“Do people judge you on your weight?” Girls’ hands went up all over the room. “The boys call me fat.” “They tease us!” … and the boys in the room mostly laughed. The girls speaking up were the slim ones and the average ones. The heavier girls dropped their eyes and said nothing.
We will never achieve the perfection we crave: the kind of perfection that protects us from negative judgment. Even the slim girls got teased, after all.
The best defenses are Self-Respect and Self-Confidence. Some of us don’t have much of either anymore, but they can be re-built.
Protect your mind by challenging negative judgments, both their accuracy and the right of anyone else to make them. Your body is your business, and so is your weight. Many comments carry an underlying judgment that the way you are right now is “Not OK.” Self-acceptance leads to lower weight. Self-criticism doesn’t.
Honor your body by paying attention to it. Not just when you’re sick or in pain. Treat it with respect and listen to it. Ignore all those crazy fads! Diets set us up for failure because they put us in conflict with our bodies—that’s why they take willpower. There’s probably a weight that’s genetically normal, where your body wants to be–help it get there and stay there. Listen for true physical hunger, then feed it—calmly, appropriately, with enjoyment and with real food that you like.
As you begin to trust your body, you’ll grow in integrity with yourself, unshakeable and powerful in the face of “perfect” models, “ideal” weights, and Internet trolls. Read more here.
Martha McGinnis, AWN member, is an Eating Coach who helps others discover the Diet-Free, Willpower-Free path to lasting weight loss that has enabled her to maintain a 45-pound weight loss for 30+ years (now 55 pounds) without dieting. She is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor and developer of the AIM Eating approach, which enables high-achievers to regain their power over food so they can maintain a happy weight, eat with joy and satisfaction, feel comfortable in their bodies, and build the energy and confidence to realize their dreams. Martha is President and Founder of both RethinkingFood.net and Visual-Logic.net.