So. You Wanna Lose Weight.

I have avoided writing a post about weight loss since I started this job. Yet one of the most common things clients come to me wanting is, well, weight loss. They come with numbers or they come with a pair of pants they want to get back in. They come with diet plans, supplements, meal replacements and they come with Zumba dreams. People come with fat positive roots and a sense of feminist betrayal, they come with a desire to overthrow the patriarchy and a tug between the weight and the expectations of a misogynist culture. They come with diabetes and doctors orders and they come with menopause. People come from Europe, from Canada, from the Deep South. People arrive armed with fears and defense tools and shame and more shame. I say welcome to all of you as I am as much a member of this parade as I am a loving host to your desires.

I cannot speak to anyone’s experience but my own. I try not to talk about how I eat so much here because my work is not about me. I do find, sometimes, that a sharing of my experience has brought clients some ease and so after almost four years of this weight loss inquiry, and after dodging the direct questions from people all the time, I thought instead I’d just tell you a little bit of my story.

As you might know, I’m pudgy. Sometimes I’m more pudgy than others and over time, my weight has spent a bunch of time fluctuating. When I am at what I feel are my HEALTHIEST times: eating for my body’s needs, not obsessing, not logging or counting or berating myself over a donut. When I am happy, exercising regularly, relatively low in self-judgey bullshit and laughing easily. When I am cooking and my choices for food are in line with my body’s needs and not my emotional havoc or terror, I still look thick by conventional standards. And when I feel great and healthy, this shape looks great to me. I look at myself and feel powerful and competent and sexy and solid. The truth is, I go through 99% of my life not looking at myself. Maybe more. I BARELY KNOW WHAT I LOOK LIKE. So to place a value on the 1% of the time I look at myself over the 99% of the time when I discover how I feel in the world just doesn’t make good sense. Obviously, as we’ve learned through Republican fund raising dinners, the 1% is often given all the power in our country. But I say our bodies deserve a coup. Let the 99% win.

Move no matter what

Because people ask me the most effective ways to lose weight all the time, I am going to tell you about the 3 times I have lost a SIGNIFICANT (20+ lbs) amount of weight  in my life.

FAR AND AWAY, I have to say, the most effective way I have found to lose weight so far in my life was doing a ton of crystal meth. The pounds just fell right off me. I snorted it mostly but free based it as well. I can still remember the exact smell of the blue smoke that swirled in the bulb of the pipe. Sometimes during hot summers when people have their air conditioners cranked up so high you can smell the freon, the scent is so powerful, I get flashbacks to being tweeked out on meth. I kind of lucked out because when I first moved to San Francisco, there was a dealer that got a crush on me so I never paid for it either. I didn’t start doing it to lose weight. I did it because it felt incredible. I felt invincible and gorgeous and sexy and brilliant and charming and hilarious and productive and genius. Until I didn’t. Until my feet started going numb and my skin looked like I had mold inside me just under the surface snaking through my body and my brain fell into chaos and despair. That year I was consistently svelte and people loved to tell me how great I looked. WOW, they’d exclaim, YOU LOOK AMAZING! At first I’d smile and feel lit up like a pinball machine. The weight loss was some kind of side bonus I hadn’t even considered. I didn’t even think about food. I was too busy thinking about solving the crisis of the prison industrial complex and unhinging the oppression of queers dying from, essentially, hatred. Self or otherwise. I didn’t have time to fucking eat, and the thought of it freaked me out anyhow. Being free of food obsession for the first time ever was incredible. Better than being thin. BETTER THAN BEING THIN. As time went on and I found myself with hollowed out yellowish dead eyes and wearing blotches on my skin like embarrassing hickeys from ill advised dates, getting a size 4 pair of pants didn’t bring the thrill of victory I’d always imagined it might. One more person told me how “Great” I looked and I just said, “Well, I’m pretty strung out on speed so I’m glad I have that going for me.”

Get a friend to move with you!

ANYHOW: I definitely lost a lot of weight and so I can attest to that method. However. I don’t recommend it. Side effects include loss of money, teeth, friends, lovers, jobs, housing, and life. I was lucky, but my dead friends were not, and every last one of them would rather be here than skinny.

