Let Go of Those Body Obsessions that Hold You Back
Based on the title of my blog and other posts I have done, it is very well known that I like change. While this may be true, there are certain areas of life that can be difficult to change or get rid of, one being the obsession with body shape. Unfortunately, people in society, myself included, have become more preoccupied with weight loss, workouts, and meal plans, than they are in spending quality time with loved ones.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being active, trying to eat healthier or reaching personal goals, but where are the boundaries?
Everyone needs to eat and we all know the importance of variety in our diet. This includes sticking to the main food groups, listening to our bodies’ hunger/ fullness cues and choosing healthy options as much as possible. I like to think of it as 80/20, 80% of the time we eat healthy nourishing foods and the other 20% is special treats. However, what 80% looks like for one person is very different from another. For example, as long as I am eating regular meals, and incorporating fruits/ vegetables, that is my 80%. My 20% occurs when I want some cookies after dinner, or chips during a movie. But, other people are much healthier or stricter that that, so they stick to chicken, vegetables and rice for their 80, and their 20 consists of maybe a tablespoon of frozen yogurt with no toppings. Now I am not judging, just showing the variety that is out there, and there are many others in between as well. In the end, the point of eating is to nourish our bodies and enjoy it. So if what you eat is causing you grief, stress or compete misery, you may need to ease up a bit, change your goals or reevaluate your priorities altogether.
Although this is an extremely healthy habit, it is often taken to extremes. What happened to going for walks as a family or dropping down for 10 pushups just for fun? Now to be active, you have to go to the gym, take a class and completely push yourself physically. It has to be a workout. Why? Maybe it is to lose weight, reach a physical milestone or be stronger, faster, fitter. Regardless, the endless pushing and striving is probably not needed to accomplish any of those things and the stress it brings only defeats the benefits of exercise in the first place. Most people I know are not training for the Olympics, they are not fitness models and exercise is not their career, so I think its ok if we all slow our row with exercise.
Everyone in society seems to be obsessed with their bodies. All I hear around me, on social media, in movies and books is the need to lose weight, drop a size, tighten, tone and lift. Basically, we are bombarded by all the ways we should and can change our bodies, which is why eating and exercise have become such big additions. But I have to ask: why do we need to change our bodies in the first place? Sure they may be a little heavier than we’d like, or there may be aspects we’d like to change, but our bodies take us through life and get us where we need to go. I like to compare my body to my husband, who has many great features. He makes me laugh, he’s a great father, adventurous, intelligent, hard working and laid back. But he’s also stubborn, unorganized, sometimes messy and forgetful. I could spend my marriage focusing on his flaws, trying to change them, but the whole time I would be missing his good traits. Just as we are trying to change the parts of our bodies that we don’t like, we miss out on all the good parts. And even if we do eventually fix stuff on our bodies that we don’t like, we will inevitably find more to fix and change, so the list will be never ending, along with our happiness.
Think: If your body was perfect right now, exactly as you wanted, what would you do, and how would you live?