Weight is a touchy subject for most, and often under scrutiny as the main measurement of health. Learn the facts to stop your war with the weight scale.
BY: KYLIE MITCHELL, MPH, RDN, LD
If you feel like you are at war with your body and weight, realize that it’s very similar to if you spend your life driving around in your car with the emergency brake on. It is physically and mentally damaging and draining.
There is another way to live. And that way is found when you stop fighting the size your body wants to be at and instead start working with your body.
Here are 4 facts to know so you can start feeling OK about being at your body’s natural size:
1. KNOW THAT SET POINT WEIGHT THEORY IS A THING.
Set point weight theory states that your body has a weight range where it wants to stay, and your body will make an effort to keep you in that weight range. Your weight is not as simple as calories in and calories out. You are not a machine that gets one type of fuel.
There is a weight for you where you do not have to constantly be fighting your body and obsessively controlling your food and exercise. Are you really going to spend your entire life obsessing over food and depriving yourself just so you can weigh 10 pounds less?
What if gaining 10 pounds frees you, and allows your brain space to free up for you to be you? The wonderful thing about acknowledging your set point weight is that once you reach it, you don’t have to fight your body anymore. Eat consistently throughout the day, and honor your cravings, hunger, and fullness without obsessing about food. You become aware of when you are using food to cover up an emotion, and have curiosity about how you can handle the situation different in the future.
However, do know that throughout life your body will constantly be evolving, which means your set point weight may change throughout your different life stages. To respect your body’s natural size, you have to want to respect your body’s natural size. But the problem is that you may not want to respect your body’s natural size. You may not care about being healthy. You may just want to be skinny.
2. START DECOUPLING WEIGHT AND HEALTH.
In reality, your weight matters very little in relation to your health. It is your behavior and attitude around food and movement that truly matter. Research has shown that BMI does not do a good job of assessing health status, so start asking yourself what healthy really means to you.
3. GET OFF THE SCALE.
If there is someone in your life that made you feel terrible about yourself 90% of the time, a typical response would be to set your boundaries with that person and stop seeing them. You have zero responsibility to stay in toxic relationships.
The first step is to recognize you may be in a toxic relationship with your scale.
Your weight will continue to matter more than it needs to until you stop getting on the scale. Drop the scale and pick up a new exercise class to try each month. Take a break from exercise classes and free yourself to only walk and do yoga for a month.
If you are stuck in an exercise obsession, taking a break from activity is key. Find movement to do that you don’t sweat while doing and give yourself a break. It’s time to stop being a bully to your own body.
4. REALIZE WHAT YOU REALLY MAY BE FEELING WHEN YOU SAY “I FEEL FAT.”
In your “I feel fat” moments, look further into what other feelings might be lurking below the surface. Can you replace the word “fat” with any of the below words?
F – Fear, Frustration
A – Anxiety, Anger
T – Tension, Tiredness
5. KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT MORE VALUABLE IF YOU TAKE UP LESS SPACE.
You will actually be more valuable to society when your brain space isn’t clouded with obsessive thoughts about your body and your eating. Recognize your worth is more than your size, and that every inch of you deserves to be here.
Adapted from the original article.
Kylie Mitchell, MPH, RDN, LD is a Houston-based Registered Dietitian helping individuals create a healthier relationship with food without restrictions. By promoting positive body image, Kylie is driven to stop disordered eating and help people fall back in love with a healthy relationship with food and their body. Read more from Kylie at immaEATthat.
Great post! I resonates on many levels. Thank you