How to Control Your Weight (hint: you actually CAN’T!)

Jessica Penner, RDNutrition, OvereatingLeave a Comment


A Dietitian explains how your weight is literally outside of your control and how knowing that can actually help you live the life you really want!




I want to talk about something incredibly important today.

I have so many people write to tell me the same thing.

“Jessica, I lost the weight but it’s coming back on and I don’t know how to stop it!”

“Jessica, I’m stuck at a weight loss plateau!”

“Jessica, I NEED to lose weight.”

And I tell everyone the same thing.

You can’t control your weight. That’s the truth!

You can’t wake up one day and just decide to weigh more or less than you do. It’s not like you can go “okay body, let’s drop some of these pounds!”

It doesn’t work that way. What you weigh is NOT under your direct control.

Which is why I don’t focus on weight in my practice. If you work with me, it is very unlikely that I would ever ask you what you weigh. To me, it’s completely irrelevant. I can’t control your weight. You can’t control your weight.

So instead, I focus on what you can control. And what you can control is your behaviour.

You CAN wake up and decide you want to change your eating habits.

You CAN wake up and decide you want to change your thought patterns.

When you focus on weight as an outcome, you’re left feeling powerless and rather helpless.

When you focus on your actions, the opposite happens;  it’s incredibly empowering!

One of the reasons why focusing on weight as an outcome is so alluring is because it’s so black and white and easy to measure. You just step on a scale and it gives you an immediate measurement. And you can feel a false sense of control if something happens and you lose 5 lbs. So you get a bit of a high and are like “woohoo, I did! I lost 5 lbs!”

But then if the opposite happens and you gain 5 lbs then you lose that sense of control and you’re confused, lost, helpless, and left scrambling to try and fix things.

It might not be as appealing a way to track success as a number on a scale that’s so clear cut, but there are ways to track your outcomes when you focus on actions, on habits.

For those in my I Quit Overeating program, I give a pre- and post-program assessment for tracking progress. The program is designed to be a roadmap for creating healthy eating habits.

Once you define what action you want to take, what habit you want to develop, you can track that!

Lastly, I just want to encourage you because I know that our society is so fixated on weight. It’s not your fault that you’ve been conditioned to focus on weight as the ultimate marker of success.

If you want to learn more about switching from focusing on an outcome you can’t control to one you can control, send me a message and I would love to help you take your next step!

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