So I am considered over weight.
After years of medical issues more serious than my weight, I am not afraid to admit I have a little too much weight on this frame.
And this is where I promptly fall foul of the weight loss industry and how it interacts with the medical sector.
I have IBS, which can become really annoying and make me really unwell, which in turn, makes it hard to work. Which means that quite a lot of otherwise healthy fruit, vegetables and grains are off the table for me.
Then, I am insulin resistant. So any of the foods I can eat need to be watched for their sugar content, further restricting an already restricted diet.
So, my relationship with my body = its complicated.
It also means that cookie cutter weight loss programs and medical interventions haven’t really worked for me.
And to be honest, until recently this whole health thing was all a bit too hard.
And you know what? When you are dealing with a mental health condition I really don’t think losing weight should be a priority. The cycle of trying to get into a routine, failing, not eating well and then feeling worse is not great for your mental health. Especially at a time when you are already sensitive negative thoughts and emotions.
I have been through the cycle many a time whilst dealing with the IBS, the insulin resistance and the mental health condition and it did nothing to improve the situation.
You know what did? Healing and coming through and kicking my anxiety in the butt helped dramatically.
Having my anxiety well under control allows me to take control of other areas of my life, like my diet and my exercise. Because I am not exhausted all the time and living in a perpetual state of fear, I have a clear enough head to concentrate on my other goals.
Now I am not saying, you shouldn’t exercise at all or use this as an excuse to binge on whatever.
However the pressure to lose weight when you have a mental health condition is often exaggerated by the condition, and the pressure from weight loss programs and medical professionals and society is almost nothing compared to the pressure from ourselves.
So let’s cut ourselves some slack and admit, sometimes health is hard! It’s complicated. Our bodies are complicated, and the relationship between the mind and the body is still being researched.
And so from my experience I have come to the conclusion, that I truly believe that we cannot lose weight until we heal and love ourselves again. I feel like I have been so much more successful recently because my care and attention to exercise and my diet has been coming from a place of love, and not a place of hate.
I want to do this for me, not because of some comments by people, or the guilt from allowing myself to get to this stage. The moment I shrugged off the external thoughts and started to think that I looked good no matter what size, I started to move towards getting healthier.
Now this didn’t happen over night. I have been trying to improve my relationship with my body for years now, and its a constant battle with what we are hit over the head with by the media.
But the more I love myself, the easier the rocky way becomes and the happier I am with my complicated health issues. I’m becoming more and more accepting of it, and understanding that this is just me, and thats ok. And I really think that its the same for you too.
As we all should know by now, love is so much more of a motivator than hate, so of course it would be easier to be healthy when we love ourselves.
PS. Even though I am espousing a healthy lifestyle here, I still do still accept red velvet cake and gluten free Hawaiian pizza (yes I am the person who likes pineapple on their pizza) on occasion, because lets be real – true health is health of the mind and body, and I need that red velvet cake and gluten free pizza to stay mentally sane.