The business of weight loss and faux empowerment

Have you noticed that selling empowerment to women is big business and it seems like everyone's trying to get their piece of the money pie? In the self-help and coaching (life, health, business, relationship) worlds, it's a word that gets used a lot.

It's been used so much that it can mean almost anything and absolutely nothing.

Marketers use it to sell everything from cereal bars to medicated eye drops.

The way that 'empowerment' is marketed to women is obnoxious.

Does the health & wellness community really care about health & wellness?

I don't want to be a health and wellness coach anymore. I'm over it. I've been feeling this way for about a year now and I've finally made the decision to close my doors.

Back in 2013, I was so happy to receive my certification after 4 long month of classes, an hour-long written test and a verbal assessment of my coaching skills with an experienced coach. I was ready to start helping people get healthy and lose weight. Back then, I thought those 2 things were one and the same.

Now I want to give it all up. And by 'it' I mean my association with the health and wellness industry. When I first started to get frustrated with health and wellness I thought it was because there had been some dramatic shift in the industry-that something had significantly changed since I hung out my shingle and started accepting clients.

After some reflection, I realize it's NOT the industry that’s changed, it's me. I'm the one who's different.

Can we talk about personal responsibility?

Have you ever read an article online about body acceptance/fat acceptance, then wander (against your better judgment) down to the comments section? 

 

It's a mistake I keep making over and over again.

 

Anyway, during the 2 minutes or so that I can stomach the negativity, I see a barrage of insults and fat jokes laced with "Take responsibility for your health!!" comments.

 

Let's be clear:

My body has always known the truth...I just wasn't listening

When I look back at my history of dieting and weight loss obsession, I realize: 

 

I have 2 decades of experience ignoring my body's signals.

I was skilled at drinking club soda when my taste buds really wanted a full-sugar Coke.

I chewed gum when instead of the slices of pizza I actually craved.

I was a master at pushing through the knee pain from too many jump squats, convinced that it could be overcome if I just flipped the switch to 'beast mode'.