Weight loss without dieting: The moderation movement

Karen Krause found an easier way to look after herself than drinking green sludge and belting out endless burpees

Weight loss without dieting: The moderation movement

She had tried it all in an effort to lose weight – Paleo, low-carb, sugar-free and diet shakes. 

Weighing 90kg and knowing that she was creeping towards triple figures, Keren tried to get a doctor to fit a gastric band, but wasn’t considered overweight enough. 

Eventually, she found one who would fit a gastric balloon, which helped bring her weight down to 75kg. 

“But that’s where it stopped,” the 33-year-old embalmer and mother of two says. 

“I was ashamed I wasn’t as skinny as I thought I should be, ashamed because it wasn’t the magical bandaid and ashamed because I still wanted to eat all the food,” she says.

It wasn’t until she stumbled across the Facebook page of The Moderation Movement that she began to think there might be a better way. 

The premise behind the movement – started by Melbourne-based accredited practising dietitian Zoe Nicholson and fitness professional Jodie Arnot – is simple: No food is banned or demonised, exercise should be fun not 

a punishment, and listening to your body’s cues will mean you never diet again. 

The philosophy behind the movement is based on the non-diet approach, where, Nicholson says, “You learn to reconnect with your appetite and use this to guide you with when, what and how much to  eat, and you no longer need to think about how many calories you’re eating.” 

The goal is not to diet down to a size 8, but to look after yourself and feel good.

Saying yes to cake (and life)

For Keren, it was a liberating, almost wicked concept. Using mindfulness, she began to make peace with her plate. Now she eats when she’s hungry and stops when she’s full.

Keren also takes regular kickboxing classes – not to work off the “naughty” slip-up dessert at lunch – but because she enjoys it. “I don’t think about food,” she says. “I serve healthy, balanced meals and I won’t avoid carbs or sugar.”

She now weighs 69kg and has dropped from size 18 to size 12. I’m never going to be 50kg,” she says. “I could probably lose more but happiness takes precedence.”

It’s not always easy. “When I’m stressed, I can feel my mind want to buy junk,” she says. “That’s when I go, ‘That won’t serve me or do anything for my self-esteem’.”

Zoe says stories like Keren’s aren’t unique. Every day, she and Jodie receive personal messages thanking them for helping them reset their relationship with food and exercise.

“My patients often talk about feeling empowered and liberated, and many will proclaim, ‘It’s such a relief!’” she says. The pair inspire their 23,000 Facebook followers with messages of strength and acceptance, and advice.

“The Moderation Movement is causing a ripple effect,” Jodie says. “It’s helping people to question diet culture, and if those people have an impact on friends, the message becomes far-reaching.”

It’s a message that’s certainly resonated with Keren. As an embalmer, she’s reminded every day that life’s too short to spend it punishing yourself about your body, adding, “You don’t want your last wish to be, ‘I wish I’d eaten that cake’.”

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