Let’s talk about weight. Just the word sends a shiver up my spine. My whole life I’ve associated my level of worth or my ability to succeed with my weight. It has prevented me from trying new things or taking risks and held so much value in how I would see myself.
I know I’m not alone. Insecurities are cruel. They convince us we’re not good enough based on usually ridiculous inner criticisms.
But what it took me so long to realize, and what we all need to realize, is that your weight or even how you look has absolutely nothing to do with you are. It can be a complicated concept to wrap your mind around since we are so accustomed to thinking differently, but I’ve laid out my top 5 favorite reasons you should overcome your negative thinking and look past the number on the scale.
Weight doesn’t determine health.
I know, crazy right? BMI, BMI, BMI. We hear about it all the time and chances are you have probably looked up your own Body Mass Index. It’s a pretty strict and usually misleading tool to measure the amount of body fat a person has and therefore, their degree of health.
What BMI does not consider is the weight distribution, muscular build, or physical activity of a person. You can be overweight but actually, be perfectly healthy. Let me say that one more time for the person I know is reading this thinking, “really?” YES. You can be overweight and be healthy.
Everyone’s bodies are different and some people are truly just born into a bigger frame. As long as you exercise frequently, eat nourishing foods, and take care of yourself regularly your weight is an afterthought.
Perfection is a myth.
There is a lot of debate about what the perfect body is supposed to look like. Truth is, the perfect body is simply the one you have. Cliché? Maybe. But it is true. Striving for perfection is a dangerous habit and a one-way ticket to unhappiness.
The urge to be perfect does not come from a healthy, well-intended place. It is an attempt to control what is uncontrollable. By shifting your mindset to embracing the little flaws or mistakes you make or have along the way, you will begin to value the authentic person you are.
This takes practice. Compassion and self-acceptance don’t and won’t come easy, especially if you have been hating your body for your entire life. Just be patient. Every time you start to notice your inner critic speak up, just repeat to yourself “I am exactly who I need to be.”
Healthy looks different for everyone.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen friends, family, or clients force themselves to do things they hate. If you hate running and would rather do literally anything other than run, then stop. We often associate being healthy with tasteless dieting or monotonous exercise because of this.
Forcing yourself to engage in an activity or eat (or not eat) certain foods is damaging. You need to find what works for you and just do more of that. So if you hate running, maybe sign up for a spin class or go for a morning hike with a friend.
It is more healthy to do things you genuinely enjoy rather than force yourself to do what you think you should be doing. Don’t let fear or inadequacy drive your decisions! Let pleasure and excitement.
Happiness is internal.
If you have ever said to yourself “ugh if I could just lose 10 pounds everything would be so much easier” this one is for you. For some reason we tend to think that happiness comes from external circumstances. We are happy when things work out or meet our expectations.
However, happiness is really the attitude you decide to have, regardless of what is going on in your life. Instead of saying if I only had this or I only had that, focus on practicing gratitude and identify with the positive aspects of your life. There are always things to be thankful for.
So next time you catch yourself wishing your stomach was smaller or that cellulite didn’t cover your thighs, just be grateful you are here.
Imagine what you could do if nothing was holding you back.
One of my favorite quotes is “what would you attempt if you knew you could not fail.” This is so important. We are our own worst enemy and we hold ourselves back from achieving our dreams out of fear from rejection, humiliation, or not being liked. But I encourage you to really ask yourself, what would you do or how would you live if you were not held back by your image?
Stop letting things that don’t matter control you. In ten, twenty, or thirty years will you care about the way you looked in those jeans? No, you won’t. But you will care about the experiences you passed up because you were too insecure to step out of your comfort zone.
Whenever you’re feeling negative or you are having a bad body image day, remember these five things. Stop striving for a perfect body, embrace the beauty you have, and exude happiness in everything that you do.