What Does Weight Loss Mean to You in Midlife?


The following piece appeared in ADULTED Magazine (January 2023) and is written by Gabrielle Moss.

I can’t tell you the first diet I went on — it does not hold the same sentimental place in my heart as, say, the first boy I kissed (Andrew Conway) or the first thing I shoplifted (Wet N Wild nail polish, metallic blue). But I can tell you that I have been on a lot of them.  
I’ve spent the past few decades periodically dieting my brains out — cottage cheese dieting, Master Cleansing, South Beaching, calorie-counting, low-carbing, and attempting to subsist on “a shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, and then a sensible dinner.” But in all those years of dieting, I’ve never really dug into why. I mean, of course, we live in a cruel, biased culture that sends the message that women need to be as small as possible to have any value. But I can’t tell you what all that dieting, and all those dreams of weight loss, actually meant to me, personally. 

“When we focus on food, we\’re trying to regain control of our lives,” says Amelia Sherry, registered and certified dietitian/nutritionist. This can be especially pronounced in midlife, when metabolism usually slows, changing our weights and bodies in ways that may feel out of our hands.  “Much like adolescent girls, hormonal changes are causing our bodies to change, and since we live in such a looks-obsessed culture, it can make us feel like our identities are changing…which isn\’t true at all.” 

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