And it’s not about the cabbage soup diet.
And it’s not about how eating the right kinds of proteins will “burn your fat.”
(Really, there aren’t any secrets on how to lose weight, no matter what “they” say, with the possible exception of the Bloom County Diet (“How about eating less and exercise.”). And even that is no guarantee.
No, the weight loss secret the media won’t tell you is that losing weight, lots of weight, will not necessarily give you a happily ever after life.
Actually, that’s a lie, because I was told that story today by “the media” with an article by Alexandria Symonds writing for New York Magazine. Symonds writes about the work by photographer Julia Kozerski who documented her own loss of 160 pounds through her photo series Changing Room and Half. (Please note that Kozerski’s projects contain nudity. Click on the photo above to go to Julia’s Facebook page.)
As Symonds points out, Kozerski clearly is pleased by much of what she sees with her weight loss, but she is also moved to tears by her “stretch marks, loose skin, stretched navel, sagging breasts.” In short, Kozerski’s experience was not that which was sold to her by magazines, television shows, and diet-industry ads. As an example, Symonds notes that People magazine retouches or strategically hides the stretch marks and loose skin in their weight loss issue.
I really liked the conclusion of Symond’s article about the misperceptions of how massive weight loss will affect your life:
The most important thing, though, is to stop allowing ourselves to be told that everything would be different if we could just lose the weight. Bit, important things about people’s lives do change after they’ve lost weight — and yes, often for the better — but no one becomes a different person. You’re still you, even when you’re half of your former self.
Symond’s article and Kozerski’s photos are worth spending time with as an alternative approach to analyzing the stories our media tell about weight loss and body image. They tell a complex story that moves beyond “loving yourself the way you are” and “losing weight will solve all your problems.”