The true meaning of body positivity
Body positivity is a buzzword in recent times and has, of late, become a word we see almost everywhere out there. To be body positive is to love yourself just the way you are, no matter your body size or shape. It means that you don’t hate your body irrespective of what state it’s in.
But self-love is harder than any other kind of love, especially when we have been taught from an early age about what’s supposed to be beautiful and what’s not. Excess weight is a social stigma that makes many people end up hating the way they look. It’s important to manage one’s physical health and weight in order to lead a healthy life, but it doesn’t, in any way, diminish someone’s worth based on how much they weigh. As soon as you start the journey towards leading a healthy life and don’t let media dictate the way you should look, the path towards becoming body positive will soon be attainable.
Can you manage your weight without hating your body?
If we’re talking about obesity, then it often comes with health risks that affect a number of people. However, there are also people out there who have on them a few extra pounds, but otherwise, lead a healthy life with proper levels.
If people like them feel the need to lose weight, it becomes an issue of not being satisfied with the way they look. But, even if you want to lose weight for aesthetic reasons, you can still do it without hating your body.
Wanting to look a certain way is completely okay as long as you don’t take extreme unhealthy measures to achieve your goal weight. It is also possible to love yourself just the way you are even if you feel the need to lose weight.
Things to remember as you begin your weight management journey
The want to lose weight and accept your body does not always have to be mutually exclusive, where one can’t exist in the presence of the other. If you take into account your entire well-being, then you’ll realize that it is very easy to get addicted to the numbers on the scales.
Once you make it more about what makes you feel better and less about how much you weigh, you will feel more inspired and energized and less self-loathing. Keep these few things in mind as you begin your weight management journey:
- Set achievable goals - While starting your weight management journey, it is important to set achievable goals. Losing or gaining too much too quickly can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, and quite hard to sustain. Set small goals like changing up your workout routine every week, or cutting back on some snacks that can make you gain weight. It becomes more realistic in terms of achieving your goals and also being able to sustain the change.
- Learn to love exercising - If you view exercising only as a means to lose weight, you will end up seeing it as a chore and subsequently skipping it often. It may be beneficial to learn about the good sides of exercising - like its ability to uplift your mood, make you feel more energetic and outgoing, and give you a confidence boost. These can help you make exercising something holistic you love doing, instead of viewing it as a simple weight management tool.
- Appreciate everything your body does for you - Your body has been there for you ever since you were a baby in your mother’s womb. It protects you from the environment, keeps you healthy and going and lets you enjoy life on your own terms. It even lets you experience wonderful things while keeping you alive and breathing. It is a great practice to appreciate your body and become thankful for everything that it does for you. When you think in this manner, you start to love your body more.
- Moderate your social media usage - Sometimes, social media can make it difficult to love the way you look, thanks to all the seemingly perfect images of people and their lives out there. It is important to remember that there is an entire world outside of social media that each person is living and it isn’t always perfect. Even if one looks perfect on-screen, it doesn’t mean that there is nothing they aren’t insecure about. But, if it helps, try moderating your social media usage in a way that you spend less time on it. And even if you do, it can be a good thing to follow accounts that focus on body positivity and other things like photography, travel, etc. This will ensure that you’re not only fixated on your body and how it looks as compared to another.
Choose lifestyle modifications over temporary diets - Crash diets and other diets that do not align with your lifestyle will not be able to give you the results you desire. Maybe they will give you temporary weight loss, but over time, you will not be able to sustain them. Moreover, crash diets are often very risky and can prove to be more harmful than beneficial. Instead, you should opt for lifestyle modifications and healthy diet changes that are sustainable and align with what you can keep up with. If needed, consult a nutritionist and let them make a diet plan according to your needs.
Some tips to lose weight without ‘dieting’ or thinking about weight loss
If you want to lose weight in a healthy manner, you can do so without going on a crazy diet, or even constantly having weight loss on your mind. Make the following changes in your diet and routine for the desired outcome:
- Substitute your breakfast instead of skipping it - If you are currently skipping your breakfast, know that it’s a very unhealthy habit that can give rise to health problems and, in some cases, more weight gain. If you are having grain-based foods in your breakfast, it is advisable to substitute them with proteins like eggs for weight management. Eggs are very healthy and give you optimum calories to feel full while gaining healthy nutrition.
- Try to eat without distractions - Stick to eating only during meal times and pay attention to the portion you are taking. Avoid binge eating while watching TV or browsing the internet to avoid overeating. Also, when you eat without distractions, you make sure that you chew the food adequately, which helps in breaking down the food better.
- Use a smaller plate when eating - It is scientifically proven that when you use a smaller plate to eat, your brain feels fuller and more satisfied when eating lesser quantities, as compared to eating the same amount of food on a larger plate. Use this trick to feel full after eating a healthy amount and avoid overeating.
- Substitute your carbs with more proteins and fibre - Carbohydrates are harder to break down and often contain more calories per portion. When you want to lose weight, substitute carbs with proteins and fibre so that your body can digest it easily, get proper nutrition and also feel full when eating a lesser amount.
- Get enough rest - When you don’t get enough rest, your body gets stressed and releases more cortisol hormone. This can give you more belly fat. Lack of sleep can also produce more hunger hormones, which can end up making you overeat. Get enough rest to avoid unnecessary stress and weight gain.
- Find healthier alternatives to your favourite foods - If you love eating stuff that is naturally higher in calories, try finding healthier recipes for the same food using ingredients that can actually manage your weight. This way you don’t have to sacrifice your taste buds in an attempt to shed a few extra pounds.
Don’t indulge in midnight snacking - Avoid snacking after dinner time as this can introduce unwanted calories into your body. If needed, go to sleep early so you don’t feel the urge to munch on snacks while you stay awake. Also, at night your body metabolism is slower, which means you will actually end up gaining more than when you eat the same things during the daytime.
It is possible to manage your weight without hating your body if you make a few changes in your lifestyle and focus on practicing self-love. Try to avoid crash diets and be thankful for everything that your body does for you. And soon, you will be on the path towards your goal weight while loving the skin you’re in.