Patients lie to me sometimes. I don’t take it personally. They lie because the truth hurts to admit out loud. I get it. There are lots of things that are hard to say out loud. I have things that hurt my feelings too when I talk about them.
People lie about why they want to lose weight. I don’t care. It’s not even my business. But I’m writing this article because if you want to lose weight for any of these reasons I just want you to know that that’s 100% ok. And I’m here to support you in that journey and not question your motives. I don’t need you to lose weight because you want to be healthier. Most of my patients do want to be healthier, but that’s not what truly motivates them to sign up for my program. They care deeply about these three things. So much so that it hurts to talk about. But in the spirit of “keeping it real” here they are…
- I want to lose weight because I’ve lost control of my life.
Some patients find me because everything else in their life has basically fallen apart. Marriage, job, kids, life is basically crappy and they want to regain some control. Control of other people is mostly fruitless, so they want to control something about themselves that will make them feel better. They want to lose weight. They want to eat better. So that even if the rest of their life is boring/aggravating/chaotic they can master the food they put in their mouth. And these people do feel better when they lose weight. And sometimes they finally get the raise they wanted or they tell their brutal mother-in-law where to go because they feel more confident.
2. I am sick and tired of being perceived as less than amazing.
We live in Canada. In Canada people who are obese experience discrimination. It’s not fair or right, but it is the truth. Ask anyone who has been overweight all of their life and they will say that at some point and time there has been a failure to accommodate them. From fitting in airplane seats to having to shop at frumpy plus size stores, overweight women feel burdened with societal judgement. The job market favours the thin. Everything from apartment hunting to asking for a raise from your boss is impacted by your appearances. Again – THIS IS WRONG. But the fact is that some people want to lose weight because they would prefer not to experience discrimination and judgement from the population at large is just the plain and simple truth.
3. I want to salvage my sex life.
Let’s start by acknowledging this – sex appeal has nothing to do with your body size. Have you seen bombshell Tess Holiday? Yas, honey!
But great sex has a lot to do with confidence. Women who feel comfortable with how they look naked feel more are more likely to strip down and get it on. Big women don’t necessarily lack confidence in their appearance. But women who have rapidly gained weight after a surgery or a baby oftentimes aren’t used to being big and don’t embrace their new larger body easily. This has less to do with the men in their life and more to do with their own personal feelings.
Hard truth: I have had patients whose husbands have lost sexual desire for them because of weight gain and these women want to shed pounds to regain the sex they had with their man. It’s just the way it is. We can say “he should be attracted to her no matter what size she is.” But we all have things we find attractive and unattractive. It’s a fact of life.
Admitting that you want to lose weight for any of these reasons is hard to speak aloud. I have some patients who are open about their struggles and others that would rather not be. I’m ok either way. It’s my job to help you construct the body, life and healthy good feelings that you desire. That’s my task. And I love it, even if I get lied to some times.