The body is not just a problem to be fixed

I tell all my clients that while there is nothing inherently wrong with going on a weight loss journey, I’m not the person to help you with that.

So often, we center our healthy steps in relation to one thing: weight loss.

Again, there is nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight. It is possible to approach the goal of losing weight from a place of groundedness, clarity, self-acceptance, etc…. However, that is really challenging. Often, we get so consumed with the idea of losing weight, that it is the reason we count calories and steps and watch what we eat.

My challenge to you, if you are on your own journey to health, is to take a moment to identify some other goals that are not weight-related. Some examples are:

  • relieve pain in the body

  • improve digestion

  • increase strength

  • boost mood and better mental health

  • have fun

  • have more energy

  • reduce anxiety

  • nourish the vessel my soul came in!

Weight can be one of those reasons, sure, but I would encourage you to pick a few others and make those your driving forces.

To be honest, I would like to lose weight over time. But I have to be very mindful not to anchor my perspective in that place.

I’ll use an example of a house. Let’s say you live in a house you like. However, the yard has gravel, not grass. If everything was ideal and 100% the way you’d like it, the yard would have grass. But you still love the house, you like the yard, and the gravel is just fine. You aren’t going to move because it’s not 100% how you would prefer. THAT is how I view my weight (or am trying to at least). Sure, if things were my way, I may weigh less. But they aren’t my way, and maybe one day that will change, but I’m content where I am, and I will continue loving myself right now in this moment.

My friend used an example of someone buying themselves a sweater a size too small, to encourage themselves to lose weight. How many of us punish ourselves, telling ourselves that we will love each other when ______. We will treat ourselves well after ______.

I later went up to order food, and a woman was talking to a young girl. The girl told her she should get the cookie she was eyeing, and the woman chuckled and said something about how many calories it was. Is that a lesson we want to teach young ones? That we don’t deserve what we desire because we may gain weight from it? Not only is that a lesson we teach young ones, but I overheard that message and immediately double thought about what I should order. When we treat our own bodies like the problem, we insinuate that other’s bodies are a problem as well.

I will end with a powerful quote I adore from The Body is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor is: “Radical self-love summons us to be our most expansive selves, knowing that the more unflinchingly powerful we allow ourselves to be, the more unflinchingly powerful others feel capable of being. Our unapologetic embrace of our bodies gives others permission to unapologetically embrace theirs.”

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