Satisfaction Factor

#55 - What If I Still Want To Lose Weight?

November 02, 2022 Naomi Katz & Sadie Simpson
Satisfaction Factor
#55 - What If I Still Want To Lose Weight?
Show Notes Transcript

Despite the fact that Intuitive Eating is absolutely not a weight loss program, most people come into the practice holding out the hopes that they will lose weight. And that's okay! And because of how common this is, we wanted to dedicate an episode to addressing the nuances of why weight loss and Intuitive Eating don't go together, and why it's important to at some point start to unpack and let go of those weight loss hopes. Within this episode we're talking about: why it's so common to hold out hopes of weight loss when starting an Intuitive Eating practice; why unpacking our desires for weight loss is an integral part of Intuitive Eating work & how not addressing it in our work will hold us back; and some practical ways to address our hopes for weight loss.  Plus, don't miss Naomi's hot take on a popular Intuitive Eating saying about weight!

Want to connect with us to deepen the conversation? Join us in our online community, The Satisfaction Space!

Want to show the world that you love the pod? Get t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, stickers, totebags & more at Teepublic!

You can stay up to date on all things Satisfaction Factor by following us on Instagram @satisfactionfactorpod!

Here's where to find us:
Sadie Simpson: www.sadiesimpson.com or IG @sadiemsimpson
Naomi Katz: www.happyshapes.co or IG @happyshapesnaomi

Referenced in this episode:
Fearing the Black Body by Sabrina Strings
The Body Is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor
Anti-Diet by Christy Harrison
What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat by Aubrey Gordon
You Have the Right to Remain Fat by Virgie Tovar
Belly of the Beast by Da’Shaun Harrison
Decolonizing Wellness by Dalia Kinsey
Who Is Wellness For? by Fariha Roisin
AVL Fatties
RVA Fatties
Chub Hub PDX
Plus Raleigh
CLT+
Bigger Bodies Boston
Pittsburgh Fatties Social Club
Fosnight Center for Sexual Health

Naomi Katz:

Welcome to Satisfaction Factor, the podcast where we explore how ditching diet culture makes our whole lives more satisfying. Welcome back to Satisfaction Factor. I'm Naomi Katz, an intuitive eating, body image, and self trust coach.

Sadie Simpson:

I'm Sadie Simpson, a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and intuitive eating counselor.

Naomi Katz:

We have been really enjoying this new every other week format, and we hope that you are too. But if you are missing us in between, consider this your invitation to join us over in The Satisfaction Space. For $10 a month you get access to our online community where you can meet other people who are also working on intuitive eating, and ditching diet culture, and stuff like that. You get bonus podcast content, and you get monthly live q&as or group coaching and just live hangouts with us. If you are interested in joining The Satisfaction Space, visit thesatisfactionspace.mn.co, or visit the link in our show notes to enroll.

Sadie Simpson:

Or if you want to support the show, but you don't want to commit to a monthly membership, we've got merch now. So we have a handful of designs over on Teepublic that can be printed as stickers, T shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, tote bags, and whatever else you like. So you can check that out at teepublic.com/user/satisfactionfactorpod. And we'll also link that in the show notes. And you can just rock your Satisfaction Factor pod merch everywhere you go, and show how much you love this podcast.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, I personally am really excited about the merch, even though I really hate the word merch. But the designs are pretty cool. And so I definitely would check those out.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes.

Naomi Katz:

Anyway, on today's episode, we are talking about weight loss.

Sadie Simpson:

The weight loss episode.

Naomi Katz:

Right? This is the the weight loss episode. So a lot of folks come to intuitive eating seeking an improved relationship with food and their bodies. And a whole lot of people also come to intuitive eating with the hopes that they're going to lose weight by practicing the principles of intuitive eating.

Sadie Simpson:

That was absolutely me at the beginning of my intuitive eating experience.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, I think that's true for a lot of people when they come into intuitive eating. And, you know, let's just start off by saying that's super- whatever normal is, this is super normal. It's not anything that you're doing wrong coming into intuitive eating that way, or anything like that. But we wanted to kind of take an episode and really address the nuances of why weight loss and intuitive eating don't go together, and, you know, why it's important to, at some point, start to unpack and let go of those weight loss hopes.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah, and we've mentioned this many times on this podcast, but nobody can predict what the outcome of intuitive eating is going to be. And honestly, I don't think there really is like a specific outcome that's going to be the same for every person across the board, other than working towards healing our relationship with our body, and with eating, and with exercise, and all that sort of stuff. But like the, quote unquote, outcome is just gonna look really different for everybody. Because as cheesy as it sounds, it's more about the journey, not the destination.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, absolutely. You know, I think the thing we always say is, some people might lose weight, some people might gain weight, and some people might stay exactly the same way when they practice intuitive eating, and all of those things are perfectly fine outcomes.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah. And in fact, I think it's really important to recognize that there are no specific body size outcomes with intuitive eating, and that's short term or long term. So when you think of a program that is generally related to changing how we eat, usually that is some kind of a time sensitive program, like the 30 Day Shred, or the 21 Day Fix, or the whole 30, or something like that, when the specific advertised outcome for these short term food and exercise related programs is weight loss. So if you follow this program, like the Whole 30, or whatever, as it is written, the outcome theoretically should be short term weight loss. And I want to make it super clear, we're definitely not encouraging people to do this. We're not promoting this. But in the short term, weight loss would be the outcome. But with intuitive eating, it's very different from something like a 21 day fix or a 30 Day Shred or anything like that. It's not following a specific diet or a meal plan or an exercise program to achieve a specific short term outcome, which is what we're accustomed to doing when it comes to following some sort of eating based program.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, like most of the time, when we make these shifts, we make them on these, like- I don't know- with like this understanding that it's a shorter term commitment, I guess you can say, with like, a short term outcome.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes.

