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The Real Problem(s) with Adele’s Weight loss

The Real Problem(s) with Adele’s Weight loss

  • November 23, 2020
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Carly Sutherland Photo by Velizar Ivanov on Unsplash

I’ll start this off first by saying, Adele is not the problem with her weight loss. The way we are reacting to it as a society, however, is. With a quick Instagram post yesterday, Adele acknowledged all the birthday wishes she had received, sent a special thank you to front line workers, and subsequently broke the internet.

She made no mention of her weight loss in said post, and from what it looks like thus far, is keeping the means and total results under wraps. She seemingly began this portion of her weight loss journey last October when she debuted a slimmer figure at Drake’s birthday party and it is rumoured that she has lost about 100 lbs in total.

Quite frankly, I am disgusted with what her birthday photo has brought out in society, so let’s get into the real problems with her weight loss.

Everyone is treating her weight loss as the ULTIMATE achievement.

Nevermind her 15 Grammy’s, Golden Globe and Oscar wins, world records, and multiple Billboard, Brit, and various other awards. It’s honestly very sad that Adele’s weight loss is being framed as her best achievement among all of what she has accomplished in her lifetime.

Headlines such as ‘Skinny singer reveals incredible body’ are some of the most despicable, encouraging the idea that her body is only amazing now because it’s suddenly thin. Where were any positive headlines about her body prior to her weight loss?

Let’s be honest, her accomplishments are way more incredible than her weight loss ever will be.

Those who aren’t praising her are skinny-shaming her.

Once quoted saying “People are starting to go on about my weight but I’m not going to change my size because they don’t like the way I look” Adele was adored for her unwillingness to conform to the stereotypical celebrity mould. Many people, myself included, were elated to finally find someone that seemed at least somewhat relatable among A-listers.

So, it’s no secret that the post left many people feeling triggered, mournful, or a little bit betrayed. Her “I don’t make music for eyes. I make music for ears” approach was one that many of us loved because it was a big FU to so much of the music industry (and Hollywood in general) that pushes unrealistic body ideals.

That said, if you fall among those who felt ‘let down’ and have made unsavoury comments about her new weight, kindly get over yourself. Weight loss gives absolutely no one the right to make comments shaming her ‘new body’. As long as she is healthy and happy, then who is anyone to tell her she was better off either way? It’s her body, her decision, and her business.

The message here is simple — you can’t ever win with body image. You’re either too big or too small and when you make a change there’s always someone who’ll tell you to change it back. You’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t, and I feel as though Adele’s choice to completely leave out any comment about her weight loss is a testament to exactly that.

Instead of saying something about her weight loss, or saying ‘wow look at me I’m so much better now’ or whatever else could have been said, she specifically chose not to acknowledge it. She simply is who she is, pre- and post- weight loss and we should just accept her for that instead of fixating on a few pounds.

People are deeming her weight loss as ‘revenge’.

The fact that a woman can’t lose weight after a breakup without it being deemed as a ‘revenge body’ genuinely revolts me to my very core. Yes, she lost weight, and yes, it was after a break-up. That DOES NOT (nor does it ever) mean that the weight loss is about the guy and it’s really fucked up that people assume she did it for him, not for herself.

Maybe her breakup was what she needed to focus on herself. Maybe it gave her some clarity and a new direction which resulted in healthy lifestyle changes and weight loss. Maybe her relationship was so stressful that it mentally and physically prevented her from making these changes earlier. Or maybe her new body is the result of the stress and mental pressures of going through a tough divorce. That’s just it — we don’t know!

Adele could have lost weight for any number of reasons so why is everyone jumping to the conclusion that she did it out of petty revenge to get back at a man? Why can’t it be because she’s living her life for her and doing whatever the hell makes her happy?

This is now providing the opportunity for yet another fad diet to encourage disordered eating.

As with anyone’s weight loss, the first question people usually ask is ‘how did you do it?’ Although Adele has kept her weight loss strategy secret for now, it is rumoured that she lost weight through exercise and the SIRTfood diet.

This diet is based on foods high in sirtuin activators; sirtuins are enzymes that have been found to have metabolic targets in the body. It is also heavily focused on caloric restriction, which, when combined with ‘SIRTfoods’ is claimed to result in dramatic weight loss.

Almost everything about this diet is showing up as a red flag in my nutritionist brain, and here’s why. First off, the diet is unnecessarily restrictive in more ways than one. Secondary to restriction is the heavy reliance on juices, which eliminates the valuable fibre of the juiced fruits and vegetables and discourages eating actual food. Next would be that the list of ‘approved’ foods is very limited and finally, there have yet to be any scientifically significant studies to back any of the toted benefits of the SIRTfood diet in humans long-term.

The creators of this diet have made it very clear that it isn’t a fad, it’s a lifestyle change. But honestly, what fad diet hasn’t claimed that. The reality is, this diet will not be sustainable for the vast majority of people who try it. It is extremely restrictive, and has the potential to be quite dangerous — it is, in my opinion, a perfect example of a fad diet.

My main issue with this type of diet, however, is that it encourages disordered eating. The severe restriction can cause serious issues with flawed eating patterns and eating pathologies through various means. Following a severely restrictive diet has been shown to be a consistent risk factor for binge eating tendencies, predicting overweight status, and extreme weight-control strategies long-term.

These kinds of diets essentially create a yo-yo diet pattern that fluctuates between weight loss and gain which can be horrible for health (both mental and physical) in the long run. Ultimately, this type of diet supports a ‘quick fix’ weight loss mentality without any concern about how it could affect anyone’s future health and relationship with food.

I am not claiming that this diet was definitely what Adele used to lose weight. However, this diet is what comes up in search queries related to her weight loss, and what people all over the world will see as their next opportunity to lose weight albeit under potentially harmful circumstances.

The problem isn’t with Adele’s alleged use of it, but the fact that so many people will be encouraged into this type of risky diet behaviour without the professional guidance I’m assuming she had to help her along the way. Not to mention, severe diets put a lot of vulnerable people at risk of having an even more skewed vision of how nutrition relates to health, weight, and body image — which is the opposite of what we need right now.

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