The 3 Week Diet

Jess Weiner on Today Show on Her Weight Loss: ‘Loving My Body Almost Killed Me’

Jess Weiner is a self-esteem expert and author of the book Do I Look Fat in This?: Life Doesn’t Begin Five Pounds from Now. She has written an article in the new issue of Glamour magazine entitled ‘Loving My Body Almost Killed Me’.

In an appearance on Weds. Aug. 10, 2011 on the Today Show (video above) NBC’s Savannah Guthrie interviewed her jointly with Cindi Leive Editor-In-Chief of Glamour.

Jess Weiner said using such a title for her article enabled her to ask the provocative question. She said, of her size 18 physique, that she had for 17 years been an advocate for women accepting their bodies, that she came to the realization that she may have been loving her body but she was not doing anything about her health. A visit to the doctor became a wake-up call when she discovered she was pre-diabetic, and had other troubling health indicators, including high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

She said it then became very real for her and so she set out to lose weight and thus far has lost 25 pounds which has brought about an improvement in her health, according to the numbers. She said that in writing the article she wanted to stress that weight loss was part of her awakening, and that looking at those numbers that are markers of health was also important. She said that she exercises more frequently.

Cindi Leive Editor-In-Chief of Glamour noted that Jess Weiner has been a leader in this issues of self-esteem and weight and noted that women who have a history of eating disorders are tempted to not get on the scale or go to the doctor.

Asked whether the health concerns are “dressing up” the issue of weight loss, Jess Weiner said that she found it important to look at the range of numbers including blood pressure and blood sugar level. She said, “My message is evolving; I’ve been working in this field for 17 years.” She went on to note that weight loss issues and discussion of same can be vitriolic, has a lot of shame, has women fearful. She added, “We need compassion, kindness and grace.” While weight has been a third rail, she added, if you accept your body, you have to respect your health as well.

I was very glad to read her article and to know that she is raising these health issues which are too often overlooked in discussions of self-acceptance and self-esteem. She nails it beautifully in the article title. I have long felt that the “fat acceptance” and “Health at Every Size” advocacy has allowed women to deny the health risks of overweight and obesity. Given the stigma, scorn and discrimination against people on the basis of size, it is very important to confront what essentially is bullying. At the same time, in recovering lost and diminished self-esteem, it is crucial to face the reality that maintaining a normal weight is essential for health. There are healthy ways to lose weight and to exercise to enhance health without becoming obsessive.

Skinny Bliss readers, what are your thoughts about Jess Weiner’s article and the issues it raises? Let us know in the comments section!

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