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Stupid Weight Loss Ads! Bah-Humbug

I’m preparing a free online talk on the topic of Body Acceptance and starting the year off with a different mindset. I’m hosting it Friday, December 29th at 11amEST. I decided that would be the perfect time since most people will have indulged over the holidays and the bombardment of ads of gyms and diets will have begun. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with exercise or eating a particular way, I hope to reach people to help them make informed decisions about their goals. All too often we’re drawn into a resolution or new goal with an “all or nothing:” mentality.

We’ve sat a bunch and likely increased our calorie consumption while visiting and feel badly. Many turn to a diet of gym as a punishment for the “lack of discipline”. I’d like to lift the black and white fog and bring a kinder message.

I thought that the week between Christmas and New Years would be the high time for fat shaming and toting the answers to people’s “problems”. But I’ve observed that it’s actually starting now. Ust the other day I took in 2 ads from female entrepreneurs on my Friends list. The first one was a fitness instructor who was reminding everyone about sticking to their goals and not missing classes to ensure they don’t gain weight over the holidays. I see where she’s coming from as I would also recommend connecting with things you routinely enjoy in order to stay grounded over the festive time. Exercise can help you feel better and giving yourself “me” time is great. I just struggle with the bit about how we wouldn’t want to gain weight. As if that’s the worst thing a person can do. 

The second lady really stirred me up. “3 tips to not gain weight over the holidays”

Tip 1) Drink Water. Now, I’d give this advice as well, but I’d give it to feel good.

Tip 2) Eat at home so you’re not hungry when you go out. This advice makes me want to strangle someone.

Tip 3) Remember to eat plenty of protein and healthy fats. Ok.

So, the last two tips here are for very body-focused people, which is what I’d like to steer people away from. I guess that’s why I feel violent at the suggestion? Unless it’s your job to look a particular way, please freakin’ enjoy yourself over the holidays! My goodness. At what other time can you find this variety of desserts? And beverages? And most importantly, here’s the big question, why are we afraid to gain weight over the holidays? Why does a post like this get so much traction? What do we believe about weight gain? Do we become less: valuable? Loveable? Desirable? Worthy? Likeable? This question right here is the heart of my talk on December 29th.

Keep your eyes open friends. What are ads telling you? Don’t we have enough to consider in the coming weeks that we don’t need to also remember to eat salmon before we go to a party?

I’m sure that the women had every intention of helping people with their messages. Their minds are in different places than mine. I really hate that weight loss grabs attention the way it does. Feel free to mute “all that noise, noise, noise” as the Grinch says. That’s all it is, it’s just noise and you don’t need to listen.

When the mind isn’t preoccupied with body image, it has time for: joy, thinking of others, and meaningful connections. Don’t deprive yourself of that beauty.

A very Merry Christmas to you,

If you’re interested in my talk on Friday, December 29th, please leave a comment to that effect. I’d love to have you there.

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