I did a post on instagram this week called ‘losing x kilograms is not going to make you feel better’ and I had quite an influx of messages in response, so I thought I would elaborate here a little…

To be honest, I don’t talk about weight with women a lot.

As physios, it’s meant to be in our wheelhouse. We’re supposed to emphasise the importance of staying within a healthy weight range for the sake of our clients’ health…But as anyone who has worked with me knows, I’m not about giving generic advice.

I understand of course that excess weight is associated with increased health risks, but this doesn’t mean that excess weight is the cause of these health risks. And it certainly doesn’t mean that focusing solely on weight loss is the best solution.

Having gone down a rabbit hole on this topic lately, I’ve come to believe that stigmatising messages about weight are often oversimplified and, at times, even dangerous (especially when it comes to access to quality healthcare).

This is not something I want to contribute to.

The thing is, if the woman sitting in front of me is overweight according to a BMI calculator (which sucks by the way), she probably already knows it.

It’s not my job to point out to her that she’s overweight, or to convince her to care more about her weight. She probably already cares way too much.

And I would be doing a terrible job if I assumed all of her issues boiled down to her weight, because then I’d be ignoring a whole heap of other possible causes.

It makes me sad (and sometimes angry) to think about the pressure on women to look a certain way and the impact it has on enjoyment of life.

I know a lot of women believe that losing some weight will make them feel better. But I don’t believe that seeing a specific number on the scales is the thing that sustainably makes women feel better.

I believe the things that really make women feel better are:

  • valuing rest & nourishing the nervous system
  • moving the body in ways that feel good (and, at times, challenging)
  • fuelling the body with nutrient-dense food (most of the time)
  • being kind to ourselves (more often than not)

that sustainably make women feel better.

And I’m here for it. I’m here for all of it.