Naomi Katz:

And as far as, you know, like, we're not encouraging people to do this- like, we're totally not encouraging to people to do this. And the reality is that, like, you know, we know what the studies on dieting show- like, diets work in the short term. People lose weight on diets, or- like, in the beginning. It's- it's that that doesn't last, and that it comes with a lot of like negatives also. But like, the reality is that in the short term people lose weight on diets.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah, well, I've run into this a lot with the folks I've worked with, because it's hard to wrap our minds around this idea that weight loss is not going to be the predicted outcome, once you start intuitive eating. Because we spent so long, like trying these programs after programs, that this kind of cycle of yo yo dieting, or program hopping, or whatever, it's just become the norm and the expectation, that is really hard to recognize that there are other ways out there too.

Naomi Katz:

I also think it's really, really hard for people to wrap their head around the idea that like, this is a very long term thing. This is a lifelong thing. Like this isn't the kind of thing where like, oh, in 30 days, you'll see a difference, or you'll feel a difference. It's like, no, you'll feel good for a while, you'll feel bad for a while, you'll feel good again- like it's going to- you're going to be constantly peeling layers back and doing this work in some form or another for a really long time. A year is not a long time to have been practicing intuitive eating. But when you look at it on the timeframe- or like when you're used to looking at things that are like 30 days, 21 days, 75 days- you know, like, which is a long term one- like that- it seems like, oh my god, a year is like this huge investment of time, I should be a pro by now. And it's like, no.

Sadie Simpson:

Intuitive Eating is a long term, quote unquote, program, if you want to look at it that way, is this lifelong practice. And because of this, our bodies might change when we initially begin incorporating some of the intuitive eating principles into our lives. We might lose weight, we might gain weight, we might stay the same way. But I think it's really important to point out that our bodies might- aka they will very likely- change again over time as we continue practicing Intuitive Eating over the course of the rest of our lives, because bodies are meant to change.

Naomi Katz:

We're just going to take this moment to remind everybody about death, taxes, and our bodies are gonna change. Like, I- like that's like our podcast slogan, right?

Sadie Simpson:

And you can also buy a sticker with that on it in our new merch store.

Naomi Katz:

Yes, you can.

Sadie Simpson:

But with all of that said, it's very common for people to begin an intuitive eating practice with the hopes that they'll lose weight. And again, I was 100% one of those people. I have definitely worked with folks who have shared with me at the beginning of our time together that they were completely invested and excited and understood and believed in and we're ready to do the work of intuitive eating. And in the same sentence said something along the lines, and I'm kind of hoping I might lose some weight too. We'll see what happens. And that's okay.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, that's totally okay. So Intuitive Eating is absolutely not a weight loss framework. Like we'll talk about a little bit later, it's super important to set aside the actual pursuit of weight loss when we start practicing intuitive eating. It is totally normal to still want weight loss when we first start intuitive eating. We live in a world that is full of weight stigma and of anti fatness. And Intuitive Eating is, at least on social media, almost entirely practiced by thin white women. And, you know, those thin white women make it sound like losing weight, gaining weight, or staying the same are equally likely options. Here's the thing. And I know- it's funny, we've said this a couple times in this episode already also. But, can I tell you the truth?

Sadie Simpson:

Yes, tell me, please.

Naomi Katz:

I don't actually think that those are equally likely outcomes.

Sadie Simpson:

Ooh, hot take. Let's hear more about it.

Naomi Katz:

My hot take on that is that I think maybe that's just the thing that we say to make intuitive eating seem more palatable to diet culture. I think that the reality is, most people who come into intuitive eating have been dieting, or restricting, or in some way of repressing their weight for years. And so, while I think that the amount of weight gain is going to vary pretty greatly- like not everyone is going to end up in a fat body or a plus size body- I actually think that most people gain weight when they do intuitive eating.

