No Wellness Wankery

43: Your Weight is not the Problem - Introduction

January 10, 2023 Lyndi Cohen
43: Your Weight is not the Problem - Introduction
No Wellness Wankery
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No Wellness Wankery
43: Your Weight is not the Problem - Introduction
Jan 10, 2023
Lyndi Cohen

Grab the book here in written or audiobook format.

This is the first 30 minutes of my new book, Your Weight is not the Problem.  It's a simple, no-diet plan for healthy habits that stick.

Our constant fixation with losing weight is exhausting. We're stuck in a vicious diet cycle, gaining weight after each failed attempt and never feeling good enough. Diet culture and unattainable #bodygoals contribute to burnout, overwhelm and feeling out of control around food. It's time to embrace a new approach.

Liberate yourself from food guilt and self-blame with a new approach to health that doesn't rely on willpower or counting calories, because you can't live a full life on an empty stomach.

Grab the book here in written or audiobook format. 

Want to feel more in control around food? Check out my Stop Struggling With Food Guide, currently on sale for 40% off.
You’ll also find 50 of my favourite recipes to get you inspired!

Get my Free 5 Day Course to help you stop binge and emotional eating. 

Looking for more support to feel in control around food? I'd love to support you in my Binge Free Academy


If you don't already - come follow me on the gram at @nude_nutritionist (no nude pics, sorry).

Want to share some feedback or have an idea for an episode, I'd LOVE to hear from you - hit me up at hello@lyndicohen.com

Show Notes Transcript

Grab the book here in written or audiobook format.

This is the first 30 minutes of my new book, Your Weight is not the Problem.  It's a simple, no-diet plan for healthy habits that stick.

Our constant fixation with losing weight is exhausting. We're stuck in a vicious diet cycle, gaining weight after each failed attempt and never feeling good enough. Diet culture and unattainable #bodygoals contribute to burnout, overwhelm and feeling out of control around food. It's time to embrace a new approach.

Liberate yourself from food guilt and self-blame with a new approach to health that doesn't rely on willpower or counting calories, because you can't live a full life on an empty stomach.

Grab the book here in written or audiobook format. 

Want to feel more in control around food? Check out my Stop Struggling With Food Guide, currently on sale for 40% off.
You’ll also find 50 of my favourite recipes to get you inspired!

Get my Free 5 Day Course to help you stop binge and emotional eating. 

Looking for more support to feel in control around food? I'd love to support you in my Binge Free Academy


If you don't already - come follow me on the gram at @nude_nutritionist (no nude pics, sorry).

Want to share some feedback or have an idea for an episode, I'd LOVE to hear from you - hit me up at hello@lyndicohen.com

Lyndi
 0:00:00
 Hey, if you're struggling with disordered eating, if you feel like you're constantly trying a diet and don't know what to do, a really good starting point is to read or listen to my book, Your Weight Is Not the Problem. That book, that sweet little book has been on the best-selling list of Amazon Women's Health in Australia for weeks and weeks and weeks. I've had many people, hundreds of people reach out telling me that it has changed their life. So if you are thinking about it, if you're going, oh, I like this podcast, I would recommend giving the book a listen to or reading it the old-school way. Oh, hello everyone and welcome to today's episode of the No Wellness Wankery podcast. It's Lyndi here and I'm exceptionally excited because today is the day that my book, Your Weight Is Not The Problem, is finally out there. You can purchase it and I would love for you to get your paws on it. I wrote this book because it's the book I wish I had read when I was 10, when I was 15, when I was 20, when I hated my body, when my mood would be dictated by what I weighed each day, where food controlled my entire life, when I couldn't fathom a way for me to be healthy without needing to be obsessed. And I think the idea that I've been kind of thinking about recently is, is it really a dream body if it requires you to maintain a toxic lifestyle? I don't think so. I think there's too much of a lifestyle compromise required with what we're told this idea of health is. So this book is for anyone who wants to find a way to be healthy without getting sucked into the bullshit, who wants a bit of clarity on some of those burning questions you have. If you've listened to any podcast that I've done before, any interview, read any of my content and you liked that, you're going to really like this book. It's available now from anywhere good books are sold and you can also find it on my website. It's lyndicohen.com. So today I would like to read to you the beginning of the book to give you a taster about what it's like and see whether or not it's something you might be interested in purchasing.

