To Lose Weight, Don’t Think About Losing Weight

04.30.2021 - By Binge Dieting Learn how to change your relationship with Eating

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Do you want to lose weight and change your relationship with food? We're so used to thinking that the ideal body type is thin, but it's not. “Ideal” is outdated. It’s subjective. The world is changing, and we are all waking up to the truth that you are so much more than the body which carries you through life. Yes of course we all want to look a certain way, and it’s not a bad thing to attempt to remember to choose healthy foods and slow down the speed of our eating and pay attention at the moment we put food in our mouth. It’s not a bad thing to want to lose some weight at times. It’s a very good thing to exercise and to drink enough water and get enough sleep. The problem is that we take this too far and overfocus on our bodies, and then we become anxious and preoccupied. We retreat into our minds and notice every little change in our flesh or the tightness of our clothes, and only when our weight is down or we don’t feel bloated or heavy can we have a good day. When we get this attached to our weight our inner beauty is completely blocked off.  This is madness. This is no way to live a life.  What if your body is OK the way it is right now? If you are certain that it’s not, that you’d feel better physically in a lighter body, then what if you could find a way to want to eat healthy foods and lose some weight without the intensity of needing this? What if you could find a way to detach from the outcome (thinner) and just get on with your life without caring so much? The irony of course is that you would probably stop overeating if you didn’t make your body appearance and food so valuable in your mind.  Also, some people inherit a genetic tendency to have more fat cells on their stomach or their legs or some other body part. Some people inherit a more muscular body, or a body that is supposed to be on the large side. But every day, the media tells us how to get thin and lose weight and match the ideal presented in magazines. It’s deeply embedded in the cultural narrative. This perfect body obsession is a recipe for stress, hypervigilance and anxiety and it’s never going to work if your body is genetically out of alignment with your ideal image. It promotes a diet mentality that will end up fueling overeating and using food for relief and relaxation. Living with the diet mentality  will never give you peace of mind, and it usually won’t help you get the body you want anyway.  You need to find a middle ground. Calm down. Perhaps be present in your current body without fearing it or hating it so much.  In this podcast episode, I talk about body positivity. I will be digging into what I mean by this and why it matters. You’ll also learn how you can eat intuitively and why you must view your body and all bodies from a different lens. Accepting an obese body is the best first step in changing it.  Tune in to the full episode to learn more about how your thoughts can create actual physical changes in the body. Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode: Understand the human tendency to judge people by their body sizes. Learn more about what a healthy body weight really means. Learn about  intuitive eating and how it can help you. Episode Highlights The Stigma Around Obesity The stigma of obesity heavily damages the human psyche. Many of the problems associated with obesity come from it. By letting go of needing to control our bodies and lose weight, we become naturally calmer. Your body parts have committed no crime. They're working and doing what they're supposed to do: supporting you, metabolizing your food.  We’re taught to value thinness, activity, productivity, and discipline. Many of my clients with large bodies are terrified of being thought of as lazy, unproductive, or undisciplined. Nothing could be farther from the truth. What do those things have to do with body size? Nothing. The Body Positivity Movement Just like people in the "Me Too" movement, we suffer from victimization. What's different is victimizing ourselves is something more likely. We have to take responsibility for ourselves. We need to be the first ones to stop judging and hating our bodies. We need to get off our diets. The Problem with Culture and Defining Feminine Every time we go online or go outdoors, we're bombarded by information. Magazines, billboards, and TV commercials try to sway us. They move us towards believing we aren't good enough unless we look a certain way. They say there must be something wrong with us. The idea ever since was that female bodies should be petite for them to be feminine. To me, femininity is not about body size. It’s about the energy we transmit. It’s about being openhearted, kind, and taking care of others and ourselves in a way that still leaves space for strength, wisdom, and intelligence. The Healthy Body Weight Data show that people who had BMI in the obese range did not necessarily have less death and less disease than thin people. This proves that weight loss and dieting don't give people better health. As you go on more, your body becomes confused and afraid of starving.  The practice was making the body overcompensate and compromising the ability to lose weight. I believe most of the people I work with are less interested in disease and more interested in feeling judged in their appearance. Our goal is to learn to love and accept your body. Stop being mean to yourself, and embrace who you are. How to Practice Intuitive Eating Intuitive eating is learning how to eat what the body wants in the portions that the body might want. It’s eating in the present tense and not thinking about what you’re supposed to eat. Weight loss is the side effect of loving yourself. The bottom line is, can you get out of the way and just let the body figure it out and find its way? Some people with eating disorders believe that certain foods feel bad in their body, but the truth is they don't feel as bad — it is their mind tricking them. It's the fear that creates more of the problem than the food itself because fear can create physical symptoms in the body. What Your New Goal Should Be Your goal should not be about being in control. Change your goal to be about self-care. It has to be about seeing what is attractive about the body that you have right this second and looking at all bodies more holistically. If you want control, you're not going to get control. Wanting and trying is not the same as having control. 5 Powerful Quotes “As you look at women who have large bodies, I want you to see those large bodies in a different way—as strong, as capable, as loving, as helpful bodies. There’s nothing wrong with them at all.” “Why would we or should we even care about somebody else’s body? Why are we judging it? It’s a funny thing when you stop and think about it. How is somebody else’s body size relevant to your life at all?” “It is time to change your idea that your body is supposed to fit a standard that used to be like a Barbie and a Ken doll.” “The greater goal has got to be to learn how to care for, in respect for, your body. The greater goal has to be to learn how to listen to it, to learn how to prioritize food, shopping, and planning, so you can have on hand foods that work well for you.” “Body size acceptance does not mean that you stop caring about your body. Instead, you start loving your body. You want to make it the best body for your life purpose.” Resources Non-Appearance Related Compliments by Jennifer Rollin, MSW LCSW Health at Every Size movement If you listened to the podcast and enjoyed it, please share and post a review! Have any questions or want to schedule an appointment? You can email me at [email protected] or visit my website. To making peace with eating, Betsy

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