This is “Healthy Weight Week”! Now sponsored by Green Mountain at Fox Run, “Healthy Weight Week is an educational event to help change public perception that weight determines health and that dieting is a viable health solution.”
Oh, if I had a dollar for every time in my life I’ve said, “ I want to lose weight. If I could just lose this weight, I’d be happy ”. Add another 50 cents for every time I felt pressured (Mom, you know who you are) and was told I “should” want to lose weight, I’d be rich!
We’re all bombarded with the messages daily; some overt, some covert….thin equals pretty. Diet commercials encourage me to “Say hello to my new beginning”. Why? Because my current life isn’t worth living if I happen to live at a higher weight than a Victoria’s Secret model? I’m to emulate some now bikini-worthy celebrity who was paid a million plus dollars to live on meal replacements? Or I’m to substitute Special K Cereal products for two of three meals a day, so I can “lose up to 6 lbs. in two weeks”?
A weight loss segment on Good Morning America ends with the two seemingly intelligent women anchors spontaneously saying, in unison, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”. Then, they high five each other and laugh, as if they have just chanted their battle cry, and they’re winning. My hair salon was promoting its hair products and these words were on the cover of the brochure, “Get the Skinny”. We’re talking hair products here! Really? No wonder we feel badly about ourselves. We’re told even our hair is too fat!
Alleged weight loss “experts” on the Biggest Loser (even our family physicians) say, “If you want to lose weight, try behavior modification”. But think about it. Weight is not a BEHAVIOR. What you weigh today is not a “behavior” to be modified. Not sure that’s so? Just talk to people who have tried to “modify weight”, who have spent a fair (sad) portion of their lives focused on their weight, and they’ll tell you they weigh more today than they did the day they accepted dieted as a religion or as a required and acceptable way to live.
So, if you’re ready to,
1) let go of dieting as your way to feel “in control”
2) reject the pursuit of weight loss as a national past time and moral imperative
3) stop believing that weight loss is THE route to health and happiness and, instead, begin to explore new ways to make a life that brings you your best health, energy, and joy…
what do you do next?
My recommendation…embrace SELF-CARE! Focus on healthy behavior, not on weight and weight bias. Develop new healthy habits you’re willing to practice, a step at a time, that will improve your emotional, physical, nutritional, social, and spiritual health…no matter what you happen to weight on any given day.
Begin to feel more at home in and be more loving to your body. Maybe start with gratitude. Notice the many pleasures your body provides; taste, sight, hearing, pleasure of touch, and smell. Your body takes you through each and every day and allows you to experience it all! It provides the pleasure of taking a walk with a friend, watching movies, dancing, making love, enjoying great music, eating great food. Gratitude and self-care can go a long way when it comes to feeling at home in your body.
“Feeling at home in your body,” also means taking ownership and responsibility for your body.Treat it well. Give it great fuel. Take it in for repair, when needed. (Would you treat your car any less well?) Please accept your body as it is now, with weight wherever it happens to be today, along with all of your aches and pains, and challenges. Its the only body you’ll ever have!
Think about it. If you respect your body vs. loathing it, will you be more willing to take good care of it? Will you be much more likely to make healthier choices if your focus is on being as healthy as possible, rather than on being as thin as possible? (Very little I did in my attempts to get thin would be considered healthy, by anyone’s standards.)
Here’s to self-care and to your best health possible! As you take wonderful care of your body, your body will do exactly what it’s naturally meant to do when you treat it well…