In today's society, we are extremely focused on numbers, and use them to measure factors like our age and intellect. We measure the time it takes us to run up the stairs and the amount of calories in our favourite snack. So naturally, part of our self-worth is determined by the number on the scale.
We have an idea that certain weights are undesirable and certain pants sizes are unacceptable. This is where the 'ideal' weight comes in. I have heard countless women say they will be happier if they drop 10, 15 or even 20 pounds. It will be then that they start living their life. But according to health experts, being your ideal weight really doesn't matter, and it is more of a psychological game women play with themselves.
"A lot of women have an 'ideal' weight they think they'll feel best at," says Jessica Crandall, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "Even though they're healthy and their BMI is healthy, they still feel that pressure that can encompass their entire lives."
For some of us, we have a positive association with certain weights. For example, let's say you're 135 pounds, but when you were in your late teens you were 120. Perhaps that time in your life was very positive and you felt beautiful and confident. Therefore, your brain fixates on that weight, hoping to achieve that feeling once again.
"Or it might be something that a doctor once put into your head, and it just stuck there." suggests Crandall.
Whatever the reason, breaking out of the ideal weight cycle can be extremely beneficial. Here is how to let go of your ideal weight and focus on feeling good about your body in the present:
Ask Yourself Why
"I ask clients what their goals are to help them see where they're coming from." says Crandall.
Is your ideal weight simply a number associated with a positive memory, or will being that weight actually change your life and health? Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself if it is more important to rebuild your self-esteem at the weight you're at now rather than wait until you're 10 pounds lighter.
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Find A New Goal
Stop thinking about weight loss in pure pounds and construct a new goal. Look into your body fat composition and your BMI. Consult a dietician to make an effective plan for actually shifting these numbers. (You may find that your dietician feels you shouldn't lose any weight at all)
You can also put your focus towards toning up 'trouble areas'. This may involve zero-pound loss, but exercising to tone your body can leave you with a slimmer waist, muscular arms and a renewed sense of energy.
"Muscle is the secret to long-term metabolism boosting." says fitness expert Chris Freytag. "I usually say to women, 'Let's forget about those five pounds and focus on re-sculpting your body.' "
Forget Strict Diets
Elimination diets have been shown to fail miserably after a while, so find a healthy eating plan that doesn't restrict you or leave you hungry. If you are hooked on processed sugars, completely eradicating them will only cause a binge later on. You have to learn to wean yourself off of these foods by eating a more balanced, highly-nutritious palate. The key to a healthy diet isn't making yourself miserable by depriving yourself, it is finding a way to make clean, healthy eating appeal to you. The BodyRock Meal Plan
is not only a 30 day menu planner, it comes with a nutrition guide to help you really understand the science behind the way the food you eat impacts the way your body functions. What's more, it comes with a recipe book that contains over 70 recipes to suit all dietary tastes! Why white-knuckle your way through things? Let us help!
Don't Camp Out At The Gym
"You don't want to become obsessive with your activity." says Crandall. "If you've been running and running and running, try yoga or biking."
Overworking your body and exhausting yourself will leave you feeling negatively about exercise all together. Do what makes you feel good and is sufficient for a healthy lifestyle, but don't burn yourself out!
Share your thoughts on ideal weight and getting fit with us! Leave a comment below!
Source: Rodales Organic Life