Sadie Simpson:

We don't have any research to back this up. But I feel like, anecdotally, that is a very fair thing to say.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah. And I think that, you know, we know that genetics plays a huge role in body size. And so, you know, one of the things out there that I've heard talked about is that most of the people who are like, well, I dieted and I kept all the weight off, that, if we looked at it, are actually just like genetically smaller bodied people. And so it's not so much the diet worked, it's that they were genetically more likely to be thin people, and essentially just leaned into that. So I think something similar is true here- that like, okay, we say you might lose weight, you might gain weight, you might stay the same- I think that it's all about your genetics. That like, I think most people are likely to gain weight in intuitive eating. The extent to which that's like a noticeable, or like, you know, an amount of weight that impacts your life in a significant way, or anything like that, I think is really just about your genetics. I think the people who lose weight or stay the same when they're intuitive eating are the same people who were like, oh, I lost weight and kept it off on this diet. Does that make sense?

Sadie Simpson:

Yes, it does. And I really like this take on it. Because really, when you think about it, the majority of folks who come to intuitive eating, have spent a long time dieting, restricting, like all the things that technically should cause a person to lose weight, whether short term, medium term- I don't want to say long term because we know the research on that. But it makes sense that if somebody is really truly practicing intuitive eating, really like leaning into the principles, really ditching the diet mentality, and all that other stuff, statistically speaking- like, I really want to have a statistic to spit out here because I think it would be really, like helpful to have for my math brain- but like, it makes a lot of sense, like looking at genetics, looking at just biomechanics, and just the way the body works and things like that. Like, I think this makes a lot of sense.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah. Again, you know, it's like you said, we don't have statistics. It's just my hot take based on like, my anecdotal experience of people. But yeah.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

Having said all of that, it is totally normal to be holding up the hope that you're going to be one of the people that loses weight in intuitive eating. You can be sick of dieting, and still want to lose weight. Right? Like you can know that diets don't work, and still, on some level, think that there might be one out there that's finally going to work for you. Right? And you know, you can start an intuitive eating practice, and still be hoping for weight loss. When we think that these are like either or positions, it's that black and white thinking that we always talk about in diet culture. It's not black and white. It's a both and, it's not an either or. Also thinking that you have to get past all of those thoughts of weight loss before we start working on Intuitive Eating is a lot like thinking that you have to get fit before going to the gym. Right? Like, you don't have to do all the work on your own before you work with a coach. You don't have to wait for a broken bone to heal before you go see a doctor. Like that doesn't- it doesn't make sense. That's why- that's the whole point of what you're doing. Like addressing our beliefs and desires around a weight loss is part of an intuitive eating practice. Dismantling diet culture beliefs is part of an intuitive eating practice. We have to let go of weight loss goals to become an intuitive eater. And learning to let go of those goals is part of the intuitive eating framework. The first principle is rejecting the diet mentality. It's not hunger. It's not fullness. It's not nutrition. It's the diet mindset. And that's definitely intentional. That's on purpose. It's designed that way, because letting go of weight loss thoughts is really hard. And it's an integral part of the work.

Sadie Simpson:

Before we move on, I just had one other thought about your hot take of the outcomes of intuitive eating. And wouldn't it be interesting if it was the norm on social media to post of like, yeah, I have become an intuitive eater, I've been practicing this framework for one year, five years, 10 years, whatever. Yeah, my body has changed, it is bigger than it was before I started practicing intuitive eating. I almost feel like that would clear up a lot of the misconceptions with intuitive eating and the idea that folks may want to use intuitive eating as a weight loss program. But obviously, we know that's never gonna happen because of things like fat phobia, and just all the other systems. But like- just- it would just be really interesting. If the reality was like blasted all over social media, like, quote unquote, the dream.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, and not just by people who are still in thin bodies. Because I feel like there are a lot of, you know, straight size white women out there going, I gained weight, but it's still fine. And it's like, yeah, of course it's still fine. You're still a thin person.

Sadie Simpson:

Like, you can still go to an Old Navy and buy clothes off the rack, you can still fit comfortably in a seat on an airplane, like just all the things- like, yeah.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, like, I don't think that that's really that helpful for people who, you know, maybe are like mid size and gaining weight will make them fat, like, will make them plus size. Maybe it's not that helpful for somebody who's already in a fat body and is concerned about it getting larger, and what that will do to their access to things, and stuff like that. Like- like, yes, it should be the norm. And it should especially be the norm in a variety of body sizes, not just smaller bodied people. All of that is true. It's fine to still be harboring hopes for weight loss when you start in an intuitive eating practice. And we kind of have to reckon with the reality that you really can't fully pursue an intuitive eating practice without eventually unpacking all of the uncomfortable feelings and beliefs that we might be holding about our bodies, and about bodies in general. Eventually, we have to understand that our relationship to food is actually driven by our relationship to bodies. And that means recognizing how that relationship is shaped by the thin ideal that's rooted in anti fat bias, and white supremacy, and ableism, and health ism, and all of that stuff. Because if we're not talking about all of that stuff- if we're not talking about diet culture as a system of oppression, and as a vessel for upholding other systems of oppression- then our intuitive eating work will always just be surface level. Like if we're not taking stock of all the ways that diet culture and the thin ideal align with- or, I mean, hopefully don't align with- our higher level values, then we're never going to be able to really divest from them entirely. Unpacking all the like dominant culture narratives about bodies is a lot harder work than just giving ourselves permission to drink a milkshake or like eat pizza or something like that. And it's also totally normal to feel a lot of

