Here's the thing. There are people out there who hate their body. A lot of overweight people judge themselves in a way they would never judge any one else. Every ounce of their self-esteem is wrapped up in what the scale says. Success or failure is measured by pounds lost and gained from day to day, week to week, month to month. At its worst, this way of thinking can lead to a serious life-threatening eating disorder. But even at its best, self-esteem/weight dependency is not good.
Yes, I struggle with being overweight, but I try not to hate myself for it. I am grateful for my body. It's worked hard to keep me healthy over the years through all my relapses and dealings with chronic illness. God made us the stewards of the earth, the animals and our bodies. It's my responsibility love and care for these gifts, in sickness and in health.
When I saw this article about the acceptance movement in the New York Times recently I was intrigued. Acceptance has a nice sound. It reminded me of the Love Yourself Thin approach to weight loss which I strongly advocate. However, a few paragraphs into the article I was struggling with enough cognitive dissonance to make my head ache. What did it mean? It was confusing. Mandy Katz, the author of the article Tossing Out the Diet and Embracing the Fat says,
"This movement — a loose alliance of therapists, scientists and others —
holds that all people, “even” fat people, can eat whatever they want
and, in the process, improve their physical and mental health
and stabilize their weight. The aim is to behave as if you have reached
your “goal weight” and to act on ambitions postponed while trying to
become thin, everything from buying new clothes to changing careers.
Regular exercise should be for fun, not for slimming."
See? Which is it? Eat whatever I want or behave as if I reached my goal weight? Because those two things are different. If I were to behave as if I were at my goal weight I couldn't eat whatever I want. And exercise? If I waited for exercise to be fun, hell would be well on its way to freezing over.
On the other hand… I totally agree with living life to its fullest now. Wear clothes for the body you have now. You look really good now! Don't postpone dreams until we reach our goal weight. Go for that promotion now!
self-esteem needs nurturing as much as our bodies do. When we make
loving ourselves conditional, like, "I will be so happy after I lose 30
pounds," it's like holding our self-esteem hostage.
If the Acceptance Movement is about loving ourselves for who we are today, unconditionally, body and soul, and caring for ourselves responsibly AND reasonably, then you can count me in!
Today is the first day of the rest of my life and eating like I've reached my goal weight.