Body positivity is everywhere these days. And overall, that’s a beautiful thing. What could be better than loving yourself and honoring your body unconditionally?
One thing I talk a lot about is body shaming. It is one of my missions in life to stand up against the idea that “one size fits all” when it comes to beauty.
And I have deep deep respect for anyone who moved anything forward that encourages love, equality, and celebration of ALL humans!
It’s been an encouraging trend overall. But of course, even the most celebratory, life-enhancing ideas have their shadowy sides…
Sometimes the “positivity” part is so set on encouraging you to love yourself that “body-love” turns into a new kind of pressure.
And unfortunately, a new brand of shaming.
Instead of calling people out for being overweight, sometimes “positivity” shape-shifts into to shaming people for wanting to lose weight at all.
(And sometimes, according to some gurus, that includes shaming people like me, who dare to talk about weight loss in a supportive way…)
But here’s a newsflash for you–it is OK to want to lose weight! And I feel like it’s time we stopped making people wrong for the desire to release a few pounds (as long as it isn’t coming from self rejection…more on that soon).
No matter what the body-love proponents might say, letting go of what no longer serves you is an honorable thing. And for some us, that translates into releasing unwanted body weight.
But what about those who say that wishing to change your body is falling back into the old-school diet rules? And by that logic, they imply that you’re wrong for wanting to be a smaller size?
It’s a strange-but-true phenomenon that I’ve seen over the last few years, not only online, but also with the women that we serve at Beating Binge Eating.
But here’s the thing. When it comes to body positivity and weight loss, you CAN have it both. Body positivity and weight loss wishes are NOT mutually exclusive.
But like most other things in life, intentions are everything. And sometimes, the real motivation behind a weight loss dream can turn it into a nightmare fueled by shaming, blaming, control, forcing, fixing.
And therein lies the challenge…change rooted from that place will not last.
How do you set yourself up for shame-free, body-loving, lasting weight loss? Today I’ll show you why it is OK to want to lose weight–and how to turn everything about your weight-loss experience into something that’s positive for your body, mind, heart, and soul!
Step 1: What is your “WHY?” We all want to be the best version of ourselves. But when you take on any self-improvement project, it’s crucial to be 100% honest about your motivations. And weight loss is no exception.
So start by asking yourself the most basic question–why do you want to lose weight? What’s really in it for you?
If you want to lose weight to feel stronger, healthier, and more at ease in your body, that’s an intention based on love.
But if you’re set on dropping 20 pounds because you’re afraid that you don’t measure up in some way, that’s when things get sticky.
When your inner critic is running the show, it leads to drastic measures. Like crazy strict diets, excessive workouts, and of course, body shaming.
And the more you act on fear, the more restrictions you put on yourself. That just throws fuel on the fire of your weight loss struggle and adds to more self rejection and pain.
Do you want to feel more healthy, freer in your body, and energized every day? AMAZING!
Or do you feel unfulfilled in some way, and you believe that making your body smaller is the solution?
Take an honest, non-judgemental assessment of your weight loss intentions. Ask yourself what you really want, and why you feel that weight loss is the answer.
Don’t judge yourself. Don’t make yourself “wrong,” no matter what your answer might be. Just be honest, have some compassion for yourself, get real about your motivations.
I promise you, you take your inner world wherever you go. If you’re not happy at a size 20 you won’t be happy at a size 2.
Step 2: What does “successful” weight loss look like to you? Let’s talk about what you see when you look into your weight-loss future. What is your ultimate goal, and what will it realistically take to get you there?
Let me give you an example from my former life on the fitness stage…
Years ago, I was a fierce competitor in fitness word. I participated in competitions. I was all about fitness modeling. I had all the trappings of the fitness “it” girl.
And while it made me look cool on the outside, I was paying a pretty high price on the inside.
In getting to the size that the competitions demanded and the look that everyone expected, I’m not gonna lie–extreme measures were involved.
I beat myself up if I didn’t look the part. I dieted constantly. I heavily restricted my food, only to give up and fall into binging every time.
And the harder I tried to be the fitness queen, the more stressful and out of control my entire life became.
It never occurred to me that I could listen to my body, take care of myself, and feel peaceful and grounded–and look amazing at the same time! I thought that to look the part, I had to climb to the top of the fitness model mountain. Or I just wouldn’t be good enough.
Turns out that the life of a fitness model came at too high of a price. And ultimately, it wasn’t worth it to me anymore.
So be realistic about your expectations, and get real about what it will take to make them happen. And then decide if your vision of weight loss success fits in with the life you want to live.
Then adjust accordingly!
I promise you…it’s not worth it to miss out on 95% of your life to weigh 5% less. Ever.
Step 3: Be in the NOW (and embrace “future you” with love). Sure, keep your eye on the weight loss prize. But remember that no matter what, you are OK right NOW. Really.
Unfortunately, too many of us want to change for fear of not measuring up. And change that is rooted in fear is not sustainable. I know this from experience, and I bet that you do, too!
Maybe you’ve dropped a few pounds in the past by making threats or beating yourself up (as in, “you’ve got to lose 20 pounds, or else…”). Maybe you even lost the weight you cajoled yourself into losing. But after the battle was “won,” what happened next?
Most likely you rebelled against your own self-imposed rules. Or fell into rebound binging. And maybe even ended up back at square one–or even further back than you started!
But the path to sustainable weight loss isn’t about rules, restrictions, and threats.
It’s about partnering with your body. And connecting with what your body needs in the moment.
It’s letting your highest and most aligned self communicate what she really needs. And you can’t do that very easily if you’re stuck in your head! (Trust me, I’ve tried…)
And if your highest vision of you wishes to release weight, that is OK! Especially if the weight found its way to you from things like binge and emotional eating, both of which are both out of alignment with the true you.
But all the same, be sure that you approach weight loss in a way that is nourishing, loving, and healthy. Do it because you want the best for yourself, not to punish yourself for not being there yet.
Of course, it’s not necessarily a snap to shift from shame-based to love-based motivation. Believe me, I know that battle all too well. But if you’re ready to heal your relationship with your body and your food, my free training is just for you!
Let me help you let go of the struggle with your body and your food for good, so you can find the freedom that you deserve!
Sustainable weight loss without dieting can be second nature for you. And my free training will help you stop shaming and blaming especially through the holidays –and start living a life you love in a body that loves you back!
Get that training delivered to your inbox today! Click the link below for instant access:
Tell me, have you ever felt weird about wanting to lose weight, wondering if somehow it was “wrong” to want a change in your body?
Leave me a comment and let me know if you can relate, and tell me which one of the three steps above struck a chord with you the most!