Why I No Longer Coach Intentional Weight Loss | #10

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When I first started out in the fitness and wellness industry, I coached intentional weight loss because I knew it was expected of me. I preferred to help people get strong, build muscle, and feel more empowered, but I believed that weight loss and fat loss for clients who wanted it was just part of the job.

I eventually reached a point where I truly felt like coaching weight loss as a primary goal no longer aligned with my values. However, I wasn’t sure if I could build a sustainable business without it. So I went into intensive research mode to learn as much as I could about the alternate weight-inclusive paradigm.

I ultimately decided that I no longer wanted to take on intentional weight loss clients, and a lot of other things changed, too. For example, I stopped centering my own thin, privileged body in my social media. I stopped taking measurements of my clients’ bodies and asking them to take progress photos. I also brought social justice to the forefront of my work and committed to “learning in public.”

It seemed unethical to me to promise people weight loss as a solution for my clients’ problems when I knew that I couldn’t help them sustain it for the long-term, and I knew they’d have to adopt potentially unhealthy behaviors to reach their goals.

Health At Every Size (HAES) and weight-inclusivity are all about ways that we can adopt health-promoting behaviors without worrying about our weight on the scale specifically. This is in contrast with the popular practice of telling people in larger bodies that they should lose weight through any means necessary, even if those means are ultimately unhealthy.

Since adopting these practices in my coaching, I am much happier with the work that I do, and I see long-lasting changes in the health and well-being of my clients.

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Shohreh is pictured with shoulder-length pink hair wearing a pink sweater with red hearts stitched on it, laughing in front of a colorful painted wall

Shohreh Davoodi (she/her) was the host of the Conjuring Up Courage podcast during the show’s three-year run. Currently, Shohreh is focusing her attention on being a writer and creator. You can keep up with Shohreh by subscribing to her newsletter, The Queer Agenda, and following her on Instagram and TikTok.

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