Your body size doesn't define your worth, or health status

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I can remember wanting to be thin from a young age. Before the age of 13 I was pinching parts of my body, wishing they were smaller.  I recall times of eating just a bowl of fruit or a granola bar for lunch, thinking I was being “good” and that I would become smaller. This would later lead to overeating to compensate for the restriction, which would turn into guilt and shame. These thoughts and decisions were driven by diet culture, which unfortunately continues to thrive.

Diet culture is a society that focuses on and values weight, shape and size over a person’s well-being. This basically translates to, “it doesn't matter how you feel but rather you need to do whatever it takes to drop weight and get thin, no matter what’s at stake.” And more recently, its taken a turn for the worst: focusing all your time and energy on changing your body size by restrictive eating and excessive exercise is being confused for HEALTHY.

The emphasis on manipulating body size by food and exercise for “health” has gone too far. Too often we hear “if you eat X number of calories/macronutrients per day and burn Y calories through exercise, you will lose Z pounds and finally live an amazing life where you will be loved and super happy!” This is farthest from the truth. Attempting to change your body size is not taking care of yourself or being healthy. Its feeding fuel to the fire of disordered eating and poor body image for yourself, society, and future humans.

Your body size does not define your worth. Being in a larger body doesn't mean you can't live an amazing life and sure as hell doesn't mean you won't be loved. And being in a smaller body doesn't indicate health. If a thin person is smoking cigarettes does this make them healthier than someone in a larger body who practices self-care and moves their body? Absolutely not. If two people, one larger and one smaller, do the same activities and live similar lives, is the thin person healthier? Not necessarily! If someone must go through extreme measures to lose weight and try to keep it off, is that more healthful than just letting yourself be? Hell no. There is nothing physically, mentally, or emotionally healthy about this. We need to stop making assumptions about people based on their body size. Why are people in larger bodies being prescribed the behaviors that we diagnose as anorexia in thin people? It’s atrocious.

What’s important in health is not your body size or numbers on a scale, but rather practicing self-care and moving your body in ways that feel good to you. Throw away your scale- hell, smash it with a sledge hammer. Numbers on a scale can’t tell you how amazing of a human you are, or the value you bring to the world.

For more information about the weight you are meant to be at, check out this blog post on set point theory

For tips on self care, click here

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