2
 0:02:20
 Here goes.

Lyndi
 0:02:21
 Your Weight is Not the Problem, a Simple No Diet Plan for Healthy Habits that Stick. a simple no diet plan for healthy habits that stick. And this book is dedicated to anyone who has struggled with their weight due to a toxic yo-yo relationship with diets. It's time to break up with that loser. And I hope you take that on to heart. Introduction. On the diet treadmill. Chances are you've tried countless diets. No one can say you haven't tried. In fact, you've been it's really quite impressive. You've willingly signed up to grimy gyms without any windows and with way too many mirrors. I know, I know, all those bloomin' mirrors, they're supposed to help with correct form, but who really wants to see themselves from 417 angles while flapping around like a drunken pigeon? Not me. You've batch cooked strange smelling watery soups and drunk shakes in place of actual meals. You've beaten yourself up for eating too much and committed to starting from scratch many times over. At times you've even felt guilty for eating a whole banana or an entire sandwich for fear of carbs. You've counted points, calories or macros diligently recording everything in a diary or app. And you've also pretended it was the dog who made those outrageously smelly sour farts when in fact the smell came from your bum after eating too much of that weird protein powdered stuff. It was all very unfun but you did it. You see you really have been quite committed to this whole weight loss thing. You deserve a frequent flyer discount card based on how much money you've handed over to diet companies and influential health gurus. Even if you're new to this whole hitting your body business, you've already spent far too many hours worrying about your weight or whether you're exercising enough. After all, it's immensely tricky to have a healthy relationship with your weight and food in a disordered society that thinks the most impressive thing a woman can be is thin. And so here you are, an incredibly smart, talented, at times mischievous, but always lovable human who is able to accomplish anything you put your excellent noggin to except this, your weight. It feels like the only thing you can't fix or solve and you wish you could because you can't shake the feeling that your life would be better and you would be happier if your weight wasn't a problem. The real issue is that you're stuck in the murky contaminated waters of diet burnout. Each diet attempt has been less effective. Your motivation and willpower seem to whittle with each sad salad and globby chia seed you consume. You've never made it to the promised land of being thin yet somehow curvy in just the right places, and are you really willing to trudge through the dessertless dieting desert for another 40 years seeking it? When your weight feels like a problem you miss out on life, dieting and trying to be good keeps you stuck in the vicious ups and downs of yo-yo dieting. Ironically and frustratingly, you may be gaining weight with each failed attempt. My dear client Natalia, who deserves a black belt for all her dieting experience, explained the conundrum. I've been dieting my whole life and I'm the biggest that I've ever been. I feel like it's holding me back from doing things that I love. You feel you can't reach your potential until you shed the kilos or pounds, but I just keep getting further away the more I try. And honestly, that's how it always felt for me too. So here's my story. I was just five years old when my turbulent relationship with my body started. I was in ballet class in a pink leotard, staring into the mirror when I noticed it. Where the other girls had straight up and down bodies, I had a little tummy and thighs that touched. It was the beginning of feeling like my body was flawed. By age 11, I truly believed my weight was a major problem, despite being in a healthy weight range for my BMI. PSA, the BMI is bullshit. We'll talk about this later in the book. I felt that I wasn't going to be good enough until I weighed less, and it seemed the rest of the world agreed with me. I was told, you'd be so pretty if you lost weight so many times that I started to believe it. So my parents took me to see a nutritionist. The nutritionist understood my request. I wanted to be thin and she was willing to help me subscribe to this ideal. She put me on a meal plan which she pinky promised wasn't a diet even though it certainly was then promptly instructed me to weigh out my food. Ha! There was no conversation about body image, about what it actually means to be healthy or warnings about how dieters are significantly more likely to develop an eating disorder or struggle with their weight as adults. On my first very prescriptive, restricted, healthy eating approach, I went to bed at night with a calorie counting book calculating whether or not I'd been good or bad that day. In addition to the regular weigh-ins at the nutritionist's office, I became obsessed with weighing myself. When I lost weight, I was elated and very proud. Everyone told me I was a good girl. The praise for losing weight reinforced my belief that I wasn't good enough as I was and that changing my body would help me be more