Saturday, February 24, 2024
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Embrace yourself: no conditions

Let go of your obsession to becoming thin, and start enjoying your life, writes Vinita Alvares Fernandes

…. and I said to my body, softly “I want to be your friend”, it took a long breath and replied “I have been waiting my whole life for this.”

Nayyirah Waheed –

Since evolution, it has been really difficult for people, especially women to feel good about their bodies and to stop the mythical ideal of thinness. 

Do you know —

  • When we are focused on thinness and obsessed with seeing the needle on the scale drop, it creates a dysfunctional relationship with food. You cut out carbs, you cut out sugar, you cut out fats and cut out the peace and comfort that the body gets from eating.
  • When you keep wanting to be desperately thinner, you begin associating it with happiness, as if to say all your problems would disappear once you get thin, when in reality its really only the size of your clothing that changes.
  • When you stop obsessing about being thinner and letting go, you will actually start enjoying each moment of your life.

As much as mankind strives for an equal, inclusive world and may project it outwardly, the hidden truth is that first impressions definitely are the physical appearance that hits the eye. Given we live in a culture that promotes thinness, the pressure is always on, for both men and women, I would say more for women though. 

People can be thin for different reasons – a conscious effort to eat healthy, no interest in food at all or blessed genes to their advantage. While it is well known that changes in our environment, such as easy access to high calorie foods and sedentary lifestyles have driven the rise in obesity in recent years, giving rise to obesity awareness on all spectrums.

There is a hormone called ‘Leptin’ that makes you feel satisfied and one called ‘Ghrelin’ that creates hunger. When your body focuses on gaining weight, there’s a lot more Ghrelin and less Leptin released. Although you don’t have to eat just because you’re hungry, it takes a fair amount of effort to resist any food within your reach or even out of your reach when ‘Ghrelin is at play. Staying trapped in your old, unhealthy mindset of always wanting to lose weight can sabotage the very behaviors you are trying to change. It is important to build an image of not only how you would look thin, but also act and feel thin while in progress. Pretend you are thin by psyching yourself to believe that. It will drive positive energy to your entire body.

Here are a few steps you can take to get rid of your thinness phobia —

Step 1: Acceptance

Accept that part of you will always have the desire to be thinner. It takes a long time for the desire to wane but eventually it becomes less important. Don’t fight or push away the desire, notice it, see what it feels like in your body, notice what you tell yourself and most importantly what triggers the desire to be thinner. Let go of the need for perfection and embrace your limitations and imperfections.

Step 2: Stop dieting and pay attention to what you eat

There is so much evidence out there that proves that dieting does not and never will lead to sustainable weight loss. In most cases, diets will just lead to a backlash and more weight gain. Dieting is harmful to our bodies and our minds. Your judgment of food and people can make or break you. 

Do you judge your food as good or bad, healthy or unhealthy? Remember that food is neutral it’s just a combination of ingredients that feel differently in your body. 

Do you judge your own body or other people’s bodies? 

Be kinder and more accepting by focusing on the person and not the person’s appearance and do not compare.

Step 3: Put the scale away

If that feels scary, I know it does for me, then weigh yourself less frequently.  

Step 4: Practice- gratitude, patience and compassion —

Pay attention to your body’s functionality. It is very difficult to move from hating your body to loving your body, remember hate has never achieved lasting results. 

Try this — Start by simply being neutral to your body.

Then show gratefulness for the parts of your body and what they do for you on a daily basis throughout your life. 

Accept parts of your body you are not crazy about. 

Show them compassion and acceptance, this can be done by dismissing the critical voice in your head. 

Self-acceptance is a journey keep at it. 

Be patient, grow from opportunities and transform your self.

CONCLUSION— 

Let’s embrace body and weight diversity!

Most people say that when they are thin they will feel happy, confident, free, less judged, proud, accomplished.

Does it sound familiar to your own voice?

The desire to be thin never goes away, 

It needs to be — 

Cajoled sometimes, 

Axed sometimes.

Negotiated with sometimes.

All-in-all life is good.

Vinita Alvares Fernandes
Vinita Alvares Fernandes is an Economics graduate, a writer and a Trinity College certified public speaker and communicator

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