My brain’s cognitive dissonance


I am a weight-inclusive health practitioner. Basically, that means that I help people with how they relate to food and their bodies without weight loss being a driver of that improvement. I come from working with people who struggled with eating disorders and disordered eating, and now as a coach, I am struggling with cognitive dissonance after learning some of the coaching materials. I feel like I cannot include weight loss in the discussion because it would be going against all that I have learned and understood as a part of my extensive work in that field. Especially since so many of those clients I worked with cited that relentless weight loss messaging and pressure to be thin were main contributing factors to the development of their disorders.

There is a lot of recommended restriction, elimination of food groups, and weight loss focus here in the Stop Overeating course. And I feel conflicted because I recognize there are so many people who want to lose weight, but I don’t want to offer that result to people because I feel it is harmful to do so. Especially to the more vulnerable population of those in recovery (if they were to come across the messaging). So how can I grow a business when I’m not giving the majority of people what they want?

Also, I struggle because there isn’t any discussion about the current diet culture’s weight stigma, fat bias, and promotion of thin body ideals and how that impacts people’s thinking. I don’t know how to reconcile my background, my beliefs/experience with what I also perceive everyone wants, build a business, and make money by helping people.

I know I can help people lose weight – I’ve done it many times over. But I don’t want to. Because I don’t want to “sell” weight loss. But on some level, I feel like I have to in order to build a successful, profitable business. And so I’m spinning my wheels in inaction while I essentially battle myself.

I realize I have a completely different approach to all of this than most people and I feel like the odd one out. I wonder if that can work to my advantage or if it will actually be the thing that prevents me from growing a successful practice. I want to understand how to help people without compromising my beliefs. Does that make any sense??

Thanks for helping me sort through all of this. I’ve sat on it for a long while, too scared to share my real thoughts. I didn’t want to offend anyone because I am against some of the teachings.