Love yourself if you dare

By Susan Howard

Recently I got into an email battle with an author that I quoted in a post on my site. She was upset about how I pleaded with readers to stop buying food in large quantities which often leads to overeating. Love yourself at any weight is the driving message in her book and she was claiming that I was being hurtful to the overweight population. I was talking with one of my successful weight loss clients (75 lbs. down) and she wisely replied, “What about loving yourself enough to take CARE of yourself.” I couldn’t agree more.

My goal in working with clients is to get them close to their “set” weights. Unless you are an actor or an underwear model, why bother with anything else? No, my client isn’t a size two, but she went down 10 sizes and can fit into most anything she wants. She looks and feels great and has re-gained energy, confidence and control over her life.

Here’s one thing I know. We have this life with this body, we might as well do our best to be kind to it. I realize this sentiment is over simplified and there is more to the equation with addictions, abuses, genetics, illness and yes even self-hatred, people can often be driven over the edge into the obese category, but there must be a way to love yourself and find yourself at a comfortable weight.

In part I blame my industry with it’s magazines, pills, shakes and programs which drives a sense of self-hatred. Look like this skinny bitch or ripped bro if you drink this shake or follow this routine. It all implies that you need to change the way you look in order to be happy, which is untrue. I will say this, not being able to tie your own shoe or fit into a movie theater seat or carry your kid, is not loving yourself.

I am working with this new weight loss client who wants to lose 75 pounds to get back to her “set” weight, around 150. After finding out that she has been yo-yoing for years I asked how this all began, she replied, “When I was in high school I weighed 150 pounds and I read about actress Emma Watson and how she got down from 150 to 135 by cutting out carbs so I tried that because I like she had been was 150 and thought, I should be 135, this magazine is telling me I am fat. Thus began the cycle for this woman— up and down 50 to 75 pounds until now she stood before me at our first meeting weighting 223, the highest she’s ever been. After working with her on consistency with exercise and tweaks in her diet, she is already 25 pounds down. You go Girl!

Know that you are enough. You are OK. Right now you are OK. Start loving yourself enough and take care of yourself. Don’t push yourself around in a HITT class if that’s not your thing, you don’t have to bro out and bench press a tanker truck to look and feel great.

There is a super strange disconnect between our thirst for fitness, being thin and our national obesity level. Honestly it makes me cry (I never cry) but this topic gets me because we have been tricked by commerce and now we are trapped in our overweight bodies and comfortable in our bad habits. We are better than that. We as a nation are better.

So, love yourself enough to take a walk, swim with your kids, eat a crunchy sweet apple, cook for yourself, turn off the TV, close the computer and MOVE into your day.

If you are reading this and you are obese, don’t get mad, get even. You can have the last laugh. Make different choices, each new choice is a step closer. It’s not too late to start.

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