Sadie Simpson:

Yes. resistance about starting down the path of doing that work. Like it is normal and fine for you like to feel like, oh, I don't want to do that. Like, I just- I don't want to do that. But it is absolutely necessary for this work. Personally, like pretty much every single person I work with gets to a point in their intuitive eating practice where they're like, okay, if I'm being honest with myself, I was totally hoping that I'd be one of the people who lost weight on intuitive eating. It is usually several, several months into our work together, too. So it's like a pretty, like, deeply ingrained, like almost subconscious hope that's like living in the back of their heads the whole time we're doing work. And you know, we're working on stuff like rejecting the diet mentality. We're working on stuff like honoring hunger, and making peace with food, and the food police, and all of that stuff. And then there's this moment that they come to have, like, oh shit, I was hoping I was gonna lose weight, even through all of that. And once they realize it, honestly, things tend to like actually get better, and like maybe a little easier, and their intuitive eating practice, too, because then we can work directly on that. Oh my gosh, I have definitely worked with some folks that have had very similar experiences too, and I think that goes back to what you were saying earlier, is that sure, once you start the work of practicing intuitive eating, it's okay to have hopes of weight loss, that is a very normal thing to hang on to- it's really interesting, as you get deeper and deeper into this work, all of the other things that start to kind of unravel. And I think it's really neat to see folks kind of experience this- like, again, I feel cheesy, saying some of this stuff- but it's almost like an awakening of, if I really want to incorporate intuitive eating as a practice in my life, and I want this to be something that I will- that aligns with my personal values, probably letting go of this weight loss hope is gonna have to be something that I have to do. And it's nice to see folks who, they've become okay with it. And it's- it's cool. Like, it's really cool to be a part of somebody's experience with that.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, it's so interesting to see how much changes. Yes, things change in their relationship to their body, but also in the relationship to food, and the way they interact with the people in their lives, and like- just so much changes. But like, it takes a little while to get there. Like most people don't come into this work, being like, I am fine with gaining weight. That's not- that's just not how it goes. Like it takes doing work and like, to some extent, tiptoeing around it, or like approaching it gently, until they get to the point where they're like, nope, we got to go all in on this part. Having said that, I have also had clients who absolutely did not want to let go of weight loss. And like, we worked around it for a while. We dipped our toes into the discussion here and there, like as their comfort allowed. But eventually, we have to stop working together. You know, not as like a punishment. You know, it's not like, oh, I fire you as a client, because you won't have this conversation. But like, I- as a coach, I'm never going to force the work of like, unpacking anti-fat bias and stuff like that on anyone. I'm not going to try and persuade anyone that they have to give up their weight loss goals. But we can also only go so far with intuitive eating if we can't unpack those goals and start working on divesting from them. Like, there's only so many times you can go around in the circle of like, you know, making peace with food, and dealing with emotional eating, and stuff like that, until you start to realize that like your feelings about your body are making you mentally restrict, and therefore you're not making peace with food, your feelings about your body are causing you emotions that you are trying to cope with through emotional eating- that like we can't address that unless you are willing to unpack your emotions about your body. Like your- your feelings about your body are why you're not fully honoring your hunger, and like only eating to a certain point, or why you're afraid or feeling full. There's just only so far we can go with all of those principles until you start like working in circles. Like there's just only so much progress you can make until you really get deeper. Otherwise you're just in a loop, essentially.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah, yes. Oh my gosh, you know how on certain forums, and, I mean, even on social media, you'll see people make comments of like, well, I tried intuitive eating for three months and it didn't work. I think that's where this really comes in. Because folks can initially do the foundational, very basic level knowledge learning of intuitive eating. But you can only take it so far without really digging deep and doing the harder stuff versus just the surface level things.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, like you can do the I'm allowed to drink a milkshake whenever I want part of it. But that's going to always feel like shit, and like you're forcing it, if you're not actually unpacking all the reasons why you didn't think you could have a milkshake in the first place.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

Eventually, we have to do this work.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

