The Blog

Is your weight really a problem?

Have you ever noticed how any slight change in someone’s weight seems to turn into a public health discussion? It’s almost like your body becomes community property with comments flying in, whether you asked for them or not. But here’s something to chew on, “what if weight isn’t the clear-cut health indicator we’ve been conditioned to monitor”? 

Intrigued? Let’s explore this together, and oh, for a deeper dive, my podcast episode, “I’m worried about your health”, where I unpack this common unsolicited comment. 

Is weight a good indicator of health?

No, weight is not a good indicator of health. Let’s unpack why. There’s a big misconception out there that weight is directly tied to health, but science tells a different story – many health indicators (like blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and mental well-being) can actually improve without changes in weight. While the go-to advice remains to lose weight to improve your health, the number of the scales can not tell you someone’s blood pressure, heart rate, fasting glucose, stress levels, movement, mental health, sleep patterns, social connectedness, how much they drink, smoke or other factors that affect someone’s health. 

I’ll use one of my clients to illustrate why health is not a reliable indicator of health. Let’s call her Jamie. She’d spent decades yo-yo dieting and stuck in the binge-restrict cycle that left her feeling miserable and out of control around food. When we started working together, she wanted more energy, to move more, to binge less, and to reduce her cholesterol levels. She also desired to lose weight; however, we agreed not to focus on her weight. While we did not track her weight, so we don’t know if it went up, down or stayed the same, she stopped binge eating, went from zero exercise to attending the gym twice per week, ate regularly, improved sleep, had more energy, and reduced cholesterol levels. 

What About BMI?

BMI is a tool that’s so widely used and yet so widely misunderstood. Created for population studies and not for individual diagnosis, the BMI is incredibly misleading and harmful. Remember when the BMI thresholds were lowered back in 1998? Overnight, millions of people fell into the ‘overweight’ category without their health changing at all. To measure your health using this arbitrary scale isn’t just useless. It’s lazy. 

Weight stigma matters MORE than weight

If there’s one thing that’s clear, it’s that the stigma around weight can be more harmful than the weight itself. This weight stigma isn’t just about feeling bad; it has tangible, detrimental effects on people’s health—increasing risks for depression, anxiety, and a higher risk of disordered eating, binge eating and eating disorders. to stress. Unfortunately, many people, including health professionals, are so stuck in the “obesity epidemic” mindset that they ignore how deeply weight stigma affects health. 

An inclusive framework for health

Enter Health at Every Size® (HAES®), an approach that celebrates body diversity and focuses on actionable health behaviors rather than weight management. For Jamie, adopting the HAES and intuitive eating principles meant she could enjoy her meals and her movement without guilt or obligation. It’s about finding what feels good and healthy for you, personally, without the scale dictating your worth or your actions.

Looking for more support?

Ready to stop fixating on your weight and actually focus on (and improve) your health instead? 

I’ve designed my Co-Pilot program for folks just like you 

It combines 1:1 support, group coaching, and on-demand learning to help you stop the daily body bashing, reduce the food obsession and make health easy, fun and enjoyable 

Interested? Click here for a look behind the scenes  


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