Rise is all about helping you achieve a healthy lifestyle and that includes learning to embrace your uniqueness and the uniqueness of others. Unfortunately, achieving a certain number on the scale doesn’t magically make us “perfect.” You know the “perfect” way that the media, your friends, your family and even strangers think you should look and/or eat. Why do we make ourselves and others feel bad about not being what someone else thinks is “perfect”? We cringe when read studies that show that girls as young as 6 are on a diet or are unsatisfied with some part of their body, but we make fun of and comment on a young girl eating an ice cream cone. And it isn’t just girls that are constantly bombarded with unrealistic images. Boys are taught that it takes a “6-pack” to be popular and worthy of love.
Body shaming is defined as inappropriate negative comments and attitudes towards another person’s weight or size. It doesn’t say a size too fat or too skinny. Our society shames all sizes. And, research shows that fat shaming does not make people lose weight or curb our obesity problem and skinny shaming can lead to an increase in eating disorders.
We need to focus on health, not looks and be an example for others both young and old. Here are some ways to you can make a difference:
1. Break The Gossip Chain. Don’t gossip about others and stop the chain whenever you hear someone talking about another person’s looks.
2. Be A Builder, Not A Bully. Body shaming is bullying plain and simple. Be the person who compliments instead of the person who criticizes.
3. Don’t Label Food. If you label a food as bad, you will most likely feel bad when you eat it. But food should be enjoyed not feared and eating should not make you feel bad about yourself. All foods can fit into healthy eating. It’s about moderation and variety.
4. Trash The Skinny Jeans. If you are always trying to fit into some “special” pair of jeans, you will never feel good about your body. Dress for the body you have now and don’t focus on the number. Sizes vary from brand to brand and how it looks and makes you feel is what is important.
5. Cheer Healthy Habits. You don’t know what a few words of encouragement regarding weight loss can do to a person psyche. If unhealthy methods are being used to lose weight, you might be putting someone’s life in danger. Cheer people on for healthy behaviors, not results.
Life is too short to be anything but healthy and happy. Being kind to your body will help you be kind to the bodies of other people.
Written by Joanne Perez, MS, RDN, LD. Joanne is a Rise Coach and Registered Dietitian. She has over 20 years of experience in nutrition counseling and wellness. Joanne loves running, going to the beach and spending time with her kids. Want to work with Joanne or another Rise coach like her? Get started at www.rise.us/r/JOANNEPEREZ