A couple weeks ago I posted a “throwback” picture. I explained in the caption about how I couldn’t enjoy the picture until recently. After it was posted I had several women contact me through various outlets. They stated things such as “I reached my lowest weight ever, my goal weight, and I am still unhappy”, “I just want to feel better but I know I will never be skinny like you”. The things these women revealed started me thinking, How do we find contentment with being healthy in a world of skinny propaganda?
The first question I asked myself was, “When was it that I started being content”? How can these women also be content? Obviously contentment wasn’t found in reaching a certain pants size or weight. It wasn’t found in having your abs show through, in compliments from your significant other or even a stranger. So if not in all the obvious places then where?
Here is my answer: Contentment is found when we stop focusing on the word “skinny” and we start focusing on the word “healthy”. We aren’t all from the same mold. We are designed uniquely and individually by the same heavenly Father, but he wasn’t lame He didn’t just make us in the millions to all be alike. He made us to be alike in His image, but designed each of us uniquely with care and showed each of us individual attention when creating us. I am so glad He wanted to take time to form me as me and not as a look alike.
With that being said not only do our bodies look different, they have different needs, different set points and different reactions.
Skinny refers to one need, one set point, and one look. You can be skinny and be unhealthy. I am living proof of that, I was walking around at barely a size 2 and very unhealthy. It’s a goal that never lets us focus on our accomplishments because it’s ever changing. The word skinny gives us blinders, it limits the horizon that we see.
Healthy however, refers to our unique body’s needs. It opens us up to a world of goals, celebrations and a lifestyle that can joyously be passed on to our children or those around us.
It is easy to blur the lines between the two. When I was skinny focused I would find myself saying “
I’m becoming healthy and skinny is my goal”. No. Health is my goal. Prevention of diabetes & obesity etc. is my goal.
Here are my suggestions for seeking being healthy as opposed to skinny:
Eat for nourishment and energy not craving/emotional satisfaction. When you change your mindset from seeing food as a form of control to one as nourishment then it becomes much easier to make better choices. Exercise to feel energized and have better stamina and strength. Stop exercising for the amount of calories burned or punishment. Focus on what your body CAN do now, not what you perceive is flawed. For instance I can say “Okay I don’t like those dimples on my leg, but I do like that I can run 2 miles now or that I can squat more this week”. Ignore the scale. The scale is a terrible indicator of where your health is at. Your body fat percentage and how you feel are much better indicators. Exercise doesn’t necessarily mean being in the gym. Whatever activity you choose to stay fit make sure it is fun for you, something you enjoy and don’t dread. Stop restricting yourself from food. One of the most important things a counselor told me once was “I want you to stop using the word allow.” She then handed me a peanut M&M and said “This isn’t a bad food you’re allowing yourself, this is a piece of candy you are enjoying” Although I left ticked at her, she was correct. Viewing food as allowed or isn’t allowed is not healthy either. Treating ourselves to low in nutrition value foods isn’t an issue when the majority of our choices are high in nutrition value. Set goals not time limits/perfection & Give yourself grace. Take care of your body until the day you die, and set goals along the way. Living healthy is a lifelong journey, change doesn’t happen overnight, especially when we are changing our mindset and habits. Most importantly listen to your body.
Do you need to change your focus? What are your goals to become a healthier you?