In my last post in this series, I shared how focusing on weight control interfered with truly caring for myself, In this post, I’ll share more about my healing journey.
My healing started with addressing the root causes of my issues, and accepting the weight my body naturally wanted to maintain. (Side note—I actually don’t know this exact number. I gave up the scale years ago.)
To be honest and open here, I realize my process towards acceptance has different challenges than those whose natural weight falls outside of what is deemed “acceptable” by current health standards. (PS: BMI was never meant to be used as a health marker.) This is the reality of the world we live in, and I’m acknowledging this before I speak any further. I will be talking more about the harm of weight stigma and the challenges of living in this world in a larger body in a later post in this series. Regardless, this process is applicable for anyone, no matter what size you are, and no matter what size you end up.
Fighting the size your body naturally wants to be will always backfire because our bodies work towards homeostasis. When it senses famine, it will fight to bring your weight up or maintain your weight by slowing your metabolism, increasing your hunger/cravings, etc. I was one who became “disciplined” at ignoring what my body was communicating with me and my health suffered. It slowed my metabolism which was apparent by my sluggish digestion, fatigue/tiredness, and gaining weight easily if I “strayed” from my carefully controlled ways. Maintaining “control” of your body size may seem easier for some, but there are usually unseen consequences. Things start deteriorating in your body when we fail to listen and honor it, and it can negatively affect our mental state.
My healing began when I realized the mental hold this control had on my life. As I embraced eating and exercising more intuitively, and letting my body take the reins, I slowly started feeling better. It wasn’t always easy, and it was a process of ups and downs, but well worth it. Eating more, exercising more intuitively, and decreasing my stress were extremely vital on my healing journey. By taking better care of my body (vs controlling it), my digestion is tremendously better, my energy has improved, I can think clearly again, and I’m breathing better. Best of all, I am living FREE—feeling well and strong is so much better than being in bondage to perceived body “control.”
A huge part of my healing journey was also forgiving myself. Even though I could see how my behaviors negatively impacted my health, it was important to remember I was acting on what I knew at the time, and I had good intentions. This is important for EVERYONE to remember, no matter where you are on your own journey. Start from wherever you are right now. Notice what promotes good, and learn from what doesn’t.
It’s common in our culture to automatically view weight control as healthy. This is often not the case, no matter your size, because it usually means focusing on outside goals (the scale, calories, etc.) over what your body may be asking for. My personal experiences of focusing on weight control, even when pursuing wellness, kept me disconnected from my body and its needs, and living with a fearful relationship towards food. This interfered with my ability to truly take care of myself.
In my next few posts, I’m going to discuss some of the current science behind what determines our weight.Follow me on social media: