If you can’t read my writing on my doodles please send me a message. A second option would be to send me back to kindergarten when I learned these skills. Whichever you choose, I could probably use either.
I have often helped people reach health goals. I do think health is important. So, please do not mistake me as saying, don’t exercise and don’t eat food that grows in the ground that nourishes you. What you do notice about the suggestions to eat veggies and fruit and exercise or learn to move your body, is that these activities ADD to your life and your body. They can also be done regardless of your size. However, this is not the message people often receive when discussing their weight. People often hear, “you need to take away this, this, this and force yourself into a place of deprivation.” Then, only then, will you be happy, healthy, and whole. Really? so I need to take away all of these things and then I will be whole? GREAT!! If only 5-5 =10. Math doesn’t add up. (I’m not really that into math)
The message people receive that only locks them into a fear response surrounding food and their own body is:
YOUR WEIGHT is X, YOUR HEIGHT IS Y. X+Y = (Some BMI calculation which labels you now as overweight, obese etc.)
Overweight, Obese= illness. Illness= death. (Our hard-wired fight/flight response kicks in and OMG, I’M in trouble!) Now, I am in some death grip with myself, my world and I am now at war with my own body. Why? Because, I have just been told this is necessary for my survival!!!!
Please note I used the word LABEL. Labels can be helpful and they can also be harmful. Some of this is in the way we view how the label impacts use. Stay tuned for another post later on Labels.
Anyways, back to the topic:
Even if you have not been told by anyone that you need to lose weight etc. The messages are everywhere, and they impact how we view ourselves. The message is repeated over and over, “if you are society’s definition of overweight you are in danger!”
I have felt so entangled in this fear of fat for so long it is really hard to let it go. I am not talking about a gentle letting my body find its own natural weight by using intuitive eating. NO, I am talking about believing I would not be fully recognized or expressed in this world until I looked a certain way.
Some thoughts I have thought:
If only I could lose weight I could…
Fall in love
Find a job I love
Wear clothes I look good in
Walk around in public and not feel different
Be seen for who I really am
Go to Yoga and not feel like I don’t belong
What do you notice about these thoughts? Have you ever thought any of them? What I notice is they are my perception. I am seeing them through my lens. Perhaps I can switch them around.
I am worth loving no matter my size.
I have many things to offer in the workplace that have nothing to do with my weight.
I actually already have clothes I look good in.
I’m not different, many women are feeling self-conscious. (Many men also do)
It is up to me to be who I really am. As, I am already who I really am. I will not wait until the magic weight loss carpet swoops me up and shows me to everyone! Tada!!! This is who she is. LOOK!!!!
Yoga is most certainly not about your size. Find a class and an instructor that makes you feel supported.
LOOK what I did!! I cognitively restructured all of my thoughts. I should receive a sticker. The boost of self-esteem I am feeling might just have to do for now.
So, I am not down playing the fact that more and more people have a non-normalized relationship with food.(Myself included) However, I think people are failing to understand that it is but a symptom of a larger problem. People feel isolated, shamed, have fear of vulnerability, and the media tells us we must fear everything and most certainly our own choices of food and definitely our bodies.
The change happens one person at a time. So, today I am one more person that is actively working to accept myself as I am right now. And I am one more person that is willing to be patient on the journey towards self discovery. I know that locking back into the fear response will only kick me back to a place I would rather not revisit.
O and calling obesity an epidemic…really?? How is that remotely helpful?