And here's why it's important to do- to do the unpacking of the weight loss stuff. I feel like I've said this a million times, but I'm just gonna say it again- you might gain weight doing intuitive eating, and it might not be temporary. That's the other thing, is I think a lot of times, when people- even when people are like, okay, I might gain weight on intuitive eating, they also have this sense of like, but once I'm an intuitive eater, that extra weight will go away again, it's temporary. And it might not be temporary. Again, hot take, it's probably not temporary. We can't sidestep the body image work and the work on weight loss narratives, because our bodies might stay larger, and they deserve respect, and they deserve care. This reminds me so much of the conversation that you had with Jessie Mundell on the last episode, about how we have to stop treating pregnant bodies as temporary, why, like, it's so important to unpack those like anti fat biases, because it might not be temporary, and we can't treat our bodies like they're temporary.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh my gosh, yes. Bodies are always changing. And I always feel like I have to go back to the example, because it's really relatable for a lot of folks, but we have this expectation that as like a grown ass person, we're supposed to have the same body shape and size that we have when we were like 18 years old, when for a lot of us were in the thick of either disordered eating, eating disorders, heavily dieting, whatever. And we have not gone through, you know, the changes that happen in adulthood, and just all the things. And our bodies are- they're- they're meant to change. They're meant to get bigger. They're meant to change shapes and sizes, and all of this sort of stuff. And we often think of body changes as only weight gain or weight loss. But like, bodies change a lot of different other ways.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, our bodies change in so many different ways. So like, this is something that- I feel like I had kind of always realized, like, bodies change. But I think even I had kind of always framed that in my head around like weight gain or weight loss. But I had a client once who was talking about noticing that as she aged like- that, like the distribution of her weight was changing, and stuff like that. And I was like, yeah, that's interesting. And then I kind of started thinking about, like, all the different ways that our bodies change that are not just weight loss and weight gain, and like that really simple thing. In texture and like distribution of muscle, and like skin tone- that stuff totally changes. Like our bodies are softer or harder in places. The literal shapes of our bodies. So like one of the things that I think about is like in pregnancy, people talk about their hips widening, and that's not always temporary, like sometimes that stays. Or like their feet growing during pregnancy, and stuff like that.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes.

Naomi Katz:

Right? And then, you know, injuries and illnesses that could happen at any time, for any reason. Same with like changes in our abilities that can happen at any time, for tons of reasons, right. And so the process that we go through in intuitive eating of learning to honor and accept our bodies, in whatever form, is a skill that really lasts us a lifetime. It's something that we are going to draw on over and over and over again throughout our lives. For way more reasons than just are we gaining weight or losing weight.

Sadie Simpson:

This is related but also not exactly the same. But this reminds me a lot of our athletic or fitness abilities too. Because I know for me, personally, it's hard to let go of the fact that I am not gonna be able probably ever to squat what I used to squat, or deadlift, or press, or whatever. One, I just don't have the desire to, like, do all of the heavy strength training that I used to do. But two, my body has changed in a way that it doesn't feel good to like lift really heavy weights anymore. And I think that can be said, not necessarily just for strength training or weightlifting, but any sort of sport or form of exercise or movement, and recognizing like that our preferences, our abilities, the time, the energy, we have to commit to certain movement related things that's also going to change over time.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, absolutely. And also, just because of age,

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

Like, just because of age, that stuff changes. You know, like, again, it's just- our bodies are constantly changing. And you know, it's so interesting, because it sounds like a dichotomy. We can't treat our bodies as temporary, but our bodies are always changing, right. But like, again, it's that both and. Like, both of these things are true. Like we have to treat our bodies with the same respect and care and, like, stop viewing them as temporary. And also, that respect and care needs to encompass all the changes that they're going to go through. Because truly, everything about our bodies is temporary.

Sadie Simpson:

Like, our bodies themselves are temporary. We're only gonna be on this Earth for a very brief amount of time before we all die. So there we go.

Naomi Katz:

Exactly. The difference is like, are we hoping for them to change? Or are we accepting that change is a part of them? You know what I mean? So yeah, you know, learning to accept and let go of goals around weight loss, are really about learning to let go of goals around controlling our bodies kind of in any way. And that's- that's really the thing that we're talking about building as a skill over- that's going to last us through all of these different changes over our lifetime.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah, well, and I think, especially for those of us who love structure and control, that is a skill that can really translate into, like so many other areas of our lives to where we should relinquish and let go of control.

Naomi Katz:

Interesting. I mean, that totally makes sense. But as a person who does not have that thing about like structure and control, I guess I never really thought about that. But that totally makes sense.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh, yeah. Maybe that's another episode for

Naomi Katz:

Yeah. Specifically, with respect to the intuitive another day. eating practice, holding- you know, we touched a little bit on this already- like, the reason that we want to give up our weight loss goals and actively work on unpacking them is because holding on to weight loss narratives and goals, or even weight maintenance narratives and goals- because we've talked before that those are basically the same thing- means that on some level, we're still restricting. It means we're not really making autonomous food choices, it means we're not viewing all foods as neutral. We might not really be honoring our hunger, we might not really be, you know, making autonomous movement choices. Most likely, all of those things are probably still happening, if we're holding on to weight loss narratives and goals. And that means we're not really fully in the practice of intuitive eating. We simply cannot make peace with food and our bodies if we aren't willing to stop trying to control them.

Sadie Simpson:

So we've gone through this whole episode, you know, kind of back and forth of, well, it's okay to enter the work of intuitive eating with the hopes of weight loss. But man, it is really, really, really hard to let go of that. How do we do the work of getting over it? Like how can we start to get into this in a way that is going to just help us be like, okay, maybe I can let go this desire for weight loss?

