Is your weight weighing on you?

May 4, 2016 | All Blogs, Diet culture

I spent the week with my in-laws and my mother. It was Grandparents’ Day at my daughter’s school and both of her grandmothers came out to celebrate. This is a picture of them decked out in Burke’s wear. My daughter was so happy to spend the day with them. It also made for a busy Mother’s Day.

Since the weekend was packed, I’m keeping the newsletter to this note. While it is short, it is an important realization that is a turning point in my dieting life.

Last Saturday, I went to a Body Positive training. The focus of the training was boosting the body image of yourself and others. There has been an ongoing thread of weight, feminism, and bias rumbling in my head this past month or so. Is this preoccupation we have with our weight a distraction from the things that matter in our worlds?

I contemplate this as I finish a month of Weight Watchers. I’ve been on and off Weight Watchers since the sixth grade. It’s more of a habit than an effective weight management system. If it worked, I wouldn’t have to go back on it. So why do I diet? It’s not because it has proven effective.

A couple of days before the Body Positive training, I read the NY Times article, Why You Can’t Lose Weight on a Diet. It stated that the problem with losing weight isn’t willpower, it’s neuroscience. The Monday after the training, I received this article in my inbox via Medium, Dieting is a Violent Act. This article talked about how destructive dieting is to our bodies.

All this talk of weight and the ineffectiveness of dieting has left me contemplating my stomach, my weight, menopause, and most importantly, my time. What I have come to is that my fixation on my weight is costing me a lot of time and energy. And, truth be told, is the underlying cause of my current Achilles tendonitis/heel spur/plantar fasciitis affliction that has left me limping my way through my days.

My fixation on looking acceptable has left me feeling like a failure.

What will I do with my relationship with dieting? It feels unsafe to simply stop but it’s becoming clear that it’s not helpful to keep it going.

I think it’s time to break up and call a truce on my body. And it isn’t really about my health or my desire to lose weight. The truce is my rejection of the cultural view that I need to be thin and fit to be viewed as attractive, competent, and acceptable. I am freaking changing the lives of people who are changing the world, so what the hell difference does the size of my stomach make?

This isn’t a declaration that I’m going to eat whatever, whenever. It’s a declaration that I’m going to work to get my time back. All the time that has been spent on “food and fitness” was a focus on other people’s expectations and judgments. I will now spend my time on me, my work, and my health. I want to get in sync with the reality of what my body is telling me about who I really am, not what a marketing culture is telling me who I should be.

Interested in joining me? I’d love to hear your thoughts on weight, time, and reality.

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