Weight, Health & Body Acceptance
I read this article by Jess Weiner, in Glamour:
I’m not sure what I think about it. I do think it’s important to live a healthy lifestyle by eating well and exercising, but I also think people can be healthy and be overweight, and even obese. I get the feeling that there is a little fear-mongering going on here. I don’t think loving her body almost killed the author. I think you can love your body at any weight, and while you’re trying to lose weight, live a healthier lifestyle, etc. In fact, embarking on a healthier lifestyle is a great way to love your body. In reading this article (and especially from the title), I get the feeling that Weiner thinks that loving her body is synonymous with being overweight. This is simply not true. I think her resolve to eat better, and exercise more is a wonderful example of body love.
However, I think Weiner is hung up on numbers. Loving your body, and living a healthy lifestyle isn’t just about weight, cholesterol or blood sugar readings. Loving your body is about acceptance of your body, and doing what you need and want to do to feel good in your body. For example, I love my body by (trying) to eat a balanced diet, and by doing that make my body feel good, like biking, swimming, and hiking. Of course this benefits me emotionally, too, but it all ties together. Loving my body also means that I take into account how my body feels. Is something sore, am I feeling tired, etc.
For other people, loving their body might be different. When I was recovering from EDNOS, loving my body meant following my meal plan to make sure I was nourishing myself. It also meant trying to look at myself in a non-judgmental way, and taking care of myself in a variety of ways. Maybe that meant a walk around the block to clear my head, writing in my journal, or talking to a friend. It’s different for everyone at different times in their life.
I realize I’m talking about more than just loving your body, as in your actual physical being, but it all ties together.
Loving my body means listening to it, and doing my best to take care of it. It also means having compassion for myself.
One of my friends and former students sent me this rebuttal to Weiner’s article. I think Dr. Burgard makes a lot of valid points.