likeable, better, prettier, worthier and oh how I wanted that. When I gained weight or even simply didn't lose any weight I was distraught. My social currency was losing weight and I felt bankrupt. My sense of self was based on whether I lost or gained weight and whether I disappointed my family, my nutritionist and myself. And sure enough, with time, the diets I stuck to so conscientiously stopped being effective. I ate what I was supposed to, but I stopped losing weight. I've been so good this week, I told my group leader at our public weigh-in after meticulously tracking points and sticking to free foods all week to dull the intense hunger pangs. Well, you must have cheated, she told me in front of the whole group. The scales don't lie. I somehow managed not to burst into tears until after I got into the car, the shame hot inside me. I was 14 years old. Soon after, I started binge eating. While I was willing to calorie control, aka starve my way to weigh less, my body had an inbuilt protective mechanism to keep me from self-sacrificing. My body feared there was a famine. So when it finally got access to food, I felt compelled to uncontrollably eat as much as I could before it ran out. I gained weight quickly. My family was alarmed and didn't know what to do with me. I felt like such a disappointment, ashamed for being out of control with food. I was told I looked puffy like an overly inflated balloon. By now my relationship with food was completely screwed up, unhealthy and disordered, but on the outside my ballooning weight was seen to be the real problem. And heartbreakingly, the harder I tried to lose weight, the more I ended up secretly binging on bowls of cereal, loaves of bread or peanut butter by the spoonful, which was always followed by a crushing guilt and a Girl Scout promise to do better tomorrow. When it came to binge eating, my body didn't discriminate. I'd devour forbidden foods like cookies and cream ice cream straight from the tub just as readily as I'd gorge on healthy foods like cucumbers, berries or yogurt. My body craved the things I was depriving it of, calories, food, energy. The more intense my emotional eating episode or my binge was, the harder I'd double down on my dieting efforts in an attempt to regain control. This left me stuck in the vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting, eating well during the week, then binge eating on the weekends, only to have to start a new diet every Monday. I wouldn't go to social events where I'd be forced to watch all my friends eat foods I wasn't allowed to eat. While I was ordering vegetables and dip, the dish I decided was the lowest in calories. I'd lie in bed at night doing mental arithmetic to assess what I'd eaten that day and wondering how I could be better tomorrow. I was so desperate to please that I once cut my hair in order to weigh less at a check-in appointment with my nutritionist. But because I wasn't thin, no one thought I had a relationship with food problem. The more weight I gained, the more my dieting was encouraged, which only put my weight goals further out of reach. And my disordered eating thrived. Until the age of 21, this continued, being controlled by food, guilt and shame, all the while my weight increased, while the real problem was never treated. The never-ending dieting rollercoaster had me in a chokehold, and the crushing pressure to do it all left me completely overwhelmed. I knew what I should be eating but why couldn't I stick to it? It turns out there was nothing wrong with my self-control and there's nothing wrong with yours either. Health has become too hard. Health has become synonymous with perfect eating. We think of being healthy and imagine supplements, organic food, 5 a.m. wake-ups, crop tops, flat stomachs and impressive bowls filled with perfectly nourishing macro balanced foods or we picture a perfect calorie controlled diet where we stick to diet rules like don't eat too many carbs and carefully count how many grams of protein we have left. Any deviation from this plan makes us feel like we've messed up. If we eat a chocolate biscuit or an innocent piece of bread we think we've ruined it for the day. Well may as well finish the packet to start fresh again tomorrow right? Not only is dieting expensive, but for most of us it's utterly unsustainable. Why? Because it's making us unhealthy. We think our weight is the problem and dieting is the solution, but in reality, the more we focus on trying to lose weight, the harder it is to instill sustainable and healthy habits that really help our bodies feel good. Anyone who's ever dieted will know how frustrating, stressful and life-impacting the situation is. Also, I know I'm not the only one who is completely burnt out simply by trying to do it all. Now that I'm a mum, there's even less time in a day. Once you take into account the mental load of trying to work out what's for dinner every freaking night, keep the house clean, exercise regularly, drink 8 glasses of water, respond to emails, have a social life, be a good friend, sister, partner and daughter, all while not having a mental breakdown, it's tiring. It feels like my needs are constantly on the back burner, and I'm