Leisa Wheeler, naturopath, health and healing mentor, and fatigue specialist, is the founder and director of Embracing Health, a business dedicated to bringing you health information that can change your life.
Leisa’s passions include many areas of health – from food as medicine and nutrition, to physical fitness and detoxification; from emotional release work to spiritual healing; these varied interests shaping her belief in the value of integrated healing on all levels; physical, emotional and spiritual.
I’ve just read an article reviewing a book called Cut the Cr*p: The No-Nonsense Plan For A Healthy Body And Mind by “The Grit Doctor” author Ruth Field, and the uninformed, ignorant bulls**t she is promoting, just makes my blood boil! You can read the article here:
As someone who has struggled with their weight due to serious fatigue disorders that encompass hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, autoimmune issues and various emotional traumas – I know very well from experience that there is a lot more to weight loss than the out-dated and questionable advice to just ‘eat less and exercise more’. Yet these pseudo-experts continue to flog that dead-horse and try and get more life out of it any which way they can.
She writes: “‘That is the unpalatable truth that no one is telling you straight. You need to accept that you being overweight is no one’s fault but your own.” She adds: ‘The reason you are fat is you eat too much cr*p and you don’t move enough.” Ok, I haven’t read the book, but from this one statement I can be pretty assured that there isn’t going to be a section in the book that covers people who have metabolic disorders, for whom this advice does not work.
To hear the ‘eat less and exercise more’ myth repeated yet again and promoted in the media is so frustrating! Any person with a modicum of naturopathic knowledge knows that weight gain is a multi-faceted condition, and that in many cases, it is not just about eating bad food and not exercising. Yes, that definitely plays a role, but alongside that are many metabolic conditions that making shifting excess weight difficult, even on the most pristine diet and with the correct exercise. When someone suffers from either hormonal imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, a thyroid disorder, adrenal fatigue, digestive issues, toxicity, allergies or intolerances, chronic inflammation or infections, liver dysfunction, insulin resistance, vitamin D deficiency or a problem with insomnia (or more than one of those!) – the answer is not to eat less and exercise more. That advice could actually make a person WORSE, not better.
Understanding the causes behind someones weight gain is much more important than just sticking them on a food plan (however good it is) and telling them to ramp up the exercise. It is identifying the underlying disorders and healing those first, that will then allow the body to regain its health and come back to a balanced weight.
I really dislike “experts” who sprout their dietary “wisdom” because eating less (or more healthfully) and exercising more, has worked for them. They assume that all people are the same and will respond the same way that they did. But if that worked, then we wouldn’t have the weight gain and obesity problems that we have today. There is not one blanket answer to weight gain – there are a multitude of factors that can come in to complicate the issue and this is where genuine expert advice is invalulable.
Of course there are people who do eat too much, eat the wrong types of foods and don’t exercise – but to “shame” them into doing things differently has not proven to work anyway. What is more effective is support, education and encouragement. Even in these cases there are going to be underlying reasons for why they eat to excess or eat unhealthy foods. It could be an emotional issue, suppressing difficult emotions with food, it may be a search for energy that is not being met, boredom, cravings, comfort – there are many reasons on the physical and emotional plain that can lead to overeating. Just telling someone to ‘eat less’ because they have no willpower, is not addressing the important factors that are driving their behaviour.
OK. So that’s my rant for today. Sometimes I want to just slap people for perpetuating this myth. Rather than adding to the very important discussion on how to genuinely assist people to lose weight, they gloss over so many complex influences and bring it back to “right and wrong”, “willpower and weakness” “pride or shame”.
If there is one thing that I aim to do in my writing of “The ‘F’ Word Solution” it is to take this myth and smash it to smithereens. Until it is dead and buried. And that is coming from a pacifist
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