The most damaging form of body shaming is the ‘self-shaming’ that we inflict upon ourselves. We are conditioned with body judgment and beauty ideals which then become internalised, this leads to us becoming our own bully.
How often have you silently called yourself ‘fat,’ ‘lazy,’ ‘ugly,’ ‘revolting?’ This is often triggered by an off-hand remark when we were much younger, never meant to last a lifetime!
Is slimmer better?
Most of us believe that slimmer is better, and the opposite belief that being fat is bad. As a personal trainer I am fully aware of the health-related problems being overweight can lead to such as diabetes, heart disease, joint problems etc. not to mention the self confidence issues.
However, there is new science emerging that says constant yo-yo dieting and self-shaming is actually worse for you than maintaining a stable weight, even if it is a bit overweight. Staying active is the key.
Most of us think that we will finally love ourselves when we lose weight, but the truth is that lasting transformation can only happen when we learn to love ourselves as we are, lumpy bits and all! Once we have achieved that it is so much easier to choose behaviours that will melt those pounds away.
A key factor in lasting weight loss is self-compassion:
Guilt never leads to better choices. In fact the opposite is true, this emotion tends to drive us to overeat or binge. Listen to what your body wants, get past the ‘dieting’ thinking. Food is not only wonderful, it is our fuel. We need it and it can make us feel great.
Ditch the weekly weigh-ins:
Psychology research proves that these are not motivating and can be very demoralising especially for the very overweight. Start measuring, hips and waist are the crucial ones. If you are becoming more active and eating a healthy diet, this is where you will see the changes.
If you have ever been to a weight loss meeting or club you will have heard food labelled as good, bad or cheat meals. The problem with this is that the ‘bad’ food becomes the one that you desire more than anything! All food should be possible, there are just some foods that will energise the body, and some that will drain the body. People often ask me where I get all my energy…..from my plate mostly!
Guide your choices with how food makes you feel. Listen to the feedback your body gives you, do you feel energised or sluggish?
Celebrate what your body can do:
So no more self shaming. Lets focus on what your bodies enable you to do, feel and experience. Never mind if you lost weight this week, instead focus on how much fitter, flexible, strong and energetic you are becoming. Never judge your body on how it looks, rather on what it can DO.