Welcome back! If you didn’t read last week I suggest you stop here and go back and dig in before returning. After you read give yourself some time and space to truly consider your personal connection to your own body and how you understand and judge others.
Sometimes we need to step out of what we know to consider that there are things we truly might not know. Or, that there are different ways to look at something that feels so ingrained and concrete in our mind. This is learning. It is growth. It is work toward humility and compassion.
I want to be clear that although I have combed through many research backed, peer reviewed sources I am not writing this from a well-higher educated place. I am (clearly) not a psychologist, scientist, dietician, or MD.
I am writing this from my personal research and understanding. I am writing in my lane of personal trainer, health coach, and triathlon coach. I am writing from my sincere love for humanity and my passion to teach you that we can think outside of our cultural conditioning.
We can know and trust ourselves. We can be who we want to be in the body we are in, or we can choose to make changes. We don’t need to feel that we should or have to.
Last week I alluded to the Healthy At Every Size movement. “Health at Every Size is the new peace movement. It helps us recognize that health outcomes are primarily driven by social, economic, and environmental factors, requiring a social and political response. It also supports people of all sizes in adopting healthy behaviors.” (www.heascommunity.com)
After listening to books and reviewing articles these are the nuggets of information I have gained from this movement:
- Peace. This movement is not about denial of illness risk or disease. It is about stopping the social judgment that comes with size. It is about an honest assessment of your personal health, rather than a focus and obsession with fear of being fat. The movement aims to improve the psychological well being of it’s participants in order to promote worthiness in any body. It aims to change how we wage a “war” on the physical, mental, social, and emotional implications of morbid obesity. To offer more compassion with less defining and judgment.
- Response is needed. The response that I see is the need for body and mind awareness. We need to allow others to accept themselves and others without shame. This includes fair treatment of all bodies locally, in the media, medically, and beyond. It is important that we share and live out the belief that we don’t need to lifelong diet in order to be healthy. That we don’t need to feel guilty for living in a body that works for us.
- Support. We can all support this movement by considering how we judge others based on amount of fat they do or don’t carry on their bodies. We can learn FACTS on BMI and health. We need to fight against perpetuating the stigma that if you are fat you are unhealthy. Or, that if you are thin you can consider yourself healthy. The obesity epidemic claims turned people against people with more fat. Suddenly it became a social justice issue— people with more fat being attacked for abusing food, poor role modeling for the future, and overuse of medical resources.
After considering what this means, I did look into medical research and arguments against the “every size” claim. As I mentioned last week, having more fat on your body does not automatically mean that you are unhealthy, lazy, self loathing, etc. But, most medical research does point to some more and higher obesity related health risks. This does not mean that just because you are considered obese you are unhealthy. It does mean that you need to give mindfulness and care to these risk factors. To love yourself is to remain well educated and not in denial. Just as anyone at any size needs to be mindful of consequences of choices and genetic risk factors. We all need to be aware at every size.
To sum it up:
- Work to stop judging others in order to build yourself up. We have all had (and probably always will) that thought of “at least I am not as big as (insert name here). Capture and replace those thoughts with ones that serve you and humanity better.
- Stop fighting your natural, healthy weight. Consider where these messages are coming from that are teaching you to fear being too fat or too thin. KNOW you. Be YOU. If you choose to lose weight in order to live your authentic life then make that choice. Empowerment comes from you, not from what others dictate that you should do. And you need to EAT enough for energy availability and to not down regulate your metabolic rate. Short and long term deprivation and extreme diets DO NOT WORK for your long term health!
- Stay connected and aware. Honor yourself by being honest about your risk factors. Be an advocate for your health and well being. Don’t live in denial of health issues— at any and every size.
So, why does all of this matter for a coaching blog?
I believe we can only be the best athletes we can be if we believe in our personal worthiness. And there is an amazing opportunity to support and love others in sports. Athletes DO come in all shapes and sizes. Physical bodies are not indicators of ability to show up and perform in sports. We need to teach girls this as their bodies change, often resulting in them quitting sports. We need to teach boys that you don’t have to be tall, thin, and/or muscular to be athletic or add value to the world.
We need to believe this message to make change. It is possible to be healthy or unhealthy at any size. Listen to your body, mind, heart, and soul for guidance. Trust and live in the amazing creation.
This is exciting stuff. Spread the word. Spread the love.
A few resources on this topic (not all endorsed by me, but informational):
Very much endorsed: https://themirnavator.com CHECK HER OUT!
Body Respect by Linda Bacon
https://haescommunity.com for many resources
Need more work on self awareness, compassion, and love? Check out my past blogs!