burning a candle at both ends to serve others There's far too much scrolling, comparing, being busy, and saying yes when I really need to say no. All this people-pleasing and striving leaves us feeling depleted and quite frankly Annihilated by the relentlessness of it all. And that's before the pressure to fit into the same size clothes you wore in high school or before you had kids. It's a lot. Now I'm the first to admit that I prioritized fighting my child's stuffed whale amid the pyramid pile of dirty laundry before caring for my body, well-being, interests and mental health. Sometimes I get to the end of the day before I realize I've been holding in a poo for hours. Was I waiting for someone to give me permission to go to the toilet? My husband doesn't suffer like this. He happily takes a luxurious 45 minutes to sit on the loo without a tiny human watching. Bliss. Why do we spend so much time ensuring the ones we love are well fed and cared for, or saying yes to plans we don't really want to follow through with and constantly allow ourselves to come last? And it sure doesn't help that self-care is pushed at us when what we really need is community care. It's no wonder we are generation burnout. Perhaps you're like me, someone who kills every orchid I've ever owned but also someone who is a failed perfectionist. Perfectionism tells us that if we can't do something perfectly then it's not worth doing at all. But perfect eating is the enemy of healthy eating. The result is being all or nothing when it comes to health and constantly wishing we weighed less but seemingly paralyzed by overwhelm and diet burnout. There is another way. I reckon it's time to adopt a new way of thinking about food and a kinder, better approach to health where we don't need to feel exhausted for simply existing. Don't you? If dieting worked, wouldn't you be at your goal weight by now? My breaking point, I mean my life-saving moment. I was 21 in a change room at a clothing store, trying on an outfit for a friend's birthday party. Seeing myself in the mirror, a lump of deep loathing filled my throat. I felt disgusting. I hated myself so much that I jumped in my car and drove straight to the doctor, completely distraught. Explaining my unhinged relationship with food and my body, I was immediately prescribed anti-anxiety medication and a new diet. While my attitude towards food had become unhealthy and very disordered, I was told that the scales meant I didn't have an eating disorder. In other words, I was too heavy to consider that. My weight, not how and why I was eating was the problem, and dieting was supposedly the solution. Rather than recognizing that I was struggling with disordered eating, the doctor suggested I try another diet his wife was currently having some success with. Oh, jeez, I couldn't escape die culture even inside my doctor's office. Weight stigma meant my concerns around eating were dismissed and instead of receiving the treatment I needed, I was told to just try harder. But I have tried, I wanted to yell. I really have tried so damn hard for so many years and it just hasn't worked. Not only that but I was now buying the biggest clothes I'd ever purchased even an eating disorder in pursuit of my goal weight. Yes, it still wasn't enough. And so this was my breaking point, well, my life-saving light bulb moment, because it was the final push I needed to realize that this approach of trying to be good and more willpower and just eat less wasn't working, even after total commitment to it. Finally it dawned on me that I was never going to look like the women plastered up for FITSCO on my vision board. I was never going to have a perfect body. Maybe it was time to aim to be healthy instead. I wanted to feel comfortable in my clothes and normal around food. With this realization, there was huge relief to know that I didn't have to keep striving to weigh less all the time. Healing my relationship with food. By this point, I was an accredited practicing dietitian and nutritionist, freshly graduated from the university with my Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics. I'm the first to admit that I chose this profession for all the wrong reasons. When I started studying, I'd rationalized that being a nutritionist would be the perfect job to help me stay thin. Being the right weight was part of the job description, wasn't it? And it would force me to diet forever. But want to know the interesting thing? By studying nutrition I learned that food is so much more than the calories you consume or what you weigh. Whoa! And health can be measured in so many ways beyond waist circumference or BMI. Mind-blowing stuff. Once I graduated I found myself in a personal crisis. I knew I had to work on my own relationship with food before I could start helping others. Following that disastrous visit to my doctor, I decided to shift my focus away from my lifelong efforts to weigh less. I threw my scales out, an exceptionally liberating moment. Instead of using weight as a metric for my success, I focused my mental energy on how my body felt rather than how it looked. Instead of shunning bad foods, I chose foods I wanted to eat more of to crowd onto my plate. Instead