The headline reeled you in, right? Because weight loss is, at the end of the day, a goal for many of us - especially in this post-festive period. But what if (and trust me, I get that this idea is radical)... it just isn’t?
What if, instead of putting yourself on a diet and spending two weeks miserable to lose some weight that you eventually put back on and more, you chose to just accept yourself as you are?
I know this sounds easier said than done. I know because I’ve been there - a couple of years ago, after a decade of eating disorders and with a very low self-esteem totally ingrained in me, the idea of self-acceptance seemed crazy and reserved for people who already looked a certain way.
But that’s diet culture talking - diet culture that tells us we have to look like the media’s glorified image of a woman and a man and that weight loss is literally the best thing that we can achieve as humans. Diet culture that lead me down a dangerous and destructive path of bulimia, anorexia and binge-eating. And we are surrounded by it - everywhere you look this January, it’s about becoming thinner, fitter, a ‘new you’, in shape, happier (they might as well just say thinner because we all know that’s what they mean).
But we don’t need to lose weight. The number on the scales or the size in the back of our jeans is not at all indicative of the things that really matter as humans - our character, our values, our morals, our worth or our achievements.
And by spending time and energy trying to change our weight, we’re wasting time and energy that could be far better spent on the important things… Things that will actually bring us happiness and good mental health and a fulfilling life.
Because weight loss and a new dress size doesn’t bring any of those things. We believe it does, until it happens and then we realise that we will never be truly happy until we truly accept ourselves.
So this is my challenge to you this January - throw out the diets, focus on nourishing your body with good food that makes you feel good, and start to try to accept yourself exactly as you are. Because that person is good enough - and it’s time to start believing it.
Want to chat further? Head over to my Instagram @alexlight_ldn.