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How CCI Coaches Are Taught to Address Weight Loss and Diet Culture

Hi All, Today I was grading CCI coaching student's answers to questions I give them in my certification course. I came across these two questions and answers and it made me think that some of you might be interested in how I work to prepare coaches to deal with issues of the desire for weight loss and diet culture.This is just a snippet but I thought worthy of sharing.

Client says : "I just need to lose some weight before I can commit to anything else because I can’t live in this body."

Coaches response: "I hear that you feel so uncomfortable and insecure in your own body right now. I remember feeling that way for so long, thinking if I could just lose a little weight, not ever trying to be underweight, that I could be happy and work on myself more. The truth was there was no amount of weight I could lose that would have ever made me happy, but I couldn’t see that at the time. I always found a reason to be miserable. “Why am I not losing weight fast enough?” and “my goal is no longer enough for me” were constant sources of unhappiness. While navigating recovery, I stumbled upon several social media accounts that were body positive and health at every size focused. I saw women with similar bodies as well as larger bodies radiating confidence and wearing clothing I wished I could but felt too insecure to wear. I wondered, how in the heck do they feel so comfortable in a body that society tells me is wrong? These women practiced self-care, gave positive affirmations and healthy self statements to combat the negativity, and honored their needs through appropriate channels. I thought, maybe if it is working for them, it could also work for me? I used these women as role models, encouragement in times when I was struggling with my body image, an anchor for my positive statements saying “I want to live as freely, confidently, and courageously as those women, I can tackle this.” Maybe together we can find some body-positive role models to follow for encouragement and role models. It truly helps to see others not giving into diet culture and living a similar experience to you thriving and able to find happiness without needing to hate their bodies."

Client says: " I’m not sure why I do what I do but I just hate being in this body and am trying to eat right and lose a little weight, not too much, but I have not been able to do it.”

Coach says; "It’s like you took the words out of my mouth while I was in my eating disorder. I, too, was so uncomfortable in my body and just wanted to lose a little weight. I had a number picked out that was in the middle of the “healthy range” for my height, I had no intention to become underweight, I just wanted to feel comfortable, confident, and accepted in a body I thought was unlovable and unworthy. I felt desperate as trying to “eat healthy” wasn’t cutting it for me, and so I tried various behaviors to meet my goals.

It spiraled so quickly I didn’t even realize just how I got so entrenched. While in recovery, I learned my body wasn’t the enemy, it was never unworthy or unlovable, but rather it was the judgment I placed on it that made me feel that way. I learned I had so many things in my life that mattered to me so much more than what my body looked like, such as my connection with others and going on fun adventures. My eating disorder took away the ability to enjoy these things, and in recovery, I was able to reconnect to these values and spend more time focusing on living by them. Over time as I spent more time in sync with my authentic self and honoring my values, I noticed I was focusing less and less on my body, and I was able to appreciate it as my vessel in which I experience all the great moments in life.

My hope is that with our time together, we can explore your values, set intentions to channel more time into living by them, and explore what needs you feel are not being met that you feel you need to lose weight and use behaviors."

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By incorporating strategies that prioritize individual health over societal norms, coaches are reshaping conversations around weight and diet. With a focus on holistic well-being, including mental and emotional health, their methods extend beyond traditional weight loss treatment. This approach underscores the importance of personalized care in navigating complex relationships with food and body image.

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