A little less dire for effective weight loss is some really down home Emotional Devastation.  Now for me, a general malaise, a protracted sadness, or a vague depression won’t work. Those have traditionally driven me to comfort eating and obsessively thinking about what to eat instead of feeling whatever feelings I may be avoiding. But true annihilation has brought me so low at times that I just don’t feel like eating at all or I can’t. Again, here, the pounds melted away as the Magical Misery Fairy tapped on my throat to make it feel like it was choking almost constantly. Anxiety, pain, and near constant crying jags banished those pesky pounds away like a dream. Again people, even ones knowing how much pain I was suffering, took great pleasure in telling me how wonderful I looked. What a compliment! Unlike my Game Show Hostess on Meth alter ego, this version of me wanted to kill people. In this state, I truly wanted to feel good and how I looked meant nothing, Just like Ranier Maria Rilke says. It really made me think a lot about beauty and what it could mean to be a beautiful person, like in a Prince song.

Then a few years ago during a pretty happy time of life, I decided to try Weight Watchers. I did it for 10 months and I lost a bunch of weight and felt pretty goddamned happy about it. I felt proud and so excited to go to a wedding and look a certain way. This method did not involve me filling my body with toxic drugs that would make my teeth rot out of my head, nor did I feel, at any time, devastated or bereft. I kept track of what I ate daily and meticulously and frankly, this process offered me some things I found helpful. I liked the structure of it and I liked having an understanding that if I changed the portions of some things, I still felt satisfied. (Note: The DubDubs has rules that lets a person be well within their program and still survive on Skittles, a bagel, and 2 light beers every day. You can get in with your points and still lose weight and have a victory on your hands. Hell, on weekends you can even add in a Skinny Fudgesicle and tequila shots. Again, weight loss over health.)

Over time, however, the constant tracking and monitoring felt increasingly creepy and horrible.  I became my own vicious food prison warden, and this is on the kindest diet I have ever undertaken. Diets are inherently broken. They are the work of the devil, or misogyny. I know this because when I wanted a little freedom from any of it, when I decided to abandon the plan and stop babysitting my own food intake and carrying around weird scraps of paper to enter into the computer later, I went insane. Or sane. I mean first, insane, then sane.

The microculture of restriction and denial serve to starve our inner ideas of thriving. They sent me from feeling like I was a little bit in the weeds directly into the damn wilderness. My newly found self-esteem turned out to be a thin reflective mirror easily shattered by the truth of my real depth of self-loathing. Underneath all the desire to be thin or perfect or pretty or NORMAL was the monstrous truth that I was just not enough. Not successful enough or desirable enough or talented enough or … I’m sorry. Am I boring you to DEATH?! On top of that, to discover my utter edgeless lack of original despair, the desperately boring female trope lodged in me like a vestige of postmodernist Snoresville, the wholly disappointing discovery that at my core I was a delicate fucking flower that wanted to be a wisp…. Jesus. It was a true terror. Even my most private failures turned flaccid.

I not only had the original pain but the judgments of that pain as well. My inner 3rd wave feminist critic spit on my thrifted Doc Martens and my Body Positive crusader packed up the vintage slips and Sharpie body tattoos and deserted me. I had no politics to bring me comfort with a truth like this. That at my true core, I was, well, alone.

And turns out, that was the perfect place for me to start rebuilding. Because I live here in this body: ALONE. This is the place I think, dance, run, eat, snore, read, kiss, swim and ski. I experience everything in here. And finally having that agency to shut out the pressures of outside expectation let me slowly build some kind of new relationship to my own home here. I own this body and it’s my responsibility not to be a shitty landlord. Because no matter what I choose, that choice lives here.

This is when things really started to make a shift for from getting thin to getting comfortable. I don’t even want to say “healthy” exactly. Because to me, part of being healthy is being free and having agency for the first time in my life to say yes or no to things. To be able to have food and know when it’s a dessert and when it’s a coping mechanism disguised as a flourless chocolate tart.

So instead of weight loss, I found that developing a relationship to my body and to food that works to support my happiness and my actual physical needs will let my body exist in a space that’s comfortable for it. And now that this particular body is officially in menopause, and pretty early I might add, NOT TO BRAG, it’s got some new things it’d like to tell me. I need to really be a grown ass woman and decide what the cross section is of what do I want to do, what am I willing to do, and how do I want to feel when I do it. Eating and moving are the general crux to all of my experience here in this body, and therefor, the way I practice the sacred in this life. It is a work in progress and with any luck at all, it will last the rest of my days.

Just like The World Champion Giants: it’s a State of Mind as well as body. Mostly I just wanted to rep myself as a Giants Fan.