of following rigid diet rules, I collected new healthy habits I could actually stick to. This book details the steps I took, and that you can take too, to stop dieting and form a trusting, healthy relationship with food. The surprising result of this whole hitting rock bottom then quitting diets thing is that I ended up losing 20kg, which is 44lbs, over 4 years but this only happened when I stopped frantically trying to change my weight. The very thing I had chased all those years was the unexpected outcome of letting go of the perfectionism and obsession with my weight. It was simply a by-product of focusing on my health and my relationship with food. Healing your relationship with food. Your weight isn't the problem you've been told it is and fixating on it is making it harder to eat healthily, to move your body with enjoyment and to like what you see in the mirror. As my wonderful client Kate told me, I've always thought I've had a problem with my weight for as long as I can remember, 30 plus years, but a problem with my relationship with food? Well that is new. This feels different. This book will help you shift your focus away from your weight, from the negative thinking that is sabotaging your health and adopt a new approach to wellness. That's a lot more achievable. To be clear though this isn't a weight loss book though you may end up losing weight as a result of the things you learn as you read this book. Then again you might not. The goal is to help you adopt healthy habits without the dieting noise allowing your weight to find its own sweet spot. Those who are underweight may even gain weight. I don't know about you but I've wasted too much time, money and energy buying diet books and programs that have failed me. And I really don't want this to be another failed thing for you to add to your already extensive list. We'll begin in part one by dismantling diet thinking. We'll uncover the psychology behind weight loss and the annoying physiological changes that make it damn impossible for you and 95% of us to successfully lose weight and keep it off of diets. I want you to feel excellent in your body and have the energy to do the things you love. This book is more than just diet bashing and calling out wellness wankery, though there's a bit of that in there for sure. This isn't a quick fix either. If like me you've been dieting for years or maybe even decades like many of my clients, it's going to take more than a 12-week challenge to rejig your thinking and transform your life. Instead we'll dive into the real reasons why you feel like you can't stop snacking or feel addicted to sugar. I'll pass on the learning I've gained from over a decade working as a dietician, helping patients and clients find real health and regain freedom around their weight and food. I'll give you a new, more sustainable approach to food, weight and your body. Hint, it's probably different from what you've been taught elsewhere. You simply have to take what works for you and chuck out what doesn't. Together we'll relearn the basics of being healthy while flipping our middle fingers to perfectionism, that pesky monster that makes healthy eating so much trickier than it needs to be. Plus, I'll share some hard-earned wisdom I know will help you add micro-habits so you can build a healthier life. And I'll spare you the too-hard, who-the-heck-can-even-do-those suggestions. I'm the first to roll my eyes at those hacks. Plus there'll be no woo-woo or things that can't be substantiated with clinical evidence or research. As a healthcare professional, I feel a responsibility to use science to chip away at nutrition nonsense one bullshit brick at a time. You bet I'll be sharing important tools to help you deal with common pitfalls such as perfectionism, comparison and body hatred. The end result? Feeling more comfortable in your body, healthy eating that comes more easily, exercising because you enjoy it, not as punishment for eating, more consistency, no more starting from scratch every Monday, falling off the bandwagon or feeling like your weight is a life long struggle. Plus you'll gain freedom from self blame and learn how to forgive yourself for not being perfect. You'll get a whole lot more head space once your thoughts aren't plagued by how much you hate your body or regret what you ate yesterday. Oh how very lovely and how very well deserved. You can be healthy without sacrificing 95% of your life to weigh 5% less. This book will also explore why we feel tired all the freaking time and oh so burnt out. It takes a look into what happens when you prioritize what other people think about your body over how you feel inside it and when you spend more time taking care of others than yourself. The result is fatigue, feeling like we're constantly chasing an unreachable goal and can never be good enough. This may be one of the reasons we frequently feel overwhelmed and struggle with consistency, along with the constant social media doom scrolling and energy exchange that we'll also chat about later. And so this book will offer some new stuff to guide you as you learn to prioritize yourself and rebuild your energy reserves, the ultimate currency you trade in. This means more