One of the hot topics often covered during my sessions is this idea that weight loss and weight maintenance are inextricably tied to calories ingested versus calories burned. In simple terms this means eat less/move (or exercise) more. While I am not an expert in metabolisms, I can assure you that based on biology and physiology alone, this is not a simple, linear equation — it is much, much more complicated. On the slippery slope towards an eating disorder, this message has certainly become the gold standard and somewhat of a manta. There are many other messages regarding body image that my clients commonly carry with them:
- Thin is more beautiful/better/ (insert any positive adjective to complete the sentence).
- Being thin brings happiness.
- Everyone should aspire to be thin. This is a lifelong journey that all of us should embark on because we can always do better for ourselves. Now, circle back to the first bullet point, remembering to eat less and move more.
I can go on, but, I think you all get the idea. The truth is that movement can bring each of us joy whether it is through walking, dancing, running, or an exercise class. What I can assure you will not bring you joy is holding on to the idea that thin is superior. Instead, I urge you to find your kind of happy: it is the kind of happy that starts with loving yourself just the way you are, at exactly your size. And it starts with refraining from calling yourself “names” and repeating said mantras. It really is both that simple and that hard.