No more body shaming - how to accept a healthy body weight

Nothing beats the ability to look in the mirror and accept yourself as you are. The ability to say, “Hey I look good. I like my current weight as I feel healthy and full of energy.” Yet how many people say this to themselves - particularly women? 

When we set out to lose weight think about what is your motivation for doing so. Lots of people strive to change their weight not to improve health but rather to meet society’s ideals of attractiveness. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking sets people up for disappointment. Our bodies are not infinitely malleable. Few overweight people will become rail-thin even with the right eating pattern, exercise habits, and behaviors.  Likewise, most underweight people will remain on the slim side even after spending much effort to put on some bulk.

What we need to focus on in regards to our body weight is what that weight loss or weight gain means in terms of our health. For example, an overweight person who loses even a modest weight loss of just 5 or 10 pounds may still be overweight – but – they can quickly achieve gains in physical abilities and quality of life. They can also see improvements in their diabetes, blood pressure, and blood lipids. Little things like climbing stairs, walking, and other tasks of daily life suddenly become noticeably easier. 

Learning that the ultimate goal of achieving a healthy body weight is to adopt health or fitness as the overall ideal rather than some ill-conceived image of beauty society has set can free a person from a lifetime of self-degradation. 

In order to not go down that path, first understand it is important to take good care of oneself.  Eat healthy foods the majority of the time, exercise regularly, get adequate sleep and have positive ways of dealing with stress. We all come in different shapes and sizes and when we learn to accept what our own individual healthy body looks like, we can then begin to accept ourselves as we are.  Here’s how:

·Value yourself and others for traits other than body weight; focus on your whole self including your intelligence, social grace, and professional and scholastic achievements.

·Realize that prejudging people by weight is as harmful as prejudging them by race, religion, or gender.

·Use only positive, nonjudgmental descriptions of your body; never use degrading, negative descriptions.

·Accept positive comments from others.

·Accept that no magic diet exists.

·Stop dieting to lose weight.  Adopt a healthy eating and exercise lifestyle permanently.

·Never restrict food intake below minimum levels that meet nutrient needs.

·Become physically active, not because it will help you get thin, but because it will enhance your health.