1. How I Eat is Just as Important as What I Eat: I don’t eat standing up anymore as a general rule. I don’t eat while driving. I try to take a few breaths before I begin to eat. Say a quiet thank you to the workers, the planet, the resources, the privilege and the sheer luck that brought me to this food. These breaths and that thanks usually lead me to a place where I am reminded to chew, promoting good digestion and more help for my digestive organs and gut health, and more sheer pleasure to enjoy the sensory fiesta of eating. Eating compulsively is always a sign that something emotional is up and it also robs me of the experience of enjoying the food. Which then often leads to eating AGAIN and therefor overeating when a body doesn’t need any more fuel.

2. Staying Hydrated is Key: I am so shitty at drinking water. TERRIBLE. Here’s the thing. Staying hydrated is one of the most important things we can do for our sense of well-being. It’s detoxifying, it helps with systemic inflammation and it keeps our conversations with our bodies honest. When we are dehydrated, our body will do anything it can to get water, including telling us we are hungry because obviously we are not giving it water. It’ll be like, “Okay then, girl. Get get yourself some food I can syphon the water out of it because if you keep trying to turn me into a damn raisin, I will die, and I’m not having any of that.” When we are hydrated (drinking someplace between 75-100 oz of water or herbal tea a day) our brains are much more clear in contact with what the body wants. The more water you drink, the more you want to drink it. Now there are tons of easy little apps on your phone that can remind you to have water that don’t require tons of obsessy logging and stuff.

3. DIGESTION!!! The Ayurvedic tradition suggests eating our largest meal closer to the middle of the day and letting dinner be lighter so that our bodies don’t have to work so hard as they are sleeping is the kindest to our digestive tracts. Ideally, the body has deeper cleaning to do while we sleep and if we let it do that work, our bodies are more efficient with our fuel. I try to keep 12 hours between when I finish dinner and start breakfast. I don’t always accomplish this, but I notice that when I do, my body feels, like, more ready to rumble. The lethargy quotient is so much lower.

4. Move. Start where you are. If you move a lot, bring in some variation and mix it up. If you don’t move at all, just start. Walk more. Take the stairs. Do a squat. Pick something you like. If you hate the gym, don’t go to the fucking gym. There is no such thing as a Gym Person. People tell me, “I’m not a Gym Person.” No one is a gym person. Going to the gym is a behavior. You go or you don’t. Who were people before gyms? Certainly still people. So. Maybe you find a gym you like. Maybe you start to hike. Or you dance at home between work breaks. Or maybe you go for walks or try running. Maybe you play tennis or you do the 7 minute workout a few times on your lunch break. Keep your eyes on your own paper. Don’t worry about what Bethany does because Bethany doesn’t have to live your life in your body. Do what you do. Bring a pal. Or if you’re very social, use movement to be alone. Leave your phone at home. Climb rocks and sightsee. Snowshoe. Ski. Swim. Lift weights. Shovel. Garden. Ice Skate. ANYTHING. Get a gang together. Just Keep on Moving.

5. Eat when You’re Hungry. Period.

6. Enjoy Eating. Really. It can be difficult, or impossible, to truly enjoy eating if you are also working or watching The Vampire Diaries or having an argument. So put pleasure first. How about that?

These are some things that have NOT helped me to lose weight. They have helped me to feel good about my life in this body, and over time, my weight has shifted. I cannot tell you that doing these things will help you to lose weight but I can tell you that if you do them, your relationship to your body will be so much happier. You might lose weight or change shape. You will learn what foods your body likes and which ones make it feel not so hot. You will sleep better. You’ll have more energy and zest for life. You will cook more and get better at it and you’ll be more attracted to vegetables. They’re pretty. And here’s a weird one: you’ll save money. First because you will get better at food shopping and you’ll cook more and second because you won’t spend so much money looking for happiness in ways that have nothing to do with happiness. All because of food and exercise, you ask?

Yes.

And because you give a shit about where you live.

Cook More!

162 comments

  1. Laura says:

    I so appreciate the brutal honesty with which you write. It is both refreshing & humbling. Great to read about this topic from such a raw, witty perspective. Life looks better this way.

    • Coach says:

      Thanks Laura! I’m really happy you found something in it useful for you. I gotta say, it’s easily the toughest post I’ve written here, so it’s a blessing to have your feedback.

  2. This is a fantastic post.
    Truly.
    As we are subjected to a constant media barrage of why we’re not good enough, how perfectly lovely to read something that suggests the exact opposite.
    And, permit me to brag, that this early menopause is a kicker. 10lb weight gain, in what seemed overnight. LOL.
    So I commit to 20-30min exercise every morning after which I happily walk my slow-ass dogs for another 40min. It seems to at least help *maintain* my weight, but even better it has helped *significantly* in decreasing body pain due to inflammation.