Naomi Katz:

It's hard, but definitely- there's definitely stuff. So first of all, it might always come and go. Like- like, let's just be really clear that like- that you might always occasionally have those desires for weight loss. The goal is to make that happen less often, to make it have less of an impact on you, and to have you be in a place where like, you can manage it- you know, where it's not going to send you chasing a new diet, or it's not going to prevent you from honoring your hunger, or things like that, right. But the thoughts might always come and go. We live in the world we live in. So like weight loss thoughts and narratives might pop up sometimes. So yeah, we just learn to navigate them. And, you know, hopefully they happen less. First off, I would say, it's so important to remember that intentional weight loss has a 95 to 98% failure rate. And two thirds of those people gain more than they lost. And, like we always say, weight gain isn't a bad thing. But it's really important to remember that the pursuit of weight loss very often results in the exact opposite of what you set out to do. And this information is so important, because it means that no matter why you want to lose weight, it is not a long term solution. It doesn't matter if it's for health, or fitness, or access to clothing, or mobility or aesthetics. It doesn't matter why you want to lose weight, it is not a long term solution. And, you know, noticing how that's very true in our own lived experience is especially helpful here, too. So like we know the science of it. But then it's really helpful to also look at our own experience of like, I have never long term kept weight off from a diet- like to realize that like, oh, that's not just science, that's like actually my life as well. So like, I know that this whole, like checking in with our own lived experience part is something that I see being really, really helpful for the folks that I work with. When like those weight loss and diet thoughts pop up- which again, they like always will do- where like, what they tell me is that, like they have the thought, they consider it, and then they're able to be like, wait, no, that actually- that doesn't work. That's not a real option. Dieting is not actually going to solve anything for me. And then they can address what might actually be going on that's bringing up the thoughts, and they can like get to like the root cause of the situation, as opposed to wasting a ton of time on like, should I go on that diet my friend is doing or not?

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah, and I think this is another one of those things that gets a little bit easier every time you experience it, or at least like folks I've worked with and even personally. It just- the impact of it just gets significantly smaller and smaller and smaller every time. Whenever you can truly address what is going on, whenever you have the skills and the tools to be able to recognize it, address it, and move on.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, and a lot of times they come up because of something else that we're like- you know that we're stressed about, that we're feeling insecure about, that we're anxious about, that- you know, these other deeper feelings and in these situations that are triggering those deeper feelings. And so being able to- like, to go, no- like I- dieting will not solve what's happening right now. So let's look at why I- I'm even being tempted to diet right now. And then actually addressing the anxiety, the insecurity, the stress, the whatever, instead of spending a ton of time actually considering dieting as a real choice. So yeah- so that's- that's the first thing is just remembering diets- they don't- they don't work. They don't work in science. They don't work for us in our actual lived experience. And then, not only do diets not work, but they suck.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes, they do.

Naomi Katz:

So again, like when those thoughts pop up, we can think about what our actual experiences of dieting have been. Like, you know- like, were you constantly thinking about food or constantly hungry? Did you feel deprived of the things you enjoy? Were you tired and cranky all the time? Did you avoid social experiences? Like were you actually happy or confident? And what would you have to give up if you went back to that? Right, like so it's a similar thing of like- and you know, this plus the science part of how diets don't actually cause you to lose weight long term- like when you put those two things together, you get like a real strong argument in your head for when those those thoughts pop up- to be able to be like, one, I've never long term lost weight on a diet, two, I was miserable when I was on a diet, three, it impacted my life in all kinds of ways that I never want to do again. Oh, wait, dieting is not a real option for me right now. You know?

Sadie Simpson:

Yes. Well, and even to add to those- that list of reasons why diets suck, I mean, you could think of really practical and fundamental reasons, too, that impact your life outside of just like your mental health. Like it impacts your finances if you're spending a lot of money on special foods, and special apps, and special programs. Like it can be very expensive to diet. And then when you look at that on a bigger, grander social scheme- like, I feel like you when I say this- but diets are very capitalistic. Like when you look at programs like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and all these, like mainstream diet programs, they don't care if you lose weight or not. They just want your money. They really don't want you to lose weight, they want you to keep coming back and spending that money and spending all of your effort and energy so that you stay with them forever, and they can make all the money off of you.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, absolutely. And again, you know, all of this stuff is it's not so much that it's like, and therefore I don't want weight loss. It's to get to that point of being like, it kind of doesn't matter if I want weight loss, there's actually no way for me to lose weight.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

So I really need to get comfortable here.

Sadie Simpson:

Yep.

