Every year, women embark on a never-ending quest for the perfect body. However, it is high time that we address the conventional narratives of what it means to lose weight.
Many dieting strategies perpetuate harmful beliefs that negatively impact our self-image and relationship with food. Meanwhile, growing evidence implies that rejecting conventional diet culture and opting for intuitive eating instead is the best way to lose weight. This helps you build a positive relationship with your body, allowing you to embark on a holistic path of healing and transformation. In this article, we will explore how to achieve healthy weight loss while fostering self-love.
Dissecting conventional narratives
Conventional narratives surrounding weight loss have become a game of numbers — from the number on the weighing scale or the number of calories in each meal. However, BMI was historically unintended to measure individual health, and the practice of calorie counting ignores the quality of nutrients you are consuming.
Basing weight and beauty on ideal numbers is unrealistic because it ignores that everyone has a unique body composition. Hence, pursuing a generalized ideal can lead to a negative self-image, disordered eating habits, and a constant feeling of inadequacy. Instead of succumbing to these damaging narratives, it is crucial to recognize that true beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.
Embracing self-worth and individuality
It's time to acknowledge that our worth as women is not contingent upon our conformity to societal standards. In our previous post on a realization of love, we took a look at how our anxieties rob us of the ability to experience warmth from others. That is why the solution isn't to seek external validation but to focus on intrinsic motivation and self-acceptance.
This shift in perspective empowers us to focus on personal growth and overall well-being. In an interview with CBC News, competitive skier Brooke Ailey shared how she struggled with an eating disorder because of conventional dieting narratives and societal pressure. In her journey towards recovery, Ailey accessed specialized therapy at St. Joseph's Care Group to understand her food triggers and develop self-compassion. Here, Ailey successfully obtained a healthier body by focusing more on food's nutritional content instead of calories, eating intuitively, and loving her appearance every step of the way.
Actionable steps for healthy weight loss
The first step towards healthy weight loss is rejecting fad diets. For years, fad diets have profited from telling women to follow a list of rules that restrict their food intake. However, all bodies are unique and healthy weight loss should therefore be tailored to individual needs. Instead of looking at fad diets that generalize women's bodies, you can consult dieticians on a weight loss program customized to your metabolic rate and taste preferences. This ensures that you can acquire your nutritional requirements and obtain a calorie deficit while enjoying your favourite foods.
Besides developing a healthy meal plan, you can also practice mindful eating. Slow down and savour each bite! Pay attention to your hunger and fullness cues. This approach helps foster a healthier relationship with food and promotes better digestion.
Afterwards, you can address your physical activity, sleep, and stress management. Find activities you genuinely enjoy, such as a dance class or a daily walk with a family pooch. Invest in an orthopedic mattress to improve your quality of sleep. You can even start a morning routine of meditation or deep breathing.
The key is approaching healthy weight loss as a journey of self-love rather than a quick fix. This isn't a simple pitch of mind-over-matter — scientific evidence shows that college women whose self-evaluation strategies revolve around stronger self-esteem report greater weight loss success. Evaluating your weight by comparing yourself with others only demotivates you and takes the focus away from your progress.
By challenging conventional narratives and embracing our intrinsic worth, you can achieve your weight loss goals while nurturing a positive body image. You deserve to feel your best for your own sake, and that journey begins with self-love.