Diets suck! You have heard me say this before and you will likely hear me say that again. A diet is a way to force your body into a shape that it does not belong. Say you think, “I want to lose 20 pounds” so you start a diet. The thing about diets is that you will lose some weight. But what happens if your body was not supposed to lose 20 pounds? What if your body was exactly the size and shape it needed to be?
We struggle to accept our bodies because we see people all over the internet, social media, and TV talking about how much weight they have lost. You think, “Man they look really great! I want to look like that!” So you start a diet. You lose!
You feel awesome and excited.
Then you gain weight back. Why? Because your body was not designed to be the shape the diet created. Let me tell you a little personal story about me…
For years I dieted and I was very, very careful about what I ate, when I ate, and how I ate. I dieted for YEARS and my body was a “thin” and”fit” shape. Now I no longer diet. I eat what I want, when I want, and how I want. Now, honestly, my body is no longer the shape it was. But here is the thing, my body maintains its shape. I do not gain every time I eat. I do not go up a clothes size every time I eat. I did gain weight yes. The difference is that now I can eat what I want and actually enjoy food and not worry about how my body will change.
My body is at its correct shape. It is healthy just the size it is now.
So you are on a diet now, what happens when you no longer diet?
Will your body shape change? Probably! I am not trying to freak you out, I am trying to help you see how diets are not fun, they don’t work, and help you understand that when you diet you are more likely to gain the weight back. You were not designed to restrict and deny yourself. I am not advocating for treating yourself all day long either. I am saying that you can learn to eat healthy and also enjoy food. You can learn to eat for health and not worry about meal prepping, avoiding certain foods, and eating at certain times of day.
Your body can be healthy at any size.
In fact when I was “fit” and “thin” I was more physically unhealthy than I am now. My body had numerous health issues because I was trying to fit into a body that was not designed to be mine. Now I am healthy and I am OK with my body.
So how did I do this?
I learned intuitive eating and body acceptance. Now I work with clients to learn to accept their body and respect their body. Once this happens they can listen to their body better and make better decisions regarding what to eat and when to eat. They learn to eat when hungry and they learn to stop eating when full. My clients learn to stop using food to deal with stress, anxiety, sadness, and anger. Rather than using food to cope they learn to identify and deal with emotions in other ways. When you learn to be at peace with yourself and your body, your size, shape, and weight are no longer an issue.
But what about obesity?
Your body shape and size does not make you unhealthy., The health conditions associated with obesity are because of unhealthy behaviors, NOT BECAUSE OF WEIGHT OR BODY SIZE. Let me be clear, obesity is just a BMI scale, that we are learning does not tell us anything about health. You can be healthy and FABULOUS at any weight or shape. If you are worried about your health, you can make some changes that will honor your body and improve your health. Society tells you your body should look a certain way and when it doesn’t you feel ashamed, disgusted, and your self-esteem suffers.
“Few of us are at peace with our bodies, whether because we’re fat or because we fear becoming fat” – quote from Healthy At Every Size Community site, www.haescommunity.com.
Societies idea of health forces you to not be happy with your body and to take drastic measures to change the shape of your body.
This applies to individuals with binge eating disorder as well. You feel ashamed, embarrassed, and like a failure because your body does not look a certain way. You find it very hard to diet, because DIETING IS SO HARD! You feel so awful and you use food to help you feel better, which just further reinforces low self-worth and low self-esteem.
So what if your body is already healthy? What would that look like?
– Regular physical activity
– Good physical health
– Good sleep
– Energy to get you through the day
– Clear thinking
– Fun and excitement
– Your body can move and carry you to enjoy the things you want to enjoy
How are you healthy today? How can you be healthy tomorrow? Health does not equal diet or body shape. Health is:
– Accepting your body size
– Trusting yourself
– Moving your body daily
– Eating when hungry
– Eating nutritious foods
– Eating less nutritious foods
– Embracing your uniqueness
How can you be healthy today?