    And, sigh…I will revisit the “drink more water/herbal tea” idea. It’s one of those ones that I easily let go of once I get busy. Back to the Brita & the kettle!

    Thanks so much Sara! I feel inspired xoxo

    • Coach says:

      Dang, Roberta! This is the nicest response. I wish I was walking with you and your pups right now. I lift my mug of herbal tea to you and join you in the hydration toil!

  3. Another Laura here, another massive thumbs-up. You rule, you really do. Wit, candor, courage, intelligence, wisdom – you give it all away because you’ve got that much to spare. Thank you.

  4. Daxle says:

    I really enjoyed reading this, and saw myself in some of your experiences. From one stranger to another, thank you, sincerely.

  5. Brittany says:

    Just wow. This is exactly what I needed to read today. So thank you for reminding me what my true goal is and helping me push the superficial ‘weight’ one out of the way. Caring about my weight is just a distraction from becoming one with my body… it’s nothing but an excuse not to treat my body with as much respect as it deserves.
    A million times thank you – I’m going to bookmark this and keep it when I need another reminder!
    You rock!

  6. lisa says:

    i love this. thank you.

  7. Shelley from Oz says:

    Thanks.
    Just thanks ?

  8. Amanda Bergquist says:

    This is probably one of the best diet advise articles I’ve ever read.
    Thank you

  9. missy says:

    Love this post, love how you write… love everything about this. And I hear you!

  10. Ron D. says:

    Pretty brilliant piece of writing, Sara, it must be said. I learned a few things along the read as well. Thank you for this. I’m inspired. And I’m a new fan. Keep up the wiseness. Not a word. I care not.

    Ron

  11. Keith Nerdin says:

    Holy crap! So good I don’t know what to say. Just need time to think and soak all that in. Thank you.

  12. Sandra says:

    Thanks for this article. It made my day!!!!

  13. Amy J. says:

    This is fantastic. I am so impressed by both the quality of the writing and the message. Thank you.

  14. Jessica F. says:

    Incredible truths here, you’re a hero for sharing them. Thanks so much, truly.

  15. Tanya says:

    Thank you, thank you. The biggest of thank yous. Yes.

  16. dbeierl says:

    The article you have just read was
    a) Brave
    b) Truthful
    c) Honest
    d) Wise
    e) Thoughtful
    f) Compassionate
    g) Well-written
    h) Yes, all of those things. I stand witness to a lot of what you said and I’m listening hard to the rest. Thank you.

  17. Anna says:

    Love. Thank you for reminding me that alone is a great place to be with my body.

  18. Laurie says:

    A nutrition counselor friend of mine posted this on FB. What a great, empowering article. I feel better already! Thank you for being so direct and sympathetic at the same time!

  19. Sage says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this! Aside (gratefully, thankfully) from the crystal meth diet experience, so much of what you said resonated so hard with me. I felt like I have felt these feelings and thought these thoughts just as you described them. I find the silence around my dislike of my body and the double shame you mentioned–fat-shaming is misogyny and capitalism at work! down with patriarchy, etc!, but also I would like to be skinny–to be especially draining.

    Anyhoo. Thanks for your words and reminders about our homes in the world. I feel a little better and a little more able to believe that I am beautiful, just the way I am.

    Thanks.

    Oh, and Go A’s!

    • Coach says:

      You know what? If it can’t be the Giants, let it be the A’s. I’ve watched Moneyball like 4 times and before I left the Bay Area, got to go to a bunch of A’s games. What a tremendous fan base. So I feel you over there in your green and gold.

      And here’s to you, just the way you are, Sage.

  20. claudia says:

    you wrote my exact story.

  21. Stephanie says:

    I love the phrase “the 99 % of the time when I discover how I feel in the world.” Now that is a way to live. Discovering. Feeling. In the world. Thanks for the reminder!

  22. Hi Sara, first time to your blog. Love this post. Thank you :)

  23. Vicki Randle says:

    THIS is one of the most brilliant, unsparing, savagely honest, inspiring, hilarious, intimate and correct essays I have ever read on the subject of our beautiful bodies that we are taught to abandon, abuse and punish in an insane and perverted pursuit of something that most of us couldn’t identify if we were dared to. No matter what size, shape color or age, I believe if one is female, she can find herself in this description. Hopefully we can all find our way back to our own hearts the way you have in your journey. Thank you ( as my niece says, the biggest number she can imagine) ONE HUNDRED!

    • Coach says:

      Vicki!!! This is such a wonderful note to get. May your nice grow un in the shadow of body-kindness, love, and self-respect. If we come together to shine that kind of light on our young friends, our women will continue to come in to all our true light. ONE HUNDRED!!! Here’s to you, VR.

