Many people, including myself, are first drawn to nutrition because they want to lose weight or otherwise change their physical appearance. While physical changes like weight loss or better skin are awesome effects of a healthy lifestyle, making these changes our end goal can be dangerous.
For a long time, my food and exercise choices were deeply related to a desire to be thinner, even though I certainly didn’t need to lose any weight. My strict rules around food became a punishment for “weighing too much” and any time I ate too much or didn’t work out, I felt overwhelmed with guilt. I was caught up in the landslide of messages and images telling me how to look. Images where even the models who fit the ideal body type are still insanely photoshopped!!
At some point I realized -- why do I care so much about being skinny? Why do I care so much about my physical appearance when there is so much more to me and when my body does so many amazing things everyday? Were the harsh messages I relayed to my body coming from a credible source? The answer is no!! These messages generally come from companies or people who can profit from your insecurities. The truth is that EVERY body is beautiful & worthy, and any message saying otherwise is bull$#!+ !
It’s 100% okay to want to lose weight, but make sure you are clear on a positive intention. Do you want to lose weight because you don’t think your body is “bikini ready”? Or do you want to lose weight because you know your body will be healthier and more comfortable if you’re lighter? The problem with approaching health from the mindset of “I need to lose weight,” is that it tells our mind the story that we are not good enough as we are. That we are too much and we need to change. Saying “I’m eating fewer carbs because I need to lose weight” is a much different sentence than “I’m eating more fruits and vegetables because I love my body and the way I feel when I eat healthy.” Both sentences describe the same situation, but tell a very different story.
Health should never never never be about deprivation. The best and most effective way for us to get healthy is to realize we are enough right now and that our bodies deserve to be treated with LOVE. When we feel this love for ourselves and our bodies, it gradually becomes second nature to make to the healthy choice.