What We Lose by Prioritizing Weight Loss

I put my goals on hold because the thinner me deserved them more

Caitlin Fisher
5 min readJul 18, 2021


A bright yellow background with a fork wrapped with a cloth tape measure as if it were spaghetti, indicating the prioritization of body size over eating.
Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

I’m moving next month, and I’m decluttering so I don’t have to move things I never use or don’t need. I found a notebook that I recognized as being one that I’ve used for goal-related notes in the past so I took a break to look through it.

The first entry is dated September 2016. It is a single list.

The next is February 2017, and this one had several pages of brainstorms, notes, priorities, and affirmations. The 2017 version of myself continued to check in with this notebook quarterly that year, always setting a fresh set of (roughly the same) goals for the next 90 days.

Here’s what I noticed:

  1. Weight loss was in my top three goals every single time I made a list.
  2. This notebook is full of ideas that are still on my “I need to get to that” list.

Something had stopped me from moving forward with ideas for courses, ebooks, and other offerings for years.

What was it?

Three guesses.

I was subconsciously putting these ideas on hold because I thought weight loss should be my top priority, my number one goal, the driving motivator behind everything else in my life.

I could not move forward with the other things until I proved to myself that I could lose the weight.

I did not deserve those other goals until I lost the weight.

It was not until February 2019 that I realized I had an eating disorder and moved into a restful recovery phase.

Before that, weight loss had been my new year’s resolution for as long as I can remember. Weight loss was the one thing my mother would be supportive about. Weight loss was there, looming behind every corner, promising a better life on the other side, when I could finally embody my “lifestyle change” and be happy and carefree and, most importantly, thin.

Dieting contributes to burnout culture

Dieting makes you tired. So tired.



Caitlin Fisher

Prone to sudden bursts of encouragement. They/them. Queer, autistic author of bit.ly/GaslightingMillennials