One of the reasons I started Crystal Clarity Copywriting in the first place was that I wanted to be able to choose my own clients.
I loved the idea of only ever working with people who are 100% aligned with my values.
In the four years since then, I’ve worked with all kinds of healers, coaches and therapists. But there’s been one grey area for me: folks who work in the nutrition or personal training fields, or otherwise talk about weight loss for any reason.
Because I have a long and ugly personal history with disordered eating.
And the moment someone starts talking about “weight loss” like it’s an obviously desirable thing, I get thrown right back into that history. And I know I’m not the only one.
So I’ve decided “No More”.
From now on, I’ll be gently recommending that folks who want to refer to “weight loss” in their copy find themselves another copywriter.
To understand my decision, you need to know that I have obesity on both sides of my family.
I think I started my first diet at 8 years old. Since then, I’ve travelled up and down the scales – from 65kg at my lowest to 105kg at my highest – over and over again.
At my lowest weight, I looked gaunt and unhealthy, although my BMI insisted I was still just a breath under “obese”. And it took around 2 hours of full-on exercise a day and a diet of under 1,000 calories daily for me to stay that way.
I loved the compliments people gave me on my “new body”: hearing them was like an addictive drug that I just couldn’t get enough of.
But at the same time, I lived in mortal TERROR of putting the weight back on again.
So of course, it wasn’t long before I did.
Since then, I’ve had a few major weight loss “triumphs”. Each time, I started out telling myself that I was just going to “start eating healthily”. I was just going to “eat clean” or “eat whole food” or “make sure my body was getting enough of each nutrient”.
But it never stayed that way.
You see, whenever I’m stressed and feeling out of control, I go one of two ways. The first is to comfort myself with food (emotional eating). The second is to decide to take back that missing control by restricting what I eat.
And each time I ended up losing weight, it was because I let myself be seduced by the need for control… and for a while, the kilos would start melting away.
At least until something inside me tripped and they’d all pile back on again… usually with interest.
It’s taken me 25 years and several rounds of counselling to help me to break my weight cycling habit.
Here are a few of the things I’ve learned along the way:
And I also learned that any time I get stressed or “out of control” enough in my life, I totally forget ALL those things. Every. Single. One.
So I’ll find myself thinking longingly about “just dropping a couple of sizes”. Or trying the new clean eating detox plan that promises to make me feel “like a new person”. Or signing up for a nutrition/sleep/mindset webinar that just happens to promise weight loss.
If I’m mindful about it, the observation that I’m thinking about weight loss is actually an AWESOME alarm bell that I’m pushing away internal stuff I really need to deal with.
And if I don’t deal with it? Well, if I’m not very, very careful, it’s a only a short hop from there to jumping onto another weight cycling rollercoaster.
Over the past week, I’ve seen three weight-loss-related offers crop up in my heart-based business groups. The folks who make them are beautiful women who only want the best for their clients.
But I still can’t bring myself to spread the word about their offers.
Why? Because I know I’m not the only person in our shared business space who’s been scarred by society’s insistence that my body be a certain size. I’m not the only one who still has phases of struggling with eating-related demons.
And I know that as soon as some folks see copy telling them that losing weight is an obvious, desirable, and totally expected goal? Well, their demons will start whispering the same lies to them that mine do to me.
So I’ve made a decision that I’ll no longer write that copy.
That all depends on what you do. For example, if the difference you make in the world has nothing whatsoever to do with weight loss, we shouldn’t have a problem.
If you’re a personal trainer or nutritionist or naturopath who “doesn’t want to focus on weight loss either, but that’s where the money is”?
In that case, I’m probably not the right copywriter for you. There are plenty of other folks out there who’ll be happy to help you go where the money is though.
And if you seriously believe that obesity is at the root of all of the modern world’s illnesses?
Then I’d respectfully point you at some of the more up-to-date research that’s coming out now, which suggests that you may be mistaken.
Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment field below. Just please realise that this was one of the most raw, vulnerable posts I’ve written on this blog in a long time.
You’re welcome to share your own experiences, but please avoid giving advice. Thanks in advance 🙂 .
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