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6 Ways to Stay Sane in a Weight-Obsessed World

6 Ways to Stay Sane in a Weight-Obsessed World

With society almost solely judging people by their weight, it is not easy to feel great with a body that doesn’t hold up to the standards that the fashion and beauty industries portray. It is therefor not surprising that the number of people being ashamed of their appearance and hating their bodies is constantly on the rise.

Chances are you, your family members or friends go from one diet to the next, desperately hoping to find the magic solution for immediate weight loss. We all critique certain body parts and wish to be taller, slimmer, prettier and just plain better.

This disconnection from our bodies leads to misery, sadness and an overall feeling of failure and lack of self-control. I know what I am talking about. I used

    to hate the body I was born with. My upper arms were too big, I was too short, my nose too broad and my legs too sturdy. I turned against myself and was at war with my body for most of my life. At the age of 10, I developed an eating disorder and almost died because of it. Sadly, my story is far from being an exception.

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    However, it does not have to be that way. There are simple ways for us to radically change our body image and there is hope for all of us to fall in love with ourselves by embracing our perfect body in its glorious imperfection.

    In this post, I’d like to share a few killer ideas with you.

    1. Let Go of Toxic Relationships

    One of the best ways to instantly improve your self-esteem and your body image is to surround yourself with family and friends who appreciate you for the person you are and not the size of your jeans. Real friends and genuine family members will never even think about reducing your worthiness as a person to your weight, height or other measurements. Use your common sense to sort through the people that surround you and only, and I would like to repeat myself, only give those whose values are truly aligned with yours the gift of remaining in your close circle of trusted allies.

    2. Throw away your scale

    In today’s world it’s normal to have a scale in your bathroom, isn’t it? It’s even normal to weigh yourself every morning. However, when you come to a point where the number on the scale determines whether your day will be a great one or a horrible one or whether you have been a good person or a bad person, it is time to throw the scale away. Don’t let this little appliance give you either a false sense of control or a way of terrorizing you. Don’t let a thing have such an enormous power over you and your life. Do you really believe that you are just a number? If so, you should really make a reality check.

    3. Stop engaging in fat talk

    Fat talk is easy, fun and it is such a sociable thing to do, isn’t it? Everybody does it and by now it has morphed into a perfectly normal and socially accepted form of connecting with others. It is great to have a friend tell you that no, you are not as fat as you think you are and no, you don’t have to go on yet another diet, isn’t it?

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    Yes, but this constant talk about weight, the regular comparisons and the tendency to put yourself down is doing so much more harm than good. It’s destroying your self-esteem, your sense of worthiness and, in my opinion, even your intelligence. I am quite certain that you can find other, deeper, more important topics to talk about with your friends and family than kilos, pounds or food groups.

    4. Be a role model

    Many children grow up with parents or other role models who are always on a diet. My parents never failed to mention that “starting tomorrow, we won’t eat anything anymore” after we had celebrated a delicious dinner at a restaurant. Sentences like these, as innocent as they may seem in your own mind, can and will influence others on a deeper level than you can imagine.

    So, instead of demonizing food and its glorious taste, be a role model and show gratefulness for all the different flavors we’re blessed to be able to enjoy.

    5. Ask yourself what really matters

    As I went through my many horrific years of being eating disordered, I could only focus on calories, exercise and the abuse of laxatives. Despite my many interests in history, languages, traveling, politics and more, most of my energy was wasted on superficial topics that brought me nothing but grief.

    If you’re caught in the same vicious circle of dieting, then give yourself a break or even an intervention and ask yourself: does this really matter? Does having a six-pack or a certain number on the scale really add any value to my life, my relationships or even my career? Am I wasting my time, energy and intelligence by focusing on appearances instead of investing in my whole self?

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    If you dig deep, you’ll soon come to the conclusion that, yes, you are wasting your time and the things that really matter have nothing to do to with the circumference of your thighs.

    6. Make the sane choices

    With all the messages that the media is feeding us, it’s easy to forget that we have our own brain. Yes, I really wrote that sentence. We believe that we can lose 15 pounds in five days if we only buy this magazine. We believe that we will have a complete body transformation if we only buy this DVD. We even believe that if we drink a certain shake, we’ll shrink two sizes within a week.

    Do we ever stop and ask ourselves what it is we’re buying into? Do we ever consider that those messages are nothing but lies? Yes, but only after we’ve unsuccessfully tried the “magic” pills and the “miraculous” diet plan.

    It’s time that we, as women and men, come back to a place of making sane choices. We all know what is good for us. We all know which foods will make us gain weight and which will keep us healthy. We all know what our bodies need, but we ignore our own awareness far too often.

    I am challenging you to sit down, dig deep and let go of all the false hopes that the advertisements sell you. I know, I just know, that you will find the right balance of eating, exercising and living within yourself. You just have to let the knowledge in.

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    Staying sane in a world that is obsessed about sizes, inches and weight loss is not easy, but I know that you, yes you, are able to do it. I know that if you try, you’ll be able to uncover your true self-worth and you’ll realize that it has nothing to do with your weight.

    Stay healthy. Stay active. Stay sane.

    Featured photo credit: via Shutterstock

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    Anne-Sophie Reinhardt

    Eating Psychology and Life Coach

    How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity The Ultimate Trick to Sleep Better at Night 12 Powerful Self-Care Tools That You Can’t Live Without 6 Ways to Stay Sane in a Weight-Obsessed World How To Survive Big Conferences As an Introvert

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

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    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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