Client: “I was feeling so good. More peaceful and confident about eating but after a week of not weighing myself, I couldn’t resist and stepped on the scale. I know I shouldn’t have because as soon as I did, my day was ruined.”
I can’t tell you the number of women who say similar things to me only to find their new found peace ripped out from under them the moment they step on the scale.
And as many times as someone can hear that weight does not indicate health, this is a far deeper issue than that. The logical part of us gets it- a person can be in a larger body and still be healthy, but it’s the attachment to and longing for a smaller body that stands in the way.
It’s okay to want to a smaller body
I get it. I get the hell out of it, which is why I would never blame anyone for having an ongoing desire to be thinner, even if she knows deep down that it won’t make her a better friend or spouse, make her smarter, more in control, kinder, or richer; and that’s okay.
I lived in this place for YEARS, so I understand when women tell me that their lives would be better once they lose weight. How could they not? We live in a society that smacks us in the face on a daily basis with messages about how much more loved, accepted, and happy we’d be if only we were smaller.
The cost of weight loss
But what if our bodies aren’t meant to be any smaller? What if we don’t fit the mold of the ideal body but we feel strong, energized, and we take care of ourselves?
And what if being smaller means we have to cut out carbs, skip wine nights with friends, and work out obsessively?
What if being smaller means we start obsessing over ever bite of food we take and missing out on social events for fear there won’t be something we can eat?
What if being thinner means we stop listening to our bodies when they need rest or more food and instead demand that they work out harder and faster with less fuel?
Sure, you may experience more confidence in a smaller body, more attention, possibly feel more accepted. Maybe. But at what cost? And how long will these things last if they’re obtained in ways that demand so much from you, and require that you sacrifice precious time and energy, and the innate and powerful relationship between you and your body?
Coming to terms with your body
At the end of the day, it’s less about our ability to comprehend that bigger doesn’t mean unhealthy, and more about coming to terms with the fact that we may be meant to live in a body that’s larger than what we believe it should be.
It may mean grieving the loss of the body diet culture and society has convinced us we need in order to feel loved and accepted, as well as the fantasy of what life will be like when we’re thin.
Like a client of mine said the other night,
“I know all these things about how being thin won’t make my life better but I still want to be.”
And you may always feel that way to an extent, but it’s what you do about it that matters. You may also never come to *love* your body, and that’s okay, too. But no matter how big or how small, your body is worthy of love, care, and respect so please treat it that way.