In a culture/time of “body positivity”, being “on a diet” sometimes feels a bit counter-intuitive. How are we supposed to simultaneously balance the pressures of looking like a social media model, with the “love yourself as you are” mantra at every turn too!?
“Summer bodies are made in the winter” and “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”…but then where are eating disorders and body dysmorphia created? I would posit they are made in those very same lines of thought.
I can speak from experience – accepting yourself (in your physical form) is not always easy, however I have learned in time to prioritize my HEALTH before all else.
I say that from BOTH ends of this conversational spectrum, meaning I don’t want people to crave being “thin” so much that they have any sort of eating disorder – BUT – I also don’t want people to masquerade their desire to ignore medical warning signs and indicators of disease (like type 2 diabetes and heart disease) as “body positivity”.
I have Type 2 Diabetes, and some of that is due to genetics, but a large portion of it is truly within my control by means of diet and exercise. I had to come to that realization and get really honest about wanting to do my part in ridding myself of this disease. Have I succeeded completely? No. Have I improved my health? Yes. Accepting I was overweight was tough, but it had nothing to do with me “shaming” myself or not “embracing my natural beauty or form” – it wasn’t about me not liking or celebrating ME, I just needed to be healthier. YES that journey to improve my health led to a byproduct of weight loss/body change – but not every journey will, and that’s ok.
It’s not overnight – but it’s also not about starvation. No part of “decreasing my weight” was advised to me in a way that translated to “starve yourself” or “work out until you’re completely run down”. It takes a lot of effort and focused planning to simultaneously work out, attempt to be healthy, and consume enough calories in a day. Yes, sometimes last year I was literally starving myself – and that wasn’t a good thing, but I recognized what was happening and made the changes needed to ensure I wasn’t hurting myself physically, emotionally or mentally.
OH – and this is NOT just for the ladies. Men struggle too and just like us – it’s not that you can ONLY have washboard abs OR a “dad bod”, you can just be the healthiest version of you! It’s not easy – but don’t let external opinions shape your mindset about how you should look. You’re more than just a face or a body.