energy, less lying in bed at night feeling guilty for eating or existing as an imperfect human. You'll feel more comfortable in your body, gain freedom from food and be able to focus on health without obsession. Think you'll be exercising because you enjoy it, eating healthily without stressing and embracing your perfectly imperfect body. The truth is you can't live a full life on an empty stomach, my friend, or be the enigmatic sensational human you're meant to be when every thought comes back to worrying about your weight. No one will stand up at your funeral and talk about your stomach pooch, or whether or not you had cellulite or scrawny arms, and if they do, your friends are shit. It's time to embrace a new approach to health where you stop thinking of your weight as the problem, freeing you up to adopt all the delicious, sticky, healthy habits that will actually help you feel good, no, amazing in your body. It doesn't matter how many years you've been dieting for, it's never too late to build a healthier relationship with food and I want to help you do that. Big love, Lyndi. And then there's a little disclaimer that says, before we begin, in this impressive masterpiece of the book, My Mom's Words, Not Mine, you'll read anecdotes shared by my clients that I've gathered over my career, from my private practice days and now via my online program Keeper Reel. Plus, you'll read case studies and interesting tidbits I've safely stored while doing this whole being a dietitian who genuinely likes people and helps them avoid the diet trap thing. While I've changed the names of my clients for anonymity, I've done minimal editing to their words that felt important. You see, I desperately want you to know that these problems are universal, felt by many, and in no way a reflection of your worth, character, or willpower. You're wonderful. Anyone who matters would agree. Alrighty then, enough small talk. Time to crack this puppy open. So there you go. That's the introduction to my book, Your Weight Is Not the Problem, which is now in stores that you can get your hands on. There is an audio book coming really soon, if it's not out already, that you can pre-order or order the audio book to hear me reading the entire thing. I really hope you get your hands on this book. It's filled with really practical strategies to actually help you reduce the diet noise that can really clog up your brain so that you can actually eat intuitively. I think there's a whole bunch of people who've maybe given intuitive eating a crack, but they haven't fully let go of dieting. They still have all these lingering food rules. And when you do that, it's incredibly hard to just eat intuitively and feel relaxed around food. So you never really get to get the benefits of intuitive eating unless you've got some guidance to help you do that. So getting a book like this is such an easy way for you to kind of opt in and get that extra support that I think is incredibly useful because you can't do this alone. There's too many diet rules that are lingering over from past diet attempts that you actually need a little bit more guidance and this book can really help you do that. There's also a whole bunch of free book resources that come with the book when you buy the book. All you have to do is you'll see in the book I've linked all the book resources for you. You hop in and you'll get all of those sent to your email so you can start to progress at a much faster pace than you normally would if you were just doing it by yourself. Anyway, I so hope that you get this book. I know it's already been on the bestsellers for the pre-orders at the moment so I'm hoping you and lots of other people around the world end up getting it. Thank you so much for all your support and I hope that this is the year that you finally stop dieting for good. What if instead of weight loss resolutions, you had a resolution that this is the year you're finally going to stop weighing yourself or this is the year you are finally going to stop going on silly diets that don't actually work. What if it was the year that you learned how to like yourself and truly like yourself so that it was the biggest and best accomplishments you ever had. To go to sleep feeling at peace with yourself. I think that's something very worthy of working on. Thank you so much for everyone who does buy the book. I so appreciate it. I'll catch you next time on the No Wellness Wankery podcast.

2
 0:26:38
 Do you feel like you know what you should be eating but like you feel completely out of control with food?

Lyndi
 0:26:42
 You're either eating perfectly or you're face planting into the fridge. Well, if you've got binge eating or you're struggling with emotional eating, I can help. Check out my program, Keep It Real. I've got lots I can teach you, and hey, you don't have to be a binge eater for the rest of your life. You can get 20% off Keep It Real when you use the code podcast when you check out via the website. And because I don't want this to be just another failed attempt for you, I'm offering a 30-day money-back guarantee because you know what, you just gotta give these things a go, no risk. Give it a try. Give it a try. Check out Keep It Real.