Research from the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study demonstrates that the true causes of diabetes, cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases may be related to your childhood. Getting thin(ner) won’t fix your childhood experiences.  But healing from these experiences can give you help with food addiction, freedom from emotional eating and less food obsessions from food addiction.



Think of how much of your time and energy you spend on thoughts about your body, negative self-talk, self -judgment, body hatred.  

Now think of what you could do with that time and energy if you no longer obsessed about your food and body image issues.


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Welcome everybody to the Carolyn Coker Ross Podcast. Today is part 2 of “Do I have to be thin or thinner to be healthy?”. I hope you enjoyed part 1 and I’m looking forward to go into part 2 with you. Stay tuned.

Okay. On the last podcast part 1 of do I need to be thin or thinner to be healthy. We talked about the fact that it’s no longer politically correct to admit that you want to be thin or even thinner for appearance sake. Now it’s all about being thinner for your health. And a lot of the women that I work with are absolutely convinced that they can’t be healthy unless they’re able to lose weight. So usually most of the women in my program in the anchor program and the women who consult with me have been dieting, hating their bodies, being obsessed with food, binge eating, compulsive overeating, or they’ve identified as emotional eaters or individuals with food addiction. They may be as young as 25 or as old as 70. And I see that whole age range in the anchor program, but what they have in common is kind of a desperate need to be thin or thinner. It’s almost like they can’t quite let go of that feeling that everything would be so much better in their lives, if they could just be thin or just a little thinner, but they also are most of them are coming to realize it dieting hasn’t worked for them. At least not for the long run.

So now it turns to, well, my doctor told me I needed to lose weight for my high blood pressure. My doctor told me I needed to lose weight because I have sleep apnea or diabetes or heart disease. So many now hold out the hope that they can still accomplish that secret goal to be thin or thinner as a way to be healthy. Now this is it’s called healthism and that’s what I talked about in the last podcast. But I just wanted to review this with you because I think it’s really, really important to understand. And again, healthism is defined as a preoccupation or obsession with personal health as a primary focus for the definition and achievement of well being. And this goal is often seen to be the attainable, primarily through weight loss. In other words, that feeling that you you’ll never be able to be healthy without being fan. So now you have, you know, a real reason to want to lose weight.

So this has come up even more strongly during the COVID-19 pandemic, where weight is being identified as a risk for coronavirus infection. And I, the way that I think about weight is that it’s kind of an easy marker for everything. It’s easy to use that number on the scale and say, Oh, it’s the number on the scale. And it’s a lot harder to look deeper into the parts that may contribute to the number on the scale or the things that are more directly tied to our health, including, blood sugar stability, our stress management, how much we sleep or how well we sleep and how physically active we are. So the focus you know, in all of these new articles about COVID and obesity as defined by body mass index is only on the number on the scale. So again, I know it’s hard because you have doctors and nurse practitioners who endorse this belief that you can never be healthy. Unless you are thin or thinner, but research that focuses only on the number on the scale, rather than the other numbers that really mattered like, you know, how many hours have you slept? How many minutes of visits, physical activity do you get each week? What’s your blood sugar level? What’s your heart rate? How about your, the fitness of your heart and lungs? Because the bottom line is you can be healthy no matter what your size is?

So no matter what you’ve heard. We talked last time about a few myths, and I’m just going to review this a little bit. First myth that this takes years off your life, and there’s been a number of studies that disprove that and showed that 87% of people who are diagnosed as obese. With a BMI of 30 to 35, that obesity one category 1 are as healthy as people in the normal weight category, normal weight in air quotes. And even when you go into the higher levels of body mass index, 67% of studies showed that there was no difference in health risk for those people from people in the normal weight category. The next myth real quick, that causes disease and then rates won’t be severe as determined and by body mass index have more than doubled in our lifetimes anyway, but things like diabetes have no doubled. They’ve gone up by about 10%. If fatness causes diabetes the rates of death diabetes should have gone up a lot higher. Also heart disease has been associated with the number on the scale we’ll say, or with body mass index and those rates have actually gone down as the rates for obesity as determined by body mass index have doubled. And finally the last myth is that we have, we in the medical profession have evidence that weight loss improves health. And I, you know, I pointed to this a lot, the National Institute of Health, one of them, it is the premier research institution in the United States of America. They ran a 15 million and dollar study over a 15 year period. You may not realize how unusual that is. But most studies regarding weight and health usually are anywhere from one year to maybe three or five years at the most. This was a 15 year study, but it was unable to prove that a therapeutic diet and weight loss could reduce the risk for stroke, heart attacks and heart disease.

