Why I No Longer Coach Intentional Weight Loss | #10

Sep 10, 2019

Image text reads, "Why I No Longer Coach Intentional Weight Loss | #10" over a woman laying on a mat and doing a leg lift.

Click here to access a written transcript of this episode.

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.

We’ve been taught that so many things in life can only be attained through weight loss, such as being healthy, being fit, being successful, being sexy, etc. But there are much more direct methods to achieve those things.

That’s because weight loss and aesthetic changes are not behaviors, they are outcomes. The key to my work is to focus on behaviors that can get people closer to their goals instead of getting hung up on an outcome like weight loss that may not be possible for many different reasons (e.g., genetics, hormones, stress, sleep, etc.).

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 current 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 smiles for the camera in a pink dress with bright purple hair, standing in front of a wall striped in yellow, teal, and purple paint

Shohreh Davoodi (she/her) is the host of the Redefining Health & Wellness podcast. Shohreh is a self-trust coach, a bit of a mind witch, and a rainbow glitter bomb of a human. Through her content and coaching, she helps people develop their consciousness, care, and courage practices so they can be more of who they are (and less of who they think they're supposed to be). When she's not working, Shohreh enjoys exploring the great outdoors, singing emo music at the top of her lungs, playing with her two pups, crafting, trapezing, gardening, and baking. Find Shohreh on her websiteInstagramFacebook, and Pinterest.

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