Naomi Katz:

Which kind of brings us to the next thing that we do, which is to learn more about the ways that the thin ideal, and health ism, and stuff like that might not align with our values. You know, like, if you don't like white supremacy, ableism, or colonialism, or capitalism, then the pursuit of the thin ideal, or like the healthy ideal, might not align. And so learning about how that works can help us to get to that part of like unpacking the deeper reasons why we might not actually want to pursue weight loss. Not just that, like, oh, it doesn't work. It's like, not a legit possibility. But also, I maybe don't actually want it. And so, you know, I would recommend checking out- and we've mentioned a lot of these books- before but Fearing the Black Body by Sabrina Strings. The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor, Anti-Diet by Christy Harrison. What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat by Aubrey Gordon, and You Have the Right to Remain Fat by Virgie Tovar. Those are all books that I have read personally and would highly recommend in terms of like unpacking all of the systems that are wrapped up in the thin ideal, and health, and stuff like that. And then some books that I personally have not gotten to yet but are on my reading list, and I like already know that they're amazing from everything I've heard- Belly of the Beast by Da'Shaun Harrison, Decolonizing Wellness by Dalia Kinsey, and Who is Wellness For by- and I am so afraid I'm going to butcher this name- but Fariha Roisin. It's also important to address the fears about, you know, losing social connection, and social capital, and like the fears of being judged within society, and like you know, losing friends, and relationships, and stuff like that. Like because I think that's a really big part of why we fear weight gain in the first place and why we seek weight loss. So, finding body liberation and fat liberation community is really really an important part of being able to let go of weight loss goals and get okay with the idea of weight gain. Again, I highly recommend The Satisfaction Space, which is our online community- info in the show notes. But also a lot of cities have plus size social groups. So where we are, here in Asheville, we have AVL Fatties, that has just been started recently. Richmond Virginia has RVA Fatties, Portland Oregon has ChubHub PDX, Raleigh, North Carolina has Plus Raleigh, Charlotte North Carolina has CLT+, Boston has Bigger Bodies Boston, and Pittsburgh has the Pittsburgh Fatties Social Club. And I know there are a ton more out there. But, like- we'll link to those in our show notes- but you know, check out whether your city has something like that because more and more of them are popping up, and that is a great way to get some, you know, body liberation and fat liberation community, where you don't have to worry about being judged for your body size, and where you can really feel that sense of connection with other people who are also in the same position.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah, and if you're listening to this, and you know of other places that are centered around body liberation or fat liberation, whether it's online or in person, send us a message on our Instagram page @satisfactionfactorpod. We'll also reshare that to our stories, so we can connect other folks with the places that you know about. I know, working at All Bodies Movement and Wellness has been really, really helpful for me, not only as a place to work that is focused on body liberation, and size inclusion, and all of that, but to be able to be a part of a community that is absolutely not focused on weight loss, that is focused on movement and exercise, has been so important, not just for me, but I know, probably, I'm assuming, for you, and for a lot of other folks in our community. And there are places like that out in other pockets of the world, sometimes you just got to search a little bit to find them. But there are places.

Naomi Katz:

Absolutely. That- like- so, you know, obviously, like we listed a bunch of these groups that are specifically for fat community- and I will say- a side note for people who are straight size, mid size, small fat- you might want to reach out to the organizers of these groups before you go to them because they are meant to be, you know, safe community spaces for fat people, and so we don't want to like take up space in a place that's really not meant for us, and so- just that. But yeah, seeking out like a weight inclusive gym is a great way to get involved with stuff like this. And, you know, other communities like that can also give us outlets for this kind of a place. Basically just anywhere where like, you're not going to be sitting around with a bunch of people talking about their diet. I also highly recommend connecting with and following folks on social media who aren't talking about diets and weight loss. And then lastly, you don't have to do this work alone- getting support for it, right, like maybe a coach. I personally do one on one coaching that you can learn about in on my website happyshapes.co/coaching. Sadie also does coaching and is going to have a group Intro to Intuitive Eating program through All Bodies in the winter. Working with a coach is definitely a way to get some support for letting go of weight loss goals and stuff. Working with a therapist who is versed in HAES, and body liberation, and body image work is also a good option. Or even just if you have friends who are also doing this stuff- just you know, talking about what you're dealing with, and what you're thinking about, and how you're processing it can be really helpful.

Sadie Simpson:

That is a really great list of ideas and ways that we can all benefit from.

Naomi Katz:

It's okay to feel like you want weight loss sometimes, and to maybe have you been started intuitive eating, hoping that it would result in weight loss, like that's okay, like you are okay, that is okay. And also, it's really important to eventually get to the point where you're willing to work on letting that go. And that there's, you know, there's ways to do that. So I just, you know, I think people get really frustrated around this whole concept of weight loss. And I think that there's sometimes a lot of shame around talking about it, too- that, like, they shouldn't feel that way. And so I'm just really glad that we had an opportunity today to like, just talk about it. Because it doesn't need to be something that we feel ashamed about. Like it's it's a normal part of the process. And there are ways to deal with it.

Sadie Simpson:

It almost feels kind of taboo, because you're like, oh yeah, I'm starting this intuitive eating thing. I'm gonna, you know, practice all of these principles. But then like secretly thinking in your mind, you're like, oh, yeah, but I have hope. So holding on to weight loss, like it is normal and to be able to have an outlet to talk about that and to recognize that other people in the world are feeling the same way. Like it feels very reassuring. So I'm glad that we were able to have this conversation.

Naomi Katz:

So Sadie, what's satisfying for you right now?