So this huge study was not able to show that losing weight improves health.

So the Health Today Every Size Movement began about a decade ago and one of the founders of that movement, Dr. Lindo Bacon has said, we’ve lost the war on obesity. Fighting fat hasn’t made the fat go away and being thinner, even if we knew how to successfully accomplish it will not necessarily make us healthier or happier. She goes on to state say that there has been extensive collateral damage that has resulted from this war on obesity, including food and body preoccupation or obsession, self-hatred, body hatred, eating disorders, weight, stigma, and worsening health. Few of us are at peace with our bodies, whether because we’re fat or because we fear becoming fat.

So she as the founder of the health at Every Size Movement, they contrast with the traditional weight loss paradigm. The traditional paradigm says everyone needs to be thin for good health and happiness. And that people who are not thin are overweight or obese because they have no willpower, they eat too much and don’t move enough. Sounding familiar and again, the, the last thing is the traditional weight loss paradigm also says everyone can be thin, happy, and healthy by dieting. Now the Health at Every size movement says then is not intrinsically healthy and beautiful nor is fat intrinsically unhealthy and unappealing. Health at Every Size also says people naturally have different body shapes and sizes and different preference is for food, for physical activity. So some of us like to walk some of us like to, to run, some of us like to do martial arts, some dance. Some are, are not, don’t like to do physical activity at all. And finally, the health at every size movement says dieting often leads to further weight gain, decreased self-esteem and increased risk for disordered eating health and happiness are not just dependent on how we look, let’s be honest. Health and happiness involve a dynamic interaction among mental, social, spiritual, and physical considerations. So the goal of health at every size is self-acceptance it. The goal is to help you be healthy too through the ways that we know work like normalized eating, intuitive eating, physical activity, etc.

So. I’ll get off my soap box here for a minute. So where does that leave you if you really want to improve your overall health? Well, it could lead you to make peace with food and with your body. Because one of my favorite books by Tracy Mann is a book called Secrets from the Eating lab. And Tracy Mann has had decades of experience as a researcher and the health and weight area and yeah, in her book, she talks about that exercise lowers health risk even without changing the number on the scale and that people who are active no matter their size have lower rates of sickness and death than those who are thin and not active. Other researchers have shown that cancer risk are more related to the types of food you eat than what you weigh. So we know that increasing foods high in antioxidants, particularly cruciferous vegetables can lower cancer risk or diabetes exercise lowers your risk even without weight loss to lower heart disease risk it’s very important not to smoke, to keep your blood pressure under control and to be active.

So more so bring facts include the fact that being more satisfied with your body has been associated with better health outcomes, no matter what your weight is. And in fact, constantly dieting, yo, yo dieting, adding weight, losing weight, gaining weight, losing weight, gaining weight, going on a diet, losing weight, gaining, going on a diet, et cetera is thought to be the cause of some of the differences in health between those living in larger bodies and those in normal weight bodies. In other words, dieting makes wait in the long run, go up, not down, and it makes health worse. It worsens your health.

So what are some of the things that you could focus on? To improve your health? Well, first of all, blood sugar stability, we know, I mean, I see in the anchor program, all sorts of diet mentality as it is, is applied to food. People who skipped meals all day and then are so hungry that they end up bingeing at night, or I won’t go into all the patterns. I don’t want to trigger people are trying to change. But you know what those eating patterns are and those patterns cause blood sugar to be unstable whenever you have unstable blood sugar that promotes the release of insulin, which then can cause the deposition of fat on the body. So insulin is the hormone of fat storage. So when you’re eating foods that are very processed, we know that your blood sugar levels will go up, but then within an hour or even less, they will plumb it. So every time you have a food, that’s very processed you’re then promoting the release of insulin. So eating throughout the day, three meals and one snack, having protein at every meal and snack will help you to stabilize your blood sugar.

The second thing is sleep. I am, I’m sure, I’m not the only one who struggles with sleep, but I also know there are many of my clients in the anchor program who don’t feel that they need to sleep, but they think they should work and work should come first before sleep and their children should come and then maybe their husband. But sleep is the last thing that they pay attention to. And there is just a lot of big, big studies that show that not getting enough sleep for a bit for variety of metabolic reasons it can promote weight gain. So sleeping seven to nine hours a night is really important. And then that takes us to the next thing, because many of the reasons why we’re not sleeping is because we’re stressed out and as you know, stress can lead to emotional over eating, it can increase food cravings, lead to binge eating and even exacerbate food addiction. So being able to relax to be able to learn new skills on how to manage your stress, learning how to manage blood sugar, stability and helping you getting a better night’s sleep are all things you can focus on to improve your health that will actually make a difference as opposed to focusing on the number on the scale.