  24. Sande says:

    It is like you are right here having a coffee with me and we are having a conversation. Total brutally honesty…..I kept saying “Yes” while reading it. Food has had a hold on me for as long as I can remember….sometimes good and sometimes not so good. I wear a mask that says “I am okay with how I am in my body at this stage in my life (50)” but really I am not. Your words spoke volumes to me….it has always been my choice how I treat my body. I have and continue to spend so much time making sure that everyone else is feeling good and taking care of themselves but I don’t do it myself. Time to walk the talk and stop being shitty with myself!!! I try to do some of the things you have mentioned but always with the thought of losing weight, making them more of a chore in my mind…..I will forever look at everything differently…to live freely. Thank you for sharing.

  25. Caitlin Hotaling says:

    I have never read anything of yours before but this was shared on Facebook so I finally took the time to read it. Thank you for telling it like it is and making it about us, our home! I do give a shit about where I live, externally all the time, now internally that’s a freaking brilliant way to put it. Yeah yeah, I’ve heard my body is a temple, but this resonates for me. I don’t want to be a crappy landlord. Thank you and I shall now go read other posts, and drink some more water.

  26. KK says:

    What a great piece. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  27. Juhl says:

    “I own this body and it’s my responsibility not to be a shitty landlord. Because no matter what I choose, the choice lives here.” I have just put this on a sticky note and posted it next to my desk on my “Wall of Aha Moments”. Thank you – I have been slowly coming to this conclusion for the last 6 months, making changes in my life to improve how I feel which hopefully leads to how I look. But at the end of the day, the words I was missing were yours. I need to be a better landlord. THAT is what I am trying to do. THANK YOU for helping me find my words.

    • Coach says:

      I’m so glad it struck a chord with you and the words help to unlock something. I’m happy to be a part of anything that’s helping you feel like those changes can come into focus.

  28. Angela says:

    Wonderfully honest! This is a keeper. Aside from the meth addiction, we have traveled similar paths regarding diet, thinking about dieting, dieting, body image and how this erodes the center of our core – this MOST IMPORTANT relationship in our life – you (me). If we don’t meet ourselves with honesty at the alter of our aloneness, the alter will continue to be cluttered with vogue magazine covers, chocolate cake, rude and unwelcome comments by well-meaning relatives or whatever your choice of drug is. It takes courage and people like you to help others find their own way. Keep up the good work!

  29. Deana says:

    Sara,

    I loved loved loved the honesty and true sole searching you put into this writing. Truly inspirational! Thank you

  30. Sophie says:

    Sara – this was so amazing. I too have done some incredibly destructive things trying to get a perfect body. Mentally destructive, physically destructive and spiritually destructive. I am on a journey now to be able to allow myself to feel pleasure around food. I’ve printed out your essay to carry with me.

    Thank you

    • Coach says:

      Well, Sophie, I am honored to be your companion. Turns out you’re right where you are after all. The perfect spot in your journey and lucky me for getting to tag along.

  31. S says:

    Thank you. This was exactly what I needed to read exactly when I needed to read it. I will carry this with me forever.

  32. Linda Bacon says:

    Powerful post. Rock on… Consider putting your blog into the (free) HAES Community Resources (www.haescommunity.org) to get more exposure.

    • Coach says:

      LINDA BACON!!!! You are a gosh darn national treasure! What an amazing treat to find you here. Thank you so much for the work you do in the world, the lives you touch and save by using your energy the way you do. I appreciate your invitation so much and will do it right away quick. Thank you so much.

  33. Susan says:

    Thank you!! One of the best reads EVER. I am truly inspired as well as informed. LOVE your story (a story that resonates), but mostly your honesty. This is a keeper!
    You have a new follower =)

  34. Spectacular post, which I would like to have tattooed on my forehead. Thank you. x

  35. cynthia says:

    thank you for this post…i can relate to your thoughts on the the DubsDubs and to the prison of tracking…the tremendous irony of weight loss for me is that any amount of “success” is closely followed by the abject fear of “failure”, and the sad suspicion that it is not only inevitable but a completely self created cycle…your shift of thinking is much wiser and more sustainable in the long run..I really appreciate your honesty.

    • Coach says:

      As a graduate of the DubDubs Failure Academy (SUCCESS!!!! and then failure) I can tell you I feel a lot better over here. I send you all my best.

