Weight loss is a feminist issue.
But not because women should or need to lose weight.
There isn’t a woman (or a man) in this world who needs to lose weight, in my opinion.
Losing weight is a completely personal matter.
It is a personal choice.
And it is optional, for all of us.
Losing weight is a feminist issue because many women (and men, of course) want to lose weight.
And the mental and emotional turmoil they feel around food and eating is impeding their ability to be fully present in their lives.
It impedes there ability to meet their full potential, and make the impact they could be making were they able to free up that energy from weight and food obsession.
Women want to lose weight for many reasons, many of them not-so-feminist.
Such as wanting to fit in to some superficial, media-perpetuated ideal of what a woman should look like.
And of course I don’t agree with that.
But many women want to lose weight for other reasons.
They want to lose weight because, like me, they want to end their mental and emotional battle with food.
They want to use their mental energy for thoughts, ideas, and creations outside of body image and weight loss.
They want to stop obsessing about food and weight.
They want to have a healthy relationship with food.
They want to have a positive relationship with their bodies.
They want stop hating their bodies.
They want to feel in control of their bodies and the scale.
They want to feel good, and not worry about it.
They want to end dieting.
And they want to do all of this so that they can focus on the work that really matters.
One of my favorite documentaries of all time is Miss Representation (if you haven’t seen it, run-- don’t walk). It is about how the media is essentially toxic to the mental health of girls and women. In it Katie Couric says, “If women spent a tenth of the time thinking about how to solve the world’s problems as they think about their weight…we could solve them in a matter of months.”
This is why I do my work in the world.
Because the battle with food obsession is real.
It impacts almost all of us.
And is a total waste of time.
It is a distraction from what matters most: advancing in our careers and getting paid what we are worth, leading in our communities and in the world, making an impact on the issues that matter to us such as paid family leave and preexisting conditions, and starting movements such as #metoo and #timesup.
Seriously, people, this is what matters.
Not how much we weigh.
And yet, what we weigh gets more airtime in our heads then the meaningful work.
So this is my work.
I want to help women and girls stop their internal battle so they can go to battle for what matters to them most.
And it starts with the mamas.
Because we have work to do, ladies.
Let’s get crackin’.
Lia Pinelli is a weight loss coach and educator who helps women put an end to emotional overeating and lose weight, permanently.