There is a story going around. It is a new spin on the “magic pill” so many are longing for, the one that gives lasting weight loss. Except in this story there is no actual pill, diet, or exercise routine. In this tale, the ultimate answer is that if we solve our psychological and spiritual problems it will lead to our fat miraculously melting off our bodies.


The promise is, if we work through the bulk of our mental health or spiritual issues, then our bodies will morph into the ideal body; basically the body dieting culture has told us is the body we should have. I call BS.


I wholeheartedly want to see more people letting go of the stigma around seeking mental health care and going for it with therapy to get to the roots of their suffering. And I do indeed concur that addressing unresolved psychological, spiritual, relational, and personal issues with a skilled therapist, in addition to practicing things like mindfulness, self-compassion, and of course intuitive eating, will result in a more balanced relationship to food, eating, and body image. However, the disclaimer is your body may not shed weight even if you do all of this deep, important, meaningful work, it may even gain weight. Because fat bodies are not bad bodies, nor are thin bodies good bodies, that is a construct that used to sell stuff and keep people on the hunt for unattainable perfection.


It is not realistic or ethical to correlate psychological wellness or spiritual alignment to thinness or weight loss.


Selling this fairytale to lure people is similar to the false promises used by the diet industry. I do have compassion for this. There is so much collective pain and attachment around weight and its loss. Everybody loves a happy ending and so many have been taught to believe a happy ending hinges on a lower body weight. Clients seek practitioners of all kinds to help them lose weight, in many cases these helpers are doing the best they can to deliver the goods. This latest spin on the fairytale is evidence of this.


However, the real work is in widening the lens, to transform and let go of the limiting stories all together. The stories that say we must change our bodies in order to have a happy ending. Perhaps the ultimate happy ending is learning how to embrace body diversity and accept our own bodies and the bodies of others, just as they are.