  36. Jules says:

    I read every word, usually at this length I wouldn’t, but I did. I’m glad the universe brought your post to me this morning. I won’t go into all the details, but your writing of your experiences brought perspective back into my mind. Thank you! I appreciate your time, energy and honesty.

    • Coach says:

      Oh Jules, thank you. I appreciate your time as well. I know it was a long post and folks is BUSY. So I thank you for reading. I’m happy it served you well.

  37. LJ says:

    Thank you so much. I struggle with my weight and body image issues so much and this encourages me to simply care for my body. Just what I needed today!

  38. Laura says:

    This is fantastic. Thank you.

  39. Lisa morrow says:

    Yes. You smacked that protruding nail right smack on its head. There are excerpts from this article that I need to read every day for a while…..thank you!

  40. Thank you for putting this together in words. I have been working to get to this place and find myself almost there.

    • Coach says:

      My friend made a record called Almost to the Water. I really loved that image. I hope your journey there is scenic and lovely.

  41. sandylee says:

    Excellent. Telling the truth, your personal truth is so powerful to others. You know this! I am sharing this with people, everyone needs this and I hope they read it in full. Once you can love who you are and realize you have to live in the body you have… it becomes easier to treat it better. yes.

    I am hopeful that we are turning the corner on “self-loathing” awareness and how it is so unnecessary and damaging. Also, I hope that young women read this powerful message of yours before they have to go through some of these challenges themselves. How wonderful would that be!? Power on Sara!
    and
    Thank you for some real truth,
    sandylee

  42. Sarah Campbell says:

    “My newly found self-esteem turned out to be a thin reflective mirror easily shattered by the truth of my real depth of self-loathing. Underneath all the desire to be thin or perfect or pretty or NORMAL was the monstrous truth that I was just not enough.”

    Oh yeah. Been there.
    Thanks for putting yourself out there, for being so transparent, for showing us the glorious mess that you (and all of us) are. <3

  43. Christy says:

    This has got to be one of the most brilliant things I’ve read in a long fucking time. Thank you for the eloquent writing. You are RIGHT ON!

  44. Johanna says:

    I came across you today because I am enrolled with Institute for Integrative Nutrition beginning courses next month and I read the article that was posted on their facebook page. I really liked your honesty. This article is truly inspiring and I thank you for being real and sharing your story.

  45. Just a dude who stumbled onto your blog says:

    Powerful writing. I’m happy for and inspired by, you.

  46. Ruth says:

    Fantastic post, about the 4th time today I was slapped in the face with the realization that it really is about loving your body. So much slapping that I wrote a blog post about it today: https://zumbamybuttoff.wordpress.com/2015/02/11/really-truly-love-your-body/

    Thanks for another terrific reminder!

  47. Susan says:

    I am sending this article to my daughter. Because my weight and body self care have never been the thing I wanted to have her emulate. Glad to have someone wise make sense of it of all. Yes I recognize that I should practice what I forward :-)

    • Coach says:

      That’s why we call it a practice. It an’t ever perfect. Thanks, Susan for believing in this work enough to entrust it with your daughter. That’s so deep to me.

  48. Wendeline says:

    Love how you write. Thank you.

  49. Connie says:

    Wow, I have no clue how I came across this. I just figured this out for myself in the last six months And I turn 53 this year! Guess I’m a slow learner but it Aint over yet! Great thoughts, thank you.

  50. Tracy says:

    Thank God for your honesty!

    • Coach says:

      My friend Michelle once told me that in a world like this, the only thing we TRULY have to call our own is our story. I’ve tried to really value that as my core since that day.

  51. Theresa Timmer says:

    Old packhorse body, you carry me
    as best you can through every kind of day.
    From rotund belly to scarred right knee
    you’re as familiar to me as the way
    home,say,or an egg or this morning’s rain.
    You stoop, turn and carry as needed.
    Few twinges. Your strength’s back again.
    You move nourishment through me unheeded
    and take what you need while I rest.
    I love your long bones and intricate levers,
    your strong hands, freckled skin, bouncing breasts,
    your smells and your sounds and your savors
    I love you more noe that I know,
    sooner than I want to, I must let you go.

    A Love Poem by Mary Bradish O’Connor

  52. Theresa Timmer says:

    Oops: I love you more NOW not ‘noe’

  53. jenny says:

    I just wanted to say thanks for this article. I haven’t read something with so many takeaways in a long time. I think the honesty you brought to this article makes you feel like a very trustworthy source, and I really appreciate your advice as someone looking to better myself like you have clearly done. Thank you

  54. Kelli says:

    Wow! I never comment on blogs I read, but had to comment here. This is such a great piece, and came t

  55. Kelli says:

    Whoops, hit the return key by accident! This article came to me at the perfect time. Even teared up a little. What an absolutely fabulous gift of writing you as well! Thank you for sharing!

