– by Wendy Morley, Publisher –
If I could have a dollar for every minute I’ve wasted worrying about my weight, I’d probably be retired and living on a yacht in the French Riviera by now. Like many – if not most – young women, I spent my teen years pretty much obsessed with it. I read about models’ sizes and weight and compared myself negatively against them. I stared in the mirror, sucking my stomach in, grabbing the back of my thighs and pulling them to create a thigh gap.
I often avoided going out or participating in events if the circumstances meant my bigger-than-model-slim, whiter-than-average thighs might be on display. If friends were going to a pool party, I would hang back in the house in my black jeans or maybe even not go at all, instead staying at home planning my calories for the next day and performing thigh exercises. I wore black jeans throughout the entire summer, for that matter.
The thing was, I wasn’t overweight. My entire life I’ve ranged from thin to fit to average at the highest weight. But there I’d be, spending evenings worrying about my diet, reading about some crazy diet, thinking about how much I wanted to eat some arbitrary food I’d forbidden myself, and stepping on the scale.
Granted, this goes a little beyond the average obsession with looks and crosses the line into disorder, and eventually I did seek (and get, thank god) help with that. But I’ve known plenty of people throughout my life who, while maybe not quite at my level of obsession, don’t want to go out with friends because “all night long I’ll be thinking about how fat I am compared to them and I won’t enjoy myself,” for example.
What kind of a life are we relegating ourselves to? Letting a number on a scale or tape measure or tag in our jeans dictate our level of participation in our own life?
If you are honestly so overweight that your quality of life is affected because moving is difficult or your heart is strained, then that is a different subject entirely. But if you’re in a normal, healthy weight range then stop fretting, for god’s sake! Think about something that’s worth thinking about, and an extra pound on the scale is definitely not one of those somethings. The only person other than you who might care about your weight is someone using it in an attempt to control you, market to you or feel superior to you (in any of these cases you definitely should not pay attention). Your weight is really just not that important.
What is important is that you get out and enjoy life. Do things you love. Go for hikes. Join a volleyball team. Find other activities you truly enjoy, without worrying about how many calories they burn per hour. Go dancing. If you take a fully active role in your life and eat a diet focused on health instead of weight (with the occasional treat, of course! What is life without that?) then you’ll never be truly overweight anyway.
Wendy has spent much of her life writing about things that improve readers’ health and well being. She has no patience for negativity, shaming or dictating how others “should” be, but rather aims to help people become both true to themselves and happy to be alive.
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