How to Cope with the Hardships of Weight Bias - Part 2: Loving Yourself Toned
The hardships or weight bias are tough to swallow.
You probably know that having too much weight in fat is a problem. At that weight, you're prone to heart diseases, strokes, cancers, Type II diabetes, and hypertension, just to name some maladies. We would die before our caregivers if we don't lose that weight.
But for some of you, obesity is so much more than that. You have been teased by passersby about how big you are since your school days. You know, the times when the kids call you "wide load" and "hippo," right? You have been told off by your caregiver or other older relative who is not a sibling or cousin for eating even at least a good portion of chips.
Being picked on about your weight has consequences for you, especially if you take what others (even your relatives) say too personally. You may develop a host of eating disorders. You may skip each day's workout and eat processed, fattening foods because you feel down on yourself. To you, it's suicide because the weight gain in fat would make you even more prone to early death.
So how can you not only shed the excess pounds, but deal with the snide comments on girth?
Start with Self-Love
Lasting weight loss requires enough sleep, less stress, diet, and exercise. (What I mean by diet is eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other healthy things.) But some people still can't shed the excessive pounds.
Here's a very big reason why you're not losing weight, besides other major reasons (see lack of above). You don't learn how to love yourself.
The best way to lose pounds and keep them off is learning to love yourself first before embarking on exercising and eating right. You may be thinking that it's so hard to do it when you're pudgy. Well, here are some ways to help you boost your self-esteem while losing weight.
First Things First: Compare Self with Self
Comparing yourself with others is one of the worst ways to motivate yourself to exercise or eat right.
The ideal body image is all too often emphasized. We see slender women in the magazines, on the fashion show runways, the beaches (lake or ocean), and even down the street. Most of them have flattering garments, all too often baring even a bit of midriff if dress code isn't an issue.
Not All Supermodels are Uber-Thin
See Beyond What You Weigh
Whenever you look at the mirror and you catch yourself seeing the fat rolls, think of all the good qualities about you that doesn't involve your weight. If you have blue eyes, acknowledge that you have them. Think of all the intrinsic qualities you have, like being a good writer, a teacher, or a parishioner.
Focus on How You Exercise and How you Enjoy It
Don't mind what you see on TV, the internet, or in the magazines. Focus on you first. If the source of self-comparison with others is at the gym, focus on your workouts instead. Focus on keeping your core tucked in and toning your areas you desire to tone and nothing else.
Better yet, exercise at home. Find something that you enjoy while you burn a lot of calories. Dance around the room to your favorite radio station or stereo multimedia player. Invite the kids to dance along too! Amid the social implications of childhood obesity, not just physical, this would help them have fun, feel good about themselves, and burn calories without noticing. This is family physical activity that doesn't sound like exercise.
Exercising People Come in All Shapes and Sizes
Affirm that You Love Yourself
Before reaching for even a bowl of oatmeal you dread to eat each morning or hopping on the treadmill, say something to yourself that makes you love your body no matter what.
If you have plenty of time or are feeling really down on yourself because of your body, try doing Emotional Freedom Technique. It's a process where you tap on certain body parts in a certain order.
First, tap on how much you hate your body. The setup phrases usually include the words "even though" "and "I deeply and completely love and accept myself." Well, some people ask how they love and accept themselves when they are trapped in their fat bodies. Well, reword the setup phrases. You may start with "Even though I really hate this body and I don't love it, I'm in the slow process of appreciating myself. Tap on the hatred for several rounds until you feel better. Then, tap on loving your body till you feel a lot better.
If in a hurry, say some affirmations. Look them up on the Web or create your own. Don't just stop at "I love me no matter what." Say that you are worthy, inspirational, and valued no matter what size or weight.
Either way, both can motivate you to exercise and eat more healthy foods
The Bathroom Scale Can Be A Useful Tool
Weigh Yourself Once a Week
The bathroom scale (or the ones doctors and weight loss clinics use) is either a motivator or a put-down. It all depends on how you use and view it. If you weigh yourself every single day on it, you might as well revert to a junk food lifestyle.
Here are some reasons other than pudge that make you heavy. You are retaining water or you are bulky in muscle. (If female, you may be on your "time of month.") Muscle is denser than fat, and the scale measures your total body weight rather than how much fat you have.
If you are relying on the scale to lose weight, use it at most weekly. Once a week is enough to weigh yourself since weight fluctuates daily. Better yet, weigh yourself once a month. If you eat right and exercise (and love yourself before doing it each day), you can lose 1-2 pounds a week, depending on diet, genetics, workout intensity, and water intake. So write a date for each month you plan to weigh.
Even better, focus on losing fat. Ask your doctor or weight loss clinician to measure with a caliper to see how much fat you currently store.
Take a "Before" Picture
Before (or ideally, in place of) hanging those slacks two sizes smaller that you intend to wear before exercising or reaching out for even a few jellybeans, take a picture of you on your current weight. Wear just underwear and a bra (or sports bra and bike shorts) and have it developed and photocopied in several prints. If you are modest, photocopy pictures of you on your last vacation or event.
Stick them on your exercise machine, on the cupboards, on the fridge, or anywhere in plain view so you'll be motivated to exercise and eat cleanly. You may want to carry pocket-sized prints of the "before" pictures if you want something tasty but not so nutritious at the restaurant or ice cream from the parlor. They remind you of how far you've come and how you've changed since losing and maintaining your new weight.
Remember, you're comparing yourself with yourself, not with others.
Reward Yourself Big and Small
As long as they are not related to food, rewards can keep you motivated to lose weight while loving yourself.
Short-term goals, like exercising for 3-4 times a month or switching from white bread to whole wheat bread, can be rewarded with a craft, a day out at the mall (as long as it doesn't involve the snack vendors or the food court), or a pedicure. Long-term goals, like losing inches from your butt, can be rewarded with a vacation.
If you find yourself finishing that bowl of ice cream, remind yourself that you are working towards that spa treatment instead.
Assess How You Feel About Your Body
Repsond to Relatives Politely
The next time you're with relatives, such as a holiday feast, defend yourself against snide comments and put-downs by being polite.
If your uncle pinches your arm and says that you need to work out because you're getting fatter and ignoring him doesn't work, take a deep breath. Then calmly say, "What you are saying to me hurts my feelings. How about we talk about the weather, OK?"
Make your home or venue of gathering a fat talk-free zone. This area should be free from all comments - whether inflicted on self or others - about weight and body image.
How Often Do Your Relatives Comment Rudly on Your Weight?See results without voting
If you really want to lose weight, don't just overhaul your pantry and fridge and replace them with healthier foods or launch yourself into a circuit training program all too soon. You have to love yourself first before taking steps to lose the inches. Free yourself from saying how fat you are and appreciate and love yourself the way you are. Remember, all permanent weight loss starts with self love!
- 10 Tips for Weight Loss and Maintenance Part 1
First part of my straightforward and deeper view of weight loss and weight maintenance. I aim to make you think and from there, to help you make the changes you desire, not those you feel you should initiate. Enjoy.
- 10 Tips for Weight Loss and Maintenance Part 2
Second part of my straightforward and deeper view of weight loss and weight maintenance. I aim to make you think and from there to help you make the changes you desire, not those you feel you should initiate. Enjoy. (Note: #10 is the greatest one.)
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