Learning from Others

Hundreds of women have joined force to provide real-life advice on how to stay positive about their bodies when faced with the pressures of society. Take a look here – Body Positive Thread. One common theme – the number on the scale is just a number and health come from finding happiness and purpose for our bodies. Many women have found this purpose through regular physical activity and strength training so they can feel strong.

My response –

First off, I love this thread! But, my heart is breaking as I see SO MANY posts about weight loss. You DON’T need to lose the weight! It’s not about the weight. It’s about overall health. You can take a pill and starve yourself to be thin but that isn’t going to make you healthier. I am physician and dietitian and have done lots of reading on this topic. Studies often site “weight” as the culprit for all of our health problems but there is actually no research to prove this. There are too many variables. Yes, unhealthy behaviors will lead to weight gain, but not everyone with extra weight is unhealthy. If you have been heavier you will always be heavy. Your body is programmed for survival and once you’ve been at a consistent weight for a number of years, losing weight will be nearly impossible long-term. There are obviously exceptions to the rule, but we often only see the exceptions. You could lose weight with extreme measures, but why – just for a lower number? This is not the solution. The focus should be on HEALTH not weight. Are you eating a balanced diet that makes you feel good and provides adequate nutrition? Are you moving your body in a meaningful way at least a hour a day? Are you sleeping enough? Are you mentally healthy? Are you managing any medical issues you have appropriately? These are juts a few examples. If you say yes to all these then you should be consider yourself healthy (and lucky!). Most people have a lot of work to do because we have been focused on weight and not the whole picture of health. And if you are doing everything you need to be healthy, the weight might come off – if it does, great! If not, who cares? You feel good and are taking care of your body.

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