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What not to do when a high-achieving woman struggles with her weight

and what to do instead (hint: it's not about her weight)

Robyn McKay, Ph.D. advises high-achieving, emotionally intelligent women leaders in STEM, Healthcare, Entrepreneurship, and Other High-Performance Fields. 

News flash: when you see a talented, high-achieving woman who’s gained more weight than is healthy for her body type, who looks miserable, who seems to be slowly killing herself, know this:

She doesn’t need you to comment on her weight or on her diet.

  • She knows she needs to drink more water and less wine.
  • She knows that she should eat a proper lunch rather than that left-over donut in the break room.
  • She knows she needs to take her supplements, eat clean, and workout regularly.
  • She knows that meditation and prayer would help.

And she knows for sure that she shouldn’t lose her shiz on her staff and that her colleagues shouldn’t always misunderstand her intentions or be critical of her leadership.

  • She knows.
  • Trust me.
  • For the love of all things holy, she knows.

She doesn’t need you to tell her she’s on the verge of a health crisis. She knows that, too.

The reason she’s not lost the last 15 lbs of baby weight or the reason that she’s gained weight at all isn’t because she’s given up or that she doesn’t care.

In fact, she cares very much.
No one is more critical of her, than she is. 

Here’s what’s true: she’s tired to the bone.

She’s exhausted from life, and the idea of adding one more thing – even a healthy thing – to her life feels so overwhelming that she. just. can’t. do. it.

On her own.

Until one day, when she feels something shift inside of herself, a shift that nudges her to get support.

When she feels the shift, she’ll know it’s time for a complete make-over of her life – her health, her mind, her body, her career, her marriage.

Her Life.

And she knows she needs to start now, right now, because there’s no more time to wait.

That’s when the change happens.

That’s when a woman transforms her life.

It could be something shocking – like being asked how far along she is in her pregnancy – but the last time she gave birth was 5 years ago.

It could be something poignant: a health scare, or the loss of a job, or getting called into HR with a behavior change plan.

What ever it is, in that moment, her soul comes back online and begins to take charge.

The best thing you can do for a high-achieving woman who’s gained more weight than is right for her body type, who looks miserable (because she is), who looks like she’s slowly killing herself, is to know this for sure: 

what’s going on with her isn’t actually about her weight at all. Her weight is merely a symptom. 

Rather than focusing her on her weight and what she “should” be doing, see her shifting.

  • See her activating her inner reserves.
  • See her making the decision to get real and true support that will fuel her transformation.
  • See her taking empowered action now.
  • See her reclaiming her mission, vision, and purpose.

That’s the best thing to do. 

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