  56. M4Merritt says:

    I just wanted to tell you that I reposted your post on my FB feed. I’m a nutritionist with a large private practice and yes, hear this all the time, but I choked on my water when I got to the crystal meth part :-) I admire your courage — thank you for being so brutally honest. You’re making a difference for people in many ways!

    • Coach says:

      Thanks so much for sharing my post. It’s so cool that people have been passing it along to each other. I gotta say, I wasn’t really trying to be brutal with my honesty, I just told the only story I got and well, that’s how it went. Happy to have made it through. Thanks so much for being out there working with people and nutrition. It’s such an interesting and amazing place to be, right?

  57. Amanda says:

    You. Are. Awesome.

  58. Marissa says:

    Thank you for your authenticity and courage. Thank you for giving permission for other women to be authentic and courageous with their journey to loving themselves. I study self-compassion and body image, and my research is driven (almost exclusively) by my own neurotic habits that I have had with food and exercise throughout my life. You’ve inspired me to write about my own story someday soon. The more women are aware they aren’t alone in this, the more we can help each other love one another and love ourselves more wholeheartedly. Imagine the supportive community we could provide for one another if we allowed ourselves to be seen the way you do in this post. I am moved by your openness and pithy wisdom. The readers of this blog and anyone who knows you are all so blessed by you sharing your presence and radiant heart. You are doing great, wonderful, generously compassionate things. Thank you so much.

    • Coach says:

      Wow. This is so moving. Thanks for writing to me and letting me know that this work reached you. I appreciate it so, so much.

  59. Lori says:

    Thank you so much! I am passing this along to my daughters and to my grand daughters in the hopes that they will see the powerful truths you have shared.

    • Coach says:

      If I have accomplished anything at all with this post, it’s having people write to me about their daughters, and now their granddaughters. Thank you so very much.

  60. Colleen says:

    WOW! Just Wow! And thank you!!! So much!!

  61. Teff says:

    Someone posted this on FB. I normally don’t read stuff about weight loss, but this is great.It made me laugh.

  62. Jennifer says:

    This was sooo funny. I really enjoyed it.
    Diets can be truly crazy. Moving and moderation, trying to make that my mantra.

  63. Danika says:

    thank you so much for this… I have spent years in a constant battle with my weight….. I have to remind myself not to feel guilty when I have a cookie, or don’t work out one day that it’s not the end of the world. I love this healthy mindset..<3

    • Coach says:

      If you want to feel better about the word Cookie, might I suggest watching Empire with Taraji OR reading a Cookie Mueller book. Also, I am so happy to find a sweet comment from you. Thanks.

  64. Sherry says:

    Completely Gobsmacked ! Your honesty and openness are truly humbling. Saw this thru FB. So glad I did. Massive amounts of food for thought (thankfully non-caloric). So, thank you, sincerely, thanks!

  65. Dorcas says:

    Just discovered you. Love your voice. Thanks for a great post–long, but you kept me glued.

  66. Carolina says:

    I absolutely love every word you wrote! Your brutal honesty touched my heart, thank you!

  67. Julie says:

    I cannot describe how much I love your post. I am 44, newly widowed, and a single parent. I have had disordered eating and and imprisoned relationship with food and my body since I was 11. I was my husbands home hospice care taker, and during that time I became anorexic, and then an exercise bulimic. After that I spent a year struggling with binge eating. All while working full-time, caring for my daughter, and getting over the death of my spouse. It has been such an added an unnecessary burden. I knew you would think that after watching my husband take his last breath, I would have let go of this crazy food disorder once and for all, seeing how precious and short life really is. Anyway, only recently have I laid down the ropes. I am still moving my body, but in a sustainable and loving way. I am eating more, in particular a lot more fat, and loving how satisfied I am at the end of each meal. My weight has steadily climbed since my husband’s death and this is the one area where I am not 100% at peace. 33 years of diet mind leave me with lots of self loathing, mean thoughts when I get dressed, when my clothes get a little tighter again, etc. However, I am making it my new priority to quiet that voice, instead of reacting to it and going on yet another restrictive diet which will only lead me back into binging.

    Anyway this post is fantastic and really spoke to me. How can I get your posts regularly?

    • Coach says:

      Wow, Julie. It sounds like you have been through so so so much. I feel so thrilled to get your message and know something about my experience has reached out and let you know you’re not alone. Truly so pleased to join you on your path.

