THE spartan shops
FOOD & NUTRITION BLOG
So many of us are fixated on weight. You've probably heard one of these scenarios:
My new years resolution is to lose weight
I need to lose x pounds to fit in this dress/bikini/suit etc
He/she will only accept me/like me if I become skinny and attractive
I don’t care if I’m fat. If people don’t like me, then it’s their problem.
In my opinion, all of these mentalities about weight are unhealthy. Why? Because it focuses ALL on an arbitrary number rather than living a healthy lifestyle and being your best self.
What I've observed is that there are two main mentalities about fat especially here in America. The first mentality is made up of false assumptions about being fat held by many people; the second mentality is a recent development to combat the first:
Obviously, America has two very clear opposing sides about the weight debate.
What I would like to accomplish here is not to side with one mentality or the other. I am simply here to illuminate the core issue of why our nation is so obsessed with weight.
That being said, let’s look at this from a clinical perspective: Being overweight and obese are risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, and other cardiovascular illnesses (eg. high blood pressure etc).
These are all good reasons to be making healthier decisions in your life. But what I see is that people are approaching weight in the wrong way. Rather than focusing on getting to a healthy weight to reduce the risk of getting these dangerous conditions, people become obsessed with the way they look and how others perceive them. And to be truthful, how could they not? The media and even our health practitioners are telling perfectly healthy individuals to lose weight so that they can fall into these “ideal” weight ranges, even though this could do more harm than good.
This is why an increasing amount of girls and boys get diagnosed with eating disorders and disordered eating every year. It is why people will try ANY diet (no matter how ridiculous it sounds) and “quick pills” to lose that extra weight (there are none that exist by the way). It is also why people get jaded and give up trying to get healthy because the goals are too lofty and unrealistic. In an effort to try and control one’s weight, it slowly and dangerously morphs into a psychological issue as much as a physical issue.
We have created this unhealthy culture of being obsessed with weight.
But there is good news. We can create a new culture- one that focuses less on a number and more on living a beautiful, happy, healthy life.
I have recently come across a movement called, Health at Every Size. Their mission is your take home message: Be at peace with your body and adopt healthy lifestyle habits for the sake of your health and well-being (rather than weight control).
Contrary to what you believe, you are in control. You don’t have to manipulate your body in harmful ways to get the results you want. You just have to adopt a new mentality- no pill, no starving or binging, no insane gym workout.
So what defines a healthy lifestyle? Here are some basic things that you probably already know:
-Sleep at least 7-8 hours
-Drink enough water per day and stay hydrated!
-Work out at least 150 minutes per week moderate activity and 75 minutes per week intense. Any kind of exercise you like will be the best for you- zumba, yoga, circuit training, running, hiking, walking… whatever it is, commit to it and have fun!
-Stress less! Practice stress management and this will help you not to stress eat! (I’ll do a blog post about stress management at a later time).
-Eat clean (eg eat less junk food, drink more water instead of drinking sugar sweetened beverages, eat more fruits and veggies, whole grains, fiber… you know the drill.)
Here’s the link if you want to check out Health at Every Size and to sign their online pledge:
Stay positive and as always, be happy and healthy!