Sadie Simpson:

I shared this a couple of weeks ago, over in the satisfaction space. And one of the things that I have really, really enjoyed lately is walks in the afternoon. So my kid has recently started riding the school bus And the bus drops every kid in our neighborhood off in one centralized location and our neighborhoods pretty walkable. So every afternoon, on nice days, I will say on cold days I have not been walking. But on the nice days, I'll kind of stop what I'm doing. And give myself a little bit of extra time to walk down to the bus stop area, and maybe walk a little bit extra when the weather's nice, and it just feels good to be outside. And that has just been really satisfying and pleasurable for me lately, because I've had a really hard time getting into a groove of finding movement that I enjoy, like the thought of weightlifting and things like that just doesn't do it for me right now. But again, outside and walking a little bit just feels so good. And I found a lot of satisfaction in that lately.

Naomi Katz:

That sounds lovely. Oh my god, especially with the weather that we've been having lately. I wish my neighborhood was more walkable, because I feel like that sounds like the best thing. So I love that you have that

Sadie Simpson:

was satisfying for you right now.

Naomi Katz:

So what's satisfying for me right now is that I have found a Health at Every Size medical group within Asheville that I have started going to. And it is like the best medical experience I've ever had in my life.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh my gosh, tell us more.

Naomi Katz:

So this group- for anybody who is in Asheville and is looking for a HAES provider- the group is called the Fosnight Center for Sexual Health. It used to just be gynecology, and urology, which is why it's called that but they have recently added a primary care person. They've got physical therapists, they've got mental health providers, and then also still gynecology and Urology. They are sex positive, gender affirming Health at Every Size, like just friggin amazing. And like, like, I feel like just to clarify why it's so amazing. I haven't gotten away to a doctor's office in a very long time. But I always have that moment of like, a, I'm gonna have this, I'm gonna have to turn down being weighed this place, you literally there's not a scale in sight. You don't pass a scale on your way into the exam room. So like, there's no moment of like, oh, shit, am I gonna have to deal with this. It's like, just this moment of anxiety that doesn't exist at this office, which is amazing. I, you know, I got into the doctor's appointment, the doctor came in. And the first thing he did was give me his pronouns and asked me for mine, which is just great. Right, and then we sat and he talked to me about, like, what my concerns were, were my experiences with my last doctor and why I left there, like, you know, took a good history and stuff. And then asked me if it was okay for him to write things in the notes, like asked for my consent to write things in the notes, instead of just doing that as a course of action, which I

Sadie Simpson:

got.

Naomi Katz:

Right. Like,

Sadie Simpson:

why is that? So mind blowing that that is not like a normal thing.

Naomi Katz:

It's so funny that that part blew my mind too, because I had never really even considered it like, you know, the privilege of being a, you know, cisgender white woman basically. Right? Is that like, there are no like, I can't think of a lot of reasons why I would have to be worried about what a doctor was writing in the notes. But for some people, like there's some safety there and like maybe also some access things and stuff like that. And so just the fact that he was aware enough of that, that like, I got to give consent about anything that went in the notes was huge. And then for the actual exam, again, asked consent before he did any exam of any kind and like multiple times through the exam, like you know, is it okay? If I listen to your heart? Like, is it okay if I feel your abdomen, things like that? And it's like, it's just It blows my mind that this is not the norm.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh my gosh, it is. Well, you know what is so interesting? This is not the norm for adults, but I have experienced this when I have taken my kid to the pediatrician, because I guess there's a lot more of a push to teach kids about consent and safe touch and things like that. But the last time I took my kids to the pediatrician, the doctor was very aware of like asking, like, Can I listen to your heart very specific and asking that. And I was like, Oh my gosh, this is fabulous. Like, please keep doing this to like to teach my kid about this. But why? Like, if we're doing this for kids, why in the world are we not doing this for adults too? Yeah,

Naomi Katz:

first of all, holy shit. That's awesome.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah, like I

Naomi Katz:

like, I mean, thinking back on my experience as a kid, like I that definitely wasn't part of it. Like, we're looking in your ears where I wonder if I wonder how universal that is? Or if it's just that you have a really excellent pediatrician, but either way, it should be the norm forever. Yes, it should. So, yeah, just I mean, I really can't say enough about how amazing my experiences at the phosphonate Center have been. And like, I just, I wanted to have this whole conversation and like, share this on the podcast publicly, because I know we have a lot of local listeners, and I just feel like everybody should go there. Yes, no, I really feel like is that all doctors should be like this, but since they're not, I feel like everybody should

Sadie Simpson:

go there. They're gonna be setting the standard. So I think that's it for us this week. Yeah, just a couple of quick reminders. If you are interested in joining the satisfaction space, be sure to check that out at the satisfaction space dot m n.co. And if you want to purchase some stickers, or T shirts, or tote bags or whatever, be sure to visit the link in our show notes to check out our merch store.

Naomi Katz:

And as always, you can come send us a message and get in touch with us on Instagram at satisfaction factor pod. And if you have enjoyed this podcast, you can leave us a rating or a review on Apple or Spotify. That bumps us up in the rankings and helps other people find us as well.

Sadie Simpson:

That's all for us this week. We'll see you next time.