Archives for Weight
You are fed up with bashing your body. With comparing it. With weighing it. With depriving it of food. With exercise that bores you or makes you feel like you did something wrong. Yes, the magazine recommended the workout. But wow it's really not your thing. You've decided to try a different approach: Tolerating your body. Maybe even liking it. Why not? you wonder. Hating it takes too much energy. Hating it takes too much time.
Working out has become synonymous with weight loss or maintenance. That is, we assume that people only work out --- that we should work out --- to lose weight or to maintain our weight. This is often why exercise is thought of as a chore. As a necessary evil. As a punishment for eating dessert or consuming too many carbs or fat grams. As a way to burn calories. And nothing else.
We may be going about our business, and we come across a coworker, parent, writer, blogger, maybe even a stranger who seems to have it all. Maybe we get sucked into their social media feed (for an hour or hours). Maybe we see them at the park or at a party. This someone who has the perfect life, the perfect body, the perfect wardrobe, the perfect partner, the perfect home, the perfect sense of humor, the perfect skills. This someone always knows what to say. They always know what to do. They rarely make mistakes.
You ate a bowl of ice cream. The full fat kind. Maybe, you even ate two bowls. Please don't punish yourself with cruel words. You are disgusting. You have no willpower. Please don't drown yourself in shame, blame and regret. I can't believe I did this. I'm the only one who can't control herself around food. This is humiliating.
For so many of us weighing less not only becomes a goal we strive for. It also becomes intertwined with all sorts of things. Our self-worth. ("I am only worthy if I lose weight. I'm terrible, unlikeable, unloveable, _______ if I don't lose anything, or worse, if I gain and gain.") Our lives. We assume it gives us meaning. Fulfillment. And we pursue weight loss with the same passion, perseverance and all-in attitude that we might devote to something else. Like a relationship. Like writing. Like learning another craft.
Here's what is so awesome about appreciating our bodies: We don't need to wait until we lose weight or change anything else about our appearance to do so. You can begin embracing your body right now. I hope these suggestions provide a helpful start:
Often we want to banish our inner critic. We want it to vanish. To eliminate it once and for all. This is totally understandable, because it's a cruel voice, which is painful to hear. Sometimes, incredibly painful. It just sounds so angry. Your inner critic might be akin to a person screaming in your face. Really loud. All the time. It might hurl insults. It might be a constant stream of negativity, and you can't do this and you can't do that, you idiot!
Be careful you don't blow up with all that dessert you've been eating lately. Make sure you work out. You don't want to gain the freshman 15. You're so small and slim. You'll make an adorable pregnant lady.
Many of us think we have to repay anyone who says something nice or complimentary to us, to anyone who takes us to dinner, to anyone who pays attention or is kind in some other way (whether the kindness is genuine or ill-intentioned). We think we owe something beyond a heartfelt thank-you.