Yesterday, while I waited at the dentist, I decided to flick through some random magazines that were lying around on the sofas. I picked the one which seemed the most interesting (and guess what: of course it had lots of food articles, but I’ll talk about that in another post coming soon!) and started reading some of the highlights. “Find out why you’re not losing weight”, “ditch the diets and try out this new weight loss treatment”, “lose 30 pounds in 2 weeks!”, it went on and on about losing weight, cellulite, getting that “dream” body- and I felt literally disgusted.
I’ve realized how bombarded we are with weight loss. Left and right we are told we should lose weight, we should look thin, we shood have smooth skin, we should work out, we should look “great”. And I’ve realized how my mind had been twisted into thinking that losing weight and having a “toned and lean” body would make me happy.
Turns out it didn’t.
Losing weight only made me lose my mental health and my overall happiness. It made me lose my wellbeing and it threw me completely off-balance.
That’s what they don’t tell you about. The ads talk about these miraculous treatments, all the wonderful changes and goals you should aspire, but they don’t mention the, so-called, “side effects”. They don’t mention how damaging it can be, how fixated your mind can become. They don’t mention how your problems all stay the same, how it doesn’t change you.
Moreover, it rages and saddens me how young girls are bombarded with these false expectations, with these stereotypical goals and with false ideals every single day. Weight loss in our society is put on such a ridiculous high pedestal, like it’s an actual accomplishment. Just look how stupid that sounds. Weight loss means success.
But why is weight loss so good? Let’s break it down for a moment. Weight loss is simply a calorie deficit, to whom your body responds by losing some of its mass. It’s reducing your body’s fat content and, in some more extreme cases like mine, muscle as well. It’s basically reducing the volume of your body. It’s simply a biological process, right?
Therefore, why is it necessarily good? Because, ever since we are born, society tells so. No, society basically screams so.
I encourage you to look around you and start realizing how everything relating to women disgustingly always ends up being about weight loss. Magazines: almost every single one has something about diets or fitness related articles, besides already having ads with photoshoped models and ridiculously stereotypical body expectations; Tv and radio: ads, ads and more ads; Books: eat like I say so and your life will be perfect!; clothing industry: these jeans should fit every woman and small sizes are always the best; – And I’m sure you can find thousands more examples out there.
I mean it’s bizarre how we are brainwashed into thinking we need a different body, that we need to change ourselves, in order to look good, have a great life and be happy.
But guess what- you’re physical appearance doesn’t actually make that much of a difference. Unless your job is based around your appearance, it makes no sense to believe that how your body looks is in control of your happiness, your success, your life.
Furthermore, you are going to be the same you after those 30 pounds, after those toned abs, after that thigh gap. Weight loss isn’t a magical shortcut for happiness, so let’s just see it for what it actually is: a biological process.
I say we completely ditch weight loss programmes. Take care of your mental health and watch how your body naturally transforms.
If you fully listen to your body, it will do wonderful things for you and I promise you that it will look great as well.
Let’s ditch “body goals” and the idea that looking great is having a tiny waist and a big but. Let’s appreciate all different shapes and sizes and what our bodies actually do. Because looking “great” isn’t the same as “being skinny”. Looking “great”, at least for me, is feeling good in your own skin, it’s feeling and being healthy and it’s taking care of yourself. Not abs and sculpted backs. Not toned down or lean.
Eat because you’re hungry, eat because you enjoy it. Work out because it’s fun, work out because you have energy.
Learn to unconditionally and passionately trust yourself and your own body.
And, for god’s sake, let’s just start living.