Monday, December 13, 2010

Accept this Gift for Permanent Weight Loss

Most of the people I meet who are trying to lose weight do not have a very high opinion of themselves, and certainly not of their bodies. When asked what is wrong with them, the response is generally first a look that seems to scream, "Are you kidding??? Isn't it obvious?" and then they will recount the many faults they see as a result of not being the "proper" weight...their thighs, double chin, flabby arms, cellulite, muffin top and on and on.

I believe that we must first learn to embrace our beauty--as we are (fat faults and all)--in order to achieve a satisfying, successful and permanent weight loss.

Underneath our criticism of our bodies due to our weight is really a dissatisfaction with our bodies in general that no amount of weight loss will fix.

Somehow, most women have absorbed this idea that beauty looks a specific way. In other cultures, beauty may be marked by attributes that we find odd. As an aside, if you didn't see Jessica Simpson's series on beauty, it is worth watching as she explores this very concept.

As our world becomes more homogenized these concepts of beauty may begin to meld into one accepted definition of beauty, which I find rather sad. Truth is, "beauty" is merely a concept, an idea. Beauty is not a thing and it is not even a specific look...otherwise it would be identical everywhere.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is an idea that has been expressed in writing since at least the 3rd century BC. It is true today, yet somehow we have chosen to allow someone else's vision of what is beautiful obscure our own.

This is the great disservice that beauty pageants do to our young women. We are taught from an early age that if we do not conform to a specific body type we are not beautiful. We are taught if we are too old, or too young, to be eligible for a pageant that we cannot possibly be beautiful. Thus girls and women of all ages and body types struggle to fit this single model.

I recognized at an early age there was no way I would be able to compete in a beauty pageant. My bones and musculature just didn't fit the mold. I was too short and too heavy to be beautiful. Even when I wasn't fat, I couldn't accept that I was not. After all, I weighed more and was shorter than the Miss America crowd, therefore I must be fat. In my young mind that was the only explanation!

Whether you are naturally pear shaped or have a build more suited to shot-putting than running track you do not fit this narrow mold of beauty.

Well, this mold deserves to be shattered, and shattering it is one of the best gifts you can give yourself! By breaking the mold, you free yourself to be the best person YOU can be, not limited by anyone else's preconceptions.

Accept that you are beautiful just as you are right now. Even if you are still overweight or out of shape. Even if you think your nose is too big or you don't like the shape of your butt. You do not have to love every single aspect of yourself...but you don't have to criticize them incessantly, either!

Beauty is the entire package, not just one part or even the sum of those parts. It certainly isn't a balance sheet where you list on one side all the best parts and on the other side all the weaknesses! Beauty starts with a belief in yourself, in your core being, which is much, much more than even our physical bodies--and waaaay more than what our physical body looks like!

Give yourself the gift of looking at yourself, including your body, in a new way. This may be the best holiday present you can possibly give yourself. If you've been well-practiced at judging your body against others then this won't be easy--it won't be a cheap that you ran to Walgreen's to buy. But then, the best gifts rarely are. It will be a gift that takes time, effort and consideration.

This is a gift that will keep giving to you for years to come. And ironically, as you learn to see the beauty in yourself as you are in this moment, you will find the path to a permanent weight loss--because you will have started the shift in your mindset regarding losing weight.

Happy Holidays!

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