Welcome to the premiere issue of Inspiring Health! At long last it is here. I hope that you will find what you are looking for. Along with some of what you may not have expected.

Here in Seattle there are hints of spring everywhere. The tree buds are swelling, pregnant with life that is eager to burst forth. Some have already given birth, their glorious pink and white blossoms clinging to bare branches that shoot up into the sky.

Crocus and primrose are splashing color wherever they can, tantalizing us with promises of warmer, brighter days. And the green tips of the daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips are pushing their way out of the wet earth. Like soldiers all lined up for duty, they are preparing to amaze us with their masses of heady color. After the dark of winter, these are welcomed signs.

We are ready for light and new life.

But nature is not the only one renewing herself. Spring cleaning season is also well underway. Every day I hear stories of people decluttering their homes of possessions that have been weighing them down for years. Boxes are being filled with items to throw away, give away, or archive for posterity.

As these folks release what no longer serves them, they are making room for new growth and insights. And they feel great as a result. It is inspiring to witness.

The promise of possibility is everywhere.

Might I suggest adding something else to the spring cleaning list?

Far too many minds are cluttered with inaccurate, out-dated beliefs about obesity and the health issues related to excess weight. Shame, blame, finger pointing, and “the need to take personal responsibility” are all touted as the best motivators and have contributed to a weight stigma that is paralyzing.

Unfortunately, such attitudes are prevalent on many fronts—society at large, the medical community, and especially within the minds of those struggling with excess weight. Prevalent as they are, they are not helpful. And they are weighing us all down.

Let’s purge the attitudes and beliefs about weight issues that no longer serve us. We’ll throw out the diet books and the easy ten-step plans. We can simply take them off the shelf, wipe it down, and create the space for new concepts and ideas to reside.

With our brooms in hand we will reach into every corner and sweep out old myths. We’ll toss the blame and clean out the cobwebs of shame. Then we’ll open the doors and windows so that light and truth can enter.

It’s time to shine a light in the darkness. It’s time to shake things up. It’s time for new growth. It’s time to de-stigmatize obesity and begin a more productive conversation. As we do, our voices will ripple out and create a movement that will make a difference for many.

We will change society by speaking out.

And we will change ourselves.

This premiere issue of Inspiring Health creates a new space—one filled with truth, hope, respect, compassion, and inquiry. Many questions will be asked and many issues will be explored. We will learn much. But there will be no tidy answers.

I will discuss topics that will guide you on your journey of health. It will be a blend of nerdy science and psychology, with a dash of big-picture thinking. There will be practical tips for creating a healthy lifestyle, along with the inspiration you need to make it happen.

I will report on my latest professional conferences and study. Because most of what I know about weight issues has come from my patients, I will share how my clinical work teaches and inspires me. And you’ll get the scoop on where I’m speaking and what I’m writing about.

But mostly, I want this to be a place that inspires you to feel your best.

I invite you to be in conversation with me. Let me know what topics you would like me to write about. Feel free to share what’s on your mind. I will walk with you. We will do this together.

Please join me on the journey.