Archives for Weight

Body Image

Supporting Ourselves and Others with Love Letters

My good friend and Curvy Yoga founder Anna Guest-Jelley recently told me that she reads a love letter before she starts writing. Every morning. It's a love letter that she penned herself. Because, as anyone who writes knows, writing is a beautiful process, but it's also vulnerable and intimidating. Very intimidating.
So it's very easy to stop. It's very easy not to show up in the first place. (Oh, there are dishes in the sink. Better wash those! The tub is filthy. Gotta clean that! My to-do list is overflowing. I'll just work on all that stuff instead. )
Continue Reading

Body Image

3 Life-Changing Lessons on Body Image and Self-Care — and a Giveaway

This month Weightless turns six years old! Wow. Holy moly. To honor the blog's birthday, I'm sharing six lessons I've learned thus far about building a positive body image and taking compassionate care of ourselves. Life-changing lessons. I don't say this lightly, and I don't say it to create a catchy title. These lessons really have changed my life for the better. They've changed how I perceive myself, how I cope with pain, how I make decisions and how I live my life.

Continue Reading

Body Image

Setting Boundaries When Loved Ones Comment on Your Weight

What do you do when someone close to you comments on your weight? Makes a snarky remark about your looks? Makes a joke about your recent weight gain?

When this happens, you might be shocked, startled and really sad. It can be downright painful.

Maybe you've been working on embracing your body for a while, but these kinds of comments still bruise you. Or maybe you're in a shaky relationship with your body. And these comments certainly don't help.

Recently, a reader asked me for advice on navigating these kinds of situations. She's going home for the holidays and her family tends to focus a lot on weight and appearance. So I reached out to some of my favorite clinicians for help. I shared one excellent response last week.

Today, I'm sharing Judith Matz's valuable suggestions (along with two more therapists). Judith, LCSW, is a clinical social worker who helps people make peace with food, their bodies, and themselves. She's the author and co-author of the fantastic books Amanda's Big Dream; The Diet Survivor's Handbook; and Beyond a Shadow of a Diet. You can learn more about Judith at her website
Continue Reading

Body Image

What to Do When Your Family Comments on Your Weight

Recently, a reader, Jen, left an excellent question on my post about what to do when you gain weight. She wrote:

"Also, I was wondering if you could write on the topic of family members commenting on weight gain. I grew up in a family that focuses a lot on weight and appearance, and doesn’t care to discuss emotional health. I’m visiting family over Thanksgiving this year, and have been ruminating and ruminating and ruminating about what my family will think of me. Some of them I haven’t seen for 3 years, so they’ll certainly notice if I’ve changed; and they’ll comment on it, too. That’s what I’m most afraid of, and why I keep thinking about Thanksgiving, and dreading it very much in the process.

Currently, I don’t have tools that I can use to deal with the emotional pain of them commenting on my appearance, if they do. I’ve learned to handle my own mean comments, but comments from family members just seem too difficult to manage."

Of course, she's not alone. This is a common, very common, issue that we face, whether we're recovering from an eating disorder, working on embracing our bodies or trying not to focus on weight at all. Our families might comment on how much weight we've gained or lost. They might comment on how much we're eating or not eating. They might make other comments about our appearance, which hurt us.

And they might make these comments at any time, at any gathering. Which is why I wanted to explore this topic right away. (Plus, the holidays are right around the corner.)

I've asked a few different experts to chime in. Today, I'm sharing an excellent response from Amy Pershing, LMSW, ACSW, the founding director of Bodywise BED Recovery Program in Ann Arbor, Mich. She's also the clinical director of the The Center for Eating Disorders in Ann Arbor, and a past Chair of The Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA).
Continue Reading


Revising Our Definition of Exercise as a Punishment or Chore

In the beautiful book Yoga and Body Image, 25 contributors share personal stories about how yoga has helped them to accept their bodies and feel more comfortable in their own skin. They talk about how yoga has helped them to find their voice and express it.

This is so important, because we often forget what movement really is (and isn't). Moving our bodies isn't about punishing ourselves for eating something "naughty" or "sinful." It isn't about checking off a chore on our to-do list. It isn't about "no pain, no gain." It has nothing to do with being miserable or being bored.

Continue Reading

Body Image

What to Remember When You’ve Gained Weight

When you've gained weight, you might feel frustrated. Very frustrated. You don't like how your clothes fit. In fact, you feel very uncomfortable. Itchy. Awkward. Sad. You might even feel like you did something wrong. After all, why did you gain weight?

You might start reviewing everything you've been eating lately and how much you've been exercising every week. You might start wondering how you can tweak your diet and maximize your workouts.

And before you know it, you're down the rabbit hole.

Continue Reading