Instead of Wishing You Had Something Else, Find Your Best ‘You’

This week I’ll be making a number of posts to support Weight Stigma Awareness Week. Since my September “MeFirst” Mindset Newsletter focused on size diversity, I thought I would share it here as well. To sign up for my newsletter, just visit my website.

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The Courage to be Your Best “You”

Imagine a world where people are supported in living happy, healthy lives, free of judgment about the size of their bodies. That’s the mission of the national Weight Stigma Awareness Week, September 23-27, 2013. I decided to dedicate this newsletter theme to the cause.

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Weight stigma starts with you. In what ways are you (still) judging yourself about your body or your weight? How is it getting in the way of your happiness? Your health? In a new client’s first session she said to me “Rebecca, doesn’t everyone want to be thin?” I responded. “Actually, no. Some people are OK with being healthy and taking good care of themselves, regardless of what they weigh.” This was a completely foreign concept to her. She has spent a life yo-yo dieting and feeling inadequate in so many ways. She even admitted that even when she weighed the lowest, she still did not feel good enough. It’s amazing that after just one session and some soul searching, she was able to tell me that she wants to change her goal to be “my best me” and that she did not want to focus on weight loss as a goal. She truly wants to be healthy.

I challenge you to take a hard look at your own judgments about yourself, whether they are related to weight or not. Society will always be distorted in some way, but nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission. Hold yourself with compassion and you’ll be better prepared to deal with everyone else.

I hope you enjoy this newsletter with some weight-neutral, self-care focused tips for food, movement and fun!

Food: Break a “Rule”!

You can’t escape the diet mentality even if you aren’t following a diet. Somebody you know has food rules and maybe you do too. Whether it’s “always include a vegetable,” “never eat bagels,” or “always choose dark chocolate”… you know it’s a food rule when you use those absolutes always/never. How do food rules help you really? When I see clients with food rules at best they are a waste of time, but usually they are associated with fear of food and a loss of pleasure. So break a rule – or five. Yoga taught me “let go of what you don’t need.” You don’t need food rules. What you may need is some food-spiration! Check out the food blogs on Babble with Cans Get You Cooking. Or better yet, watch The Chew September 19 and 30th for fun, easy recipes with canned foods and watch these Chew videos.

Movement: Get Movin’ for the Right Reasons

Watch Amber Riley’s smokin’ hot cha-cha on DWTS. I love her body confidence and her attitude. Exercise shouldn’t be about getting thin. It should be about taking care of our body and making us feel good inside and out (ok, maybe exercise doesn’t feel good all the time). Think about what gets you moving. I always say that the best workout is the one you’ll do. Sometimes classes can seem intimidating, but there are ones out there that can be fun and non-judgemental. Curvy Yoga has a cool approach to yoga for people with all body types. The bottom line is that no matter what size you are you deserve self-care. There’s a saying that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Pick any activity you enjoy, and do it. Regularly.

For an interesting and enlightening read, check out the Dances with Fat blog to read about one woman’s story about being a dancer and choreographer in a thin-obsessed industry and world.

Fun: Seeing is Believing! Make Your Own Vision Board

This month, instead of trying to be like someone else, focus on being the best version of you that you can be. Make an effort to see the positives in you. A fun way to organize your thoughts around your personal goals and aspirations is to create a vision board. Sometimes in the busyness of life we can forget our destination and where we want to go. It can be beneficial to take time to pause and reflect about what you really want for yourself – personally and professionally. Taking time to vision can help you direct how to spend your time. If you’re always someone who struggles with body image, then maybe your board can focus on what you want your body image to be, and how you want to feel. Find out how you can make your own vision board here.

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MeFirst Motivation

“The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others” – Sonya Friedman

My Snack Ideas in Prevention Magazine

Read on to find out my top 20 snacks to fuel your workouts.

The Men Who Made Us Thin: Episode 3

Check out the 3rd episode in this 4 part BBC documentary series that examines the diet industry and why diets fail.

Catch Up With the Blog

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