“Health at any size is like saying I give up on my health.”
“I’ve always wanted to be thin and fit, and I know if I keep it up, one day I’ll get there.”
“You can’t really find love at any size, not the kind of love you’ve dreamt about, at least.”
These are words that my sub conscious used to feed me on a daily (more like hourly) basis. Honestly, they are things that I still hear from time to time. As a girl who used to spend her life obsessing over how to get thin and how life would be once I was thin, it is no surprise that these mantras are hard to quit.
But when you read them out loud, they sound kind of crazy, don’t they? So why do we believe them?
How Limiting Beliefs Hold you Back These beliefs did a really good job keeping me small for a long time. They kept me from owning my power, my beauty, and my confidence. It’s sad to think of how many years of my life I spent worrying about my size. How many social events I turned down because I was “having a fat day”; how many chances at love I turned down because I didn’t love myself; how much I ostracized myself from my family and friends because I was on a diet, or in a bad mood on account of being on a diet.
You have the choice to break free from this pattern RIGHT NOW, though. And that is the most amazing feeling ever.
Let me explain first what my interpretation of “Health at any size”, or in my terms: Many sizes fit all, is about. Health at any size means you have decided to embrace your body where it is right now, while still acknowledging that you have the capacity to thrive in said body. It means you have stopped holding your body to size standards that are fed to you on social media, and instead have realized that you are allowed to live the life of your dreams in the body you’re in... right now! I know, what a crazy concept! You are actually allowed to be content with your body! Not 5 lbs from now, not one pant size from now, not once-I-get-a-hold-of-my-sugar-addiction from now. Actually right now.
So let me break down those three mantras above as to why they are just downright WRONG... just in case you still have the same words floating around in your head.
1. “Health at any size is like saying I give up on my health.” This is a big one for all the haters out there. You know, the trolls on instagram who claim to be advocating for health and fitness, but really just want an excuse to put you down. Just because you accept your body does not mean you give up on health.
Actually, it’s quite the opposite. By accepting where you are at right now, you are saying yes to your mental health. You are saying yes to your energy levels (because let’s face it, spending hours counting calories and obsessing over yourself in the mirror is taxing!). You are saying FUCK YES to loving yourself, and allowing your light to shine a little bit brighter in that moment that you choose yourself over your dress size.
And you say yes to less stress, and for me personally, this was the biggest yes of all. There will be many blog posts to come about this topic, but the stress that I caused myself over my weight obsession probably caused my weight struggles in the first place. Once I let go of my unreal body expectations, I actually allowed my body to do what it does naturally- control its own weight. So I think we can agree that this myth has been de-bunked, yes? Great!
2. “I’ve always wanted to be thin and fit, and I know if I keep it up, one day I’ll get there.” You might be right... you might be thin one day. Who am I to say what your future holds! But, let me just ask you this... why put an attachment on your life that you don’t need? As humans, we find comfort in attachment. We attach to ideas: the idea of falling in love with Prince Charming, making lots of money, having kids. We attach to people. We attach to material objects. Looking over your life, I’m sure you’ve got a lot of really great attachments! And I think those attachments are probably enough to keep you pretty content without adding on this ultimatum that you need to be thin in order to achieve your goal.
You’ve got enough goals on your plate right now; goals that will ACTUALLY bring you happiness, like landing a great job or buying a house. The size of your body does not need to be a goal. Once you stop striving for this, you might actually be able to enjoy the body you are in now.
3.“You can’t really find love at any size, not the kind of love you’ve dreamt about, at least.” This one is a big one for me. Like, paid-for-my-therapist’s-vacation-home big. All of these self-defeating beliefs ultimately come back to the same core issue though- lack of self love. I know people always say “you’ll never find love until you love yourself”. Don’t hate me, but here I am saying it to you, too. I spent all of my 20’s chasing after men who would only like me for my body, because I didn’t love myself enough to let a guy in past my outer layer. Once I realized this, I allowed space to let men in who could love me for my amazing, witty, spunky personality; my fantastic culinary skills; my caring, nurturing, loving nature. And all of a sudden I realized that the men who are able to love me for these traits will also be able to love my body where it’s at.
It’s one of those “believe it when you see it” kind of things. But if you are reading this blog post right now, that means that you are on a journey of self acceptance, and whether you like it or not- it’s come for you. Just allow yourself to be open and willing to accept new possibilities for your life. Body acceptance didn’t happen to me the moment I decided I wanted to accept my body. I had to fake-it-till-I-made-it for a while, and eventually it started to seep in past the hard-wired programming and years of negative self talk.
If you’ve ever said to someone “I love you so much, I’d do anything for you”, now I want you to look in the mirror and say that to yourself. Love YOURSELF so much that you’d do anything for yourself. And that starts with allowing yourself to be happy in the body you inhabit.