Why we should stop focussing on weight and start taking care of ourselves. This topic has been on my mind for quite a while now. It’s mostly because I have lost some weight in the last couple months and people have asked me ’my little secret’ on how to do it. Well, the answer is, I finally stopped caring about losing weight.
For years I have had real struggles with my weight. I always felt out of shape and it was never good enough. I would try diet after diet and always tried to loose weight and look prettier. Even if I did loose some weight in the process, it was never enough. I was never satisfied. Then there was a moment I got so fed up with it, I decided not to care anymore. I decided to love by body no matter what shape size or form it has. I decided that how my body looks doesn’t matter, how I feel in it does. So I shifted my focus and started to work on feeling good instead.
But why do we have this need to loose weight?
A couple of weeks ago I read this post on Instagram. It said ’how many women did you grow up with who were happy with their bodies?’. It got me thinking about the (mostly) women I have around me and how many are struggling with their own bodies.
It started looking at my mom. My mom had an eating disorder when she was a teen, because of the world she was in, and the image of how a body ’should’ look. And she’s no exception. I look at all my friends and see them struggle with how their bodies look. I used to be a dancer and got accepted at a dance academy in the Netherlands. Here the body image was the worst. I would look at my body for 12 hours per day comparing it to all the girls next to me, and they would do the same. The emphasis was on being thin, shaped and beautiful. There was no room for a different body image or type. And even if we were thin, shaped or beautiful, we wouldn’t even see it. It was never enough.
And then I have family, sisters, friends and colleagues. They are all suffering from this ’beauty’ image. Never accepting of their own bodies. On the other and I have friends who lost weight, not because they wanted to but because of stress or other circumstances that get constantly complimented on their looks, putting more emphasis on their suffering and pain.
A lot of us are struggling with our body image. That might be ’old’ news. The media landscape is currently changing and we see more inclusive imagery. Thank god. This helps, but still there is a way off looking and treating our bodies a certain way. For me it really helped when I shifted my perspective.
So see this as an invitation to look at our bodies differently. Instead of just thinking about the form let’s think about what it means to take really good care of yourself. The beautiful cover of Viva, with Tatjana Almuli, shows the media landscape is changing, but the responses she gets to this cover are still quite insane. We never know what people are going through, we never know the bodies responses or challenges. It’s so easy to judge but mostly we have no clue what’s going on for the other person.
So let's shift our perspective. Let’s focus on feeling good. Feeling grateful for everything our body does for us. For the strength and the beauty that comes in all shapes, forms and sizes. Let’s stop crash dieting and start eating foods that make us feel more energetic, more relaxed or happier. Let’s work out because it feels great instead of just achieving a certain shape. Take care of your physical but also your mental health. Be gentle with yourself and patient. Create space for healing. Let’s be kinder to each other and our bodies. Let’s be kinder to ourselves.
Let’s stop focussing on weight and start taking care. Because only when you take really good care of yourself, you’ll have the energy to take really good care of each other. And from that point of feeling really good, we can create impact and create significant change around us.
Do you have similar stories? A different perspective or something you want us to know? Share it in the comments below!