modern problem that requires a symphony of modern solutions. But for the most part, through an evolutionary lens, weight loss is not critical to the survival of most people, and for those for whom it is, again, it is an entirely other medically complex situation resulting from a tangle of circumstances derived from modern day life that requires a highly individual approach.
many, if not most of our bodies look at weight loss as the exact opposite of survival. Losing weight is not just releasing compounds that can be like caustic to our bodies, which is something we’ll talk about in a future episode. It also represents a loss of reserves that would be important to our survival, and that’s not to say that willpower is not a thing.
Again, willpower is a thing. It’s a beautiful thing, but it’s not what we think. It’s not about not eating that cake. Poor willpower. It’s actually this amazing thing that has [00:31:00] been perverted into just avoiding the wrong aisles at the grocery store, resisting the cake as if the body is just needing to understand cake bad.
As if it has not recruited thousands of elegant systems that do not care that you think you’re not supposed to eat that cake. So think about willpower like this. When you have to call on willpower in the short term, it’s heroic, like I mentioned before with the war stuff and the face punching. But when you’re talking about extrapolating across a lifetime of maintenance phase, Willpower is useless and in many ways actually a willful turning away from what your body is actually trying.
Very hard to communicate to you. So what are we really talking about when we talk about weight loss? We’re talking about a complex cascade of signaling molecules, including hormones and neurotransmitters. We’re talking about the gut. We’re talking about the actual structural changes that occur when [00:32:00] fat cells shrink that make the process of losing weight and doing so for the second or third time, as is so often the case, that much more difficult.
and we’re talking about, don’t even tell me something works until you’ve passed the five year mark with it, right? Because by that point, whomever did the influencing is long gone and forgotten, and we once again blame ourselves rather than the plan finger quotes. That did us no good. Okay. This was not all meant to sound discouraging.
It’s meant to say a few things. One, energy in energy out is simplistic and not a single person that preaches it can produce the equation that supports it. Two, willpower is too good for these roles. We’ve placed it in three, these internet people who are selling body transformations owe. Way more than they’re giving you.
And four, there are some really worthwhile steps you can take to evaluate whether this is really a road you need to [00:33:00] go down at all. And taking these steps, by the way, will almost always leave you better than they found you for just having contemplated them. Whether you decide to go on a weight loss journey at all or not.
And if you do determine that a path towards some kind of weight loss or body composition shift is the right move, you can look at who you might want to work with to actually harness and address your individual needs. Finally, there’s nothing wrong with you. Your body is amazing and like you, it’s doing its best to function in a sea of conflicting, discordant signal.
I know I said that if you rail against something too much, it’s still the boss of you, right? I think this probably doesn’t quite qualify, but I also might not exactly be seeing myself clearly, but it’s okay because my podcast, my rules, right? . So let me say this. We are going to dive into so many different topics here.
We’re gonna talk weight loss at some points, maybe not in the context you [00:34:00] came for, but we’ll talk about it and we’ll probably tackle all these different pathways You could go down. I’m not gonna tell you what’s best for you, but you’ll probably be able to gauge my opinion, which should actually be pretty meaningless to you.
And in most cases, I think it’s probably not a matter of right or wrong. Rather, who are you? What is your situation? What journey is right for you? We’ll talk intuitive eating, we’ll talk health at every size, approaching your weight lovingly with Michelle Shapiro. And when we talk about approaches to eating, whether that’s autoimmune, paleo, or keto, or low FOD map, or carnivore or fasting or whatever, we’re gonna be really clear about the downsides.
We’re gonna be really clear about. it works means because when we say something works and we aren’t specific, we’re being unscientific and unhelpful. Does works mean you lost 50 pounds in 30 days and fit in a smaller yoga pant size, but you’re exhausted, your hair’s falling out and you have full-blown anxiety, or [00:35:00] does it mean you lost 50 pounds over the course of three years and you kept it off for five years and counting, and you resolved all concerning health biomarkers while creating a sustainable, unbalanced relationship with.
Does it mean you were able to resolve P C O S and get pregnant? Does it mean you were able to resolve gut issues and self-adjust over the ensuing years? Does it mean you healed? Your acne came to a place where you felt better in your body without adding physiological or psychological baggage? You get the idea.
This is a dance. It’s frogger, , and it’s different for everyone. And I won’t always be here offering solutions. I’ll be offering information, discussions, and thoughts because I’m on this journey too. I’ve got things to figure out just like everyone else. And I wanna remain healthy for the long haul for myself and my family and my kids.
Yes, I wanna fit in my current clothes for a long time to come. Some of them are expensive clothes, but will I sacrifice my mental health or. feed my physical health to the [00:36:00] yo-yo wolves to do it. No, not worth it. We all have to figure out what is worthwhile to us and whether our calculus is really coming from within or from some outside influence.
Is it our internal locust or is it something that just sounds an acts an awful lot like us? Usually, frankly, it’s the latter and we hate to admit it, but that’s why the same people talking health at every size or self-acceptance are also secretly wondering if they’re a candidate for ozempic or wondering if they should try carnivore for like health reasons.
I’m not saying that’s everyone. I’m saying that both sides of this argument are contemplating doing things that are not healthy under the guise of health reasons. Right. people are doing it a little more. Obviously. Some people are making completely unfounded claims and pushing those on vulnerable people, and some are making [00:37:00] incredibly helpful claims and behind the scenes looking for the same easy button.
And this doesn’t make them hypocrites. It makes them human. We are permeable. We don’t exist alone. We’re not on an island, and I hope. We can at least all agree that our bodies are extraordinary systems working to assimilate information that is incredibly confusing while keeping us safe. Now I’m gonna repeat something I said in the last episode just to ensure we’re all aware of where I stand.
There’s no magic. And even if there were, we would still need to grapple with the why and the mental, psychological, social, cultural factors as much as the physical factors. And if we can be honest about that, we can make inroads. We can optimize health to a degree that’s manageable on a reasonable timeline and on an individual basis.
And note that optimizing [00:38:00] health to a degree that’s manageable on a reasonable timeline and on an individual basis is very different from that sort of one dimensional so-called goal to just lose. So in my opinion, emphasizing over and over again that manageability timeline, individuality reality, are factors that we ignore at our own peril is the only way to do this.
You can spend your whole life trying to disprove that by entering into one lopsided contract after another, going for the same old one-dimensional wellness promises that are dressed up in new, trendy clothes. The big word right now is biohacking and end up right back where you started. You can accept that there are complexities, you can learn to recognize them and start moving forward, like the self-actualized badass that you are.I’ll leave it there for today. Thanks as always for joining me and for being here for this next evolution of the Balanced Bites podcast. [00:39:00] Thrilled to be having these conversations. See you next time.
Thanks for listening to the new Balanced Bites Podcast! Before you shut down your podcast app, PLEASE take a moment to subscribe and leave a review! It’s a small thing you can do that I appreciate more than you can imagine! And speaking of what we can do for each other, if YOU have a question you’d like to have tackled on this podcast or an interview you’d like to hear, submit the details at balancedwithliz.com. Let’s keep unpacking, unraveling, contextualizing and nuance-ing the important questions together so we can be empowered, informed, active participants in our own health and happiness.