      As far as getting my posts, I am getting a website facelift real soon which will include some subscription thing. I’m a little bit of a luddite and need my awesome designer to help me. Meanwhile, I try to post every Tuesday and I share the link on my FB business page dutifully. You can follow there here: https://www.facebook.com/SeinbergHolisticHealthCoaching

  68. [...] So. You Wanna Lose Weight. from Sara [...]

  69. Lindsey Dodge says:

    You’re so funny and insightful!

  70. Carla says:

    Thank you for sharing your story! I am someone who obsess over my weight and size. I have to track my food because if I don’t I will pig out and get fat. I have no self control. I have to exercise hard core, heavy weights, bodybuilder style because waking isn’t enough. I wish I was born into a more carefree, naturally slender body but that’s not the case.

    With that said, I appreciate how you opened up to us about your struggles and challenges over the years. That was very brave and I appreciate you for being so revealing.

  71. Mikal says:

    Meth. Nice. I avoided this article at first. But then I thought to myself, “it’s Seinberg, dude!” And wow, honest, real, non-shaming, funny …everything I wanted to hear today. Thanks for this!

  72. [...] So. You Wanna Lose Weight. Seinberg Health. [...]

  73. [...] than a Netflix rut, but still not desirable). I came across the following paragraph on movement in a post by Sara Seinberg on her Holistic Heath Coaching site. The whole post is a fun read, but the bit below spoke directly [...]

  74. [...] long but incredibly moving personal essay about self-acceptance, the politics of dieting, and finding personal balance is harsh at times, but a much-needed illustration of how highly thinness is prized in our culture. [...]

  75. leftcoaster says:

    I LOVE THIS! A thousand thanks. You captured that uneasiness that women + bodies gives and is so damn hard to shake. And it could have been me about the annihilating sadness as a weightloss method. Blech. I’m having some health problems right now that have made the pounds melt away and I get so angry at people telling me how great I look. Because I was really cool with how I was before and in a good place (ie being kind to my body with what I put in it and how I move it around). So I’ve been a little bit grumpy and confrontational and reply “Really? I was pretty happy how I was and what you’re seeing is evidence of my health problems” when what I really want to say is “go *$*% yourself and leave me alone”. I know, right? Anyway, thanks for this, you rock.

    • Coach says:

      Of, Leftcoaster, I’m really sorry to hear you are having health problems. May your happiness return to you at any size as your health restores itself. I am pretty thrilled that my little post felt comforting to you in any way as you navigate. YOU ROCK!

  76. Jess says:

    I know you have like a 100+ comments already, but dude, I have to tell you that these words came at exactly the right moment and in exactly the right form for me. I am at the cusp of getting moving again and being more conscious about my choices, and I find myself closer to the Vortex of Body Issues than I’d like to be. Thank you for dragging me away from the edge. Just as important, though, is that this is some damn fine writing. Once I got a very big degree that says I know good writing when I see it, and this is it.

    • Coach says:

      DUDE!!! Thank you so much! Any dragging from edges I can do through writing is such a gift. I appreciate you taking the time to write and let me know. So generous of you. I hope your Very Big Degree is serving you well and life has moved you safely away from the pull of The Vortex. I look forward to finding you here again soon. Warmly, Coachyberg.

  77. Megan Null says:

    Yes. All the yes. I have to live here or I get to live here. Being nice to myself and discovering what makes my body feel better is a million times more important than what the scale says.

    Thank you for the honesty. I truly connected with your story. You are brave!

  78. Sylvia says:

    This post was absolutely brilliant. Thank you for writing such a brave and wonderful piece.

  79. [...] So. You wanna lose weight. — loved this from Sara [...]

  80. Rock on! This is awesome. Thanks for the funny and brutally honest suggestions.

  81. [...] So. You wanna lose weight. Imagine you had a twin that [...]

  82. Angie says:

    I really agree with the part you say ‘move no matter what’. People these days are getting too comfortable with those smart phones and basically you dont need to move a lot anymore to get your daily things done

  83. Rhonda says:

    I came here from a Facebook post and am commenting ’cause you have some mfing champion blood ;)

  84. Sandy Lingo says:

    Brilliant. Just brilliant!!

  85. Mara says:

    I Always assumed I would feel strong and powerful when I became pregnant. I am now 5 months pregnant and my relationship with my body has hit rock bottom. I have felt weak, out of control, not “enough” and constantly scrutinized by others.
    Thank you for this piece. I have read it twice now and while it does not necessarily hit on pregnancy, it was exactly what I needed to read, right now.

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