If you sometimes cringe at photos of yourself, or wish you could fit into those bargain smaller size jeans you bought in optimism, you’re not alone.
The CDC reports that over a third of Americans are obese
. In a real-world scenario, among the workplace, parks and grocery stores, over a third of the people you see are likely to be heavier than ideal.
However, picture-perfect Facebook and Instagram accounts remind us every day of sun-kissed lean bodies. Somehow that has become the new normal.
It’s incredibly difficult to see through other people’s carefully filtered posts and view our own bodies clearly and kindly. And yet, it’s so important that we do, because -- believe it or not -- stress can actually sabotage weight loss
. Be Kind to Yourself
It’s pointless to tell someone not to be stressed about something they’re worried about. If that worked, today’s teens and young adults wouldn’t be reporting such high levels of anxiety and depression.
But encouraging self-compassion or self-kindness
, as this program explored by the New York Times suggests, could be a vital tool in helping people overcome the stress they feel about being overweight.
There is very rarely just one easy reason for carrying extra pounds, so show yourself some compassion. Taking a more holistic view of your body will help. Rather than measuring it solely by weight or jean size, think about the amazing things it can do, and all the adventures you want to embark on later life. After all, there are many ways to measure health
For those really struggling with a critical internal voice, speaking to a professional might help, whether that’s a counselor or a knowledgeable personal trainer or nutritionist. There are also online communities and local groups where you can find support, or perhaps friends and family can be of help.Weight Loss without Worry
Without a doubt, any effort you put into adopting a healthier lifestyle will bring benefits to both your physical and mental health. Think of food as a way to nourish your body and care for it from within. A balanced diet will give you the nutrients you need for energy, repair and positivity. Using a plate-planning tool kit might make food shopping more fun and easy to approach.
Regular physical activity -- however small at first -- will make a huge difference to your mental attitude. Just half an hour outside in the fresh air or indoors being active in a way you enjoy will soon pay off in improved mood and optimism
It doesn’t have to feel like hard work, either. Try something fun, whether it’s dancing, paint-balling, climbing or golfing. They’re excellent stress-busters and if your clothes start to feel a little looser too, that’s an appealing bonus.
We all have a tendency to be harsh on ourselves, particularly when it comes to measuring up to the perfect bodies we see on screens and in magazines. But the reality is, carrying around stress about being overweight
not only makes us unhappy, it prevents us from actually doing something about it.
Be kind to yourself, and you will be able to see your body for the amazing work of art it is. Only then can you begin to show it love and see it flourish.