Let’s play a little game. I’m going to share the stories of two (completely made up) women and you tell me which one you would guess is the healthiest.
Sarah Sue is the typical over achiever. She loves her business but knows that she works too much. She comes home exhausted, quickly makes dinner with whatever she can find and sometimes brings home fast food because she doesn’t feel like cooking. In fact, she sometimes skips meals because she is so stressed out. She hasn’t exercised since before her children were born and at her last doctor’s visit she was shown to have elevated Triglycerides and high blood pressure. She is obsessed with her body and wishes her thighs didn’t touch.
Mary Jane absolutely LOVES her zumba class. In fact, she is there three times a week. People always tell her that her smile and positivity is contagious. She has a green smoothie every morning and usually includes some kind of leafy green veggie at every meal. She still allows her self to have her favorite dark chocolate bar because she knows if she doesn’t, she may end up binging on sweets. She enjoys pampering herself and feels great about her body.
“Well, DUH” , you are saying to me. EASY PEASY, RIGHT??? You are all smart and I know you would answer “Mary Jane”.
What if I were to tell you that “Sarah Sue” is 5 foot 2 and only weighs 105 pounds and that “Mary Jane” is 5 foot 4 and over weight at 200 pounds? (again, this is completely made up) Do you have a different perspective of her now?
Let’s say that both of these women walk into a room. Would you size them up (like is totally natural for us human beings to do) and observe that “Mary Jane” should lose weight? Would you assume that Mary Jane is the unhealthy one? (even if her blood work is awesome?)
This is where things get tricky and why I say that size alone is not always factor when it comes to health. I know a few women who eat healthy, exercise and cannot easily lose weight. Yes, it could be hormone related, but in their case, it is not. They are just at the weight that their body needs to be at the time.
We cannot determine who is healthy and who is not merely by observation.
So, you may ask, “What about all those people who are over weight and eat junk food all the time? Surely they need to lose weight, right?” That’s like saying A = C. I would say that it would be good if they could eat healthier, which may result in weight loss. But losing weight is not the factor here. Taking care of our body by feeding it the foods it needs to be healthy and strong is the key. Instead I suggest we say, “I need to eat healthier” versus “I need to lose weight.”
Let me make this clear: I am not totally against weight loss. If someone sheds their weight as a result of healthy eating, and from that, has more energy, improves her health, feels great about her body, AND is able to KEEP it off for GOOD…. then it’s totally worth it.
My concern is regarding the women who have tried and tried to lose weight and it’s just not working for them, even though they are doing all the “right things”. This can result in a feeling of failure, low self-esteem and hating their body even more which just results in more self-sabotage.
The fact of the matter is that most of the time, diets (as in a restrictive weight loss plan) just don’t work.
Let’s go back to my two examples. Sarah Sue hated her body while Mary Jane loved hers. Yes, it is possible to love your body, no matter WHAT your size. I have seen it start to happen in many of my clients. When we love our body, we are not as concerned about weight loss, but on taking care of it, which can include healthy eating, self-care (me time), enjoyable exercise, and sleep. Making peace with our body is an awesome goal.
Even if it means not losing a single pound.
*(For more reading on this subject, specifically why diets don’t work, I highly encourage you to get hold of the book, “Health At Every Size” by Linda Bacon. )*
and just for fun…. here is a “cat photo bomb” LOL
love and blessings,
Kellie McGarry, CHC
Nourished and New
p.s.– I am SO excited to be named a Top 10 Finalist for Mom Entrepreneur of the Year! (through the Mom e- Club) Very soon, I will need your VOTES so I can be named the Finalist! Results will be determined at the Mom e-Club Celebration in Phoenix, on Wed. May 7th. Please visit THIS link to watch my short, 2 minute video and VOTE! THANKS!!