One of the hardest things we must do when we decide we want to give up our relationship with dieting and diet culture is take a hard look at the thin myths we are holding onto. By this, I mean taking a look at what we believe that being thin will give us. What are those beliefs you hold about what will be different when you “lose the weight”? Most of us find when we really examine this we have many. A few examples of possible beliefs include, when I lose weight I will: have more friends, be more successful at work, feel less depressed/anxious, make more money, dress better, be more confident, never get sick, find a relationship, have children etc. This list could go on and on and on. Once we are aware of our beliefs around what we will get out of losing weight, we can take the next step. We can actually start to really look at these beliefs critically.
This involves asking ourselves some important questions like: will losing weight really give me these things? Are there other ways to accomplish these things with in my life at the size I am right now? Often, what we find is that we are connecting things to weight loss that shouldn’t be. (Are you really going to make more money solely because you lost weight for example? Maybe, but not necessarily. Can you find ways to excel in your career and make more money with losing weight? Absolutely)! In fact, often when we take weight loss out of the equation what we find is that by disentangling weight from these things it leaves us space. Space to see the more realistic and straight forward path to achieving these things. Realizing in spite of what we have been conditioned to believe, weight loss is not a panacea for all life’s issues is huge. The reality is that even when we “lose the weight”, the rest of our lives do not actually automatically change. We are still the same person just in a smaller body!
Questions about the “thin myth” or anything else food/ body image related? Feel free to get in touch!