And the final thing you can focus the is moving your body, whether that’s walking, dancing, walking in the grocery store, you know, walking upstairs to your apartment instead of taking the elevator, just being more active is the number one health promoter it’s the number one thing that will help you reduce medical health risks for, diabetes, heart disease, etc. But it also helps with depression and anxiety. So it cannot be under represented in your lifestyle changes.

So I hope this is helping you to think more clearly about the reasons why you are continuing to feel that you need to lose weight because you know what the bottom line is not all of us get to be skinny, just like not everybody has blonde hair. I know you can dye your hair, but that doesn’t mean that you should. But not everybody is tall, that that’s something we can’t change. Not everybody is curvy. If you like a more curvy body, not everybody has big boobs as we well know. And I know you can buy those things, but more and more studies are showing that they are damaging to your health. So anyway, my point is not all of us were meant to be thin and no matter what you do, you may not be able to sustain being thin if it’s against your genetics, if it’s against your body’s own needs. So this is what we call it memorized said less in the last podcast, poodle science. So I hope you checked out the poodle signs link in the show notes. I’ll put it in these show notes again, just so you can you know, make sure you take a look at that. Cause I think it’s really useful. Okay. If you really can take this, what I’m saying to heart, it could lead you again to making peace with food and with your body because it can enable and empower you to find the root cause of your problems with binge eating compulsive overeating, and emotional eating, which most often have to do with toxic stress, stress or adversity in childhood, abuse, neglect, living in a family, struggling with addiction or mental illness witnessing domestic violence, divorce or having a family member who’s incarcerated.

There’s a lot of research that I, you know, I’ve been talking about it. I, if you’ve been listening to this podcast, you know, about the adverse childhood experiences study that shows that diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and other chronic diseases may have their beginnings in childhood. So these adverse experiences of childhood abuse, neglect all of the household dysfunction, and then ones that aren’t even in the study like bullying or, you know, medical illnesses during childhood. Those, the adverse childhood experiences study has really shown that the ones that they’re studying have a direct link to adult risk for obesity as defined by BMI, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, depression, anxiety, and addictions. So we know that not everybody who’s had childhood or adult trauma develops an eating disorder, but most of the people who have an eating disorder have a history of either abuse or neglect or some of the other kinds of adversity in childhood that I just mentioned, and bottom line is getting thin or thinner won’t fix your childhood experiences. I’m going to say that when again, getting thin, or as some of you say thinner, won’t fix your childhood experiences but healing from these experiences can give you the help you need with food addiction can give you freedom from emotional eating and freedom from obsessions with binge eating.

So you get to choose, what do you want to spend your time and money on? Because many of you have reported that you spend between 50 and 75% of your time and energy on thoughts about what you should, and shouldn’t eat thoughts about your body, negative thoughts about yourself because of your size. So what could you do. With that extra 50 to 75% of energy. That’s why I want to ask you to think about what could you do as homework. Think about that. What if you only got a 50% boost in your time and your energy level? That might, I mean, that could be pretty awesome.

So again, we don’t all get to be thin and getting thin or thinner, won’t fix your childhood. If this is resonating with, you have just a little bit of time to join us in the anchor program and remember the anchor program is a 12 week and then a six month online, non diet program for people with binge eating, compulsive, overeating, emotional eating, and food addiction. I will put a link in the show notes to how you can set up a consult to learn more about the anchor program. You have just a, I don’t know, a few days left now, less than a week left to join this program, which is starting soon. So don’t be on the fence. Think about it. Think about where you’re spending your money and think about where you’re spending your energy and maybe it’s time to take a step that could really have long term benefits to you rather than the things that we always think about which is what’s the next fab diet.

So I’m signing off dr. Carolyn hope you’re well, and hope you’re staying healthy. I know this is a trying time for all of you as it is, has been for me. Sometimes I just feel like I am, you know, kind of doled out by all of the repetitiveness in my day to day life. I’m trying to get my, keep my spirits up sometimes feels like you’re just barely keeping your head above water spiritually. So anyway, I hope I’m inspiring you to make some changes in your life. Talk to you next week. Bye bye.