Mixed Messages


Should we lose as much weight as possible or should we be overweight and love ourselves just the way we are?

One of my New Year’s Resolutions centers around a shift in perspective. I’ll give you an example. The old me watches The Biggest Loser and gets upset the contestants let themselves get that large in the first place. The new me appreciates the contestants are finally committing to doing something about their sloth and overindulgence and is not at all critical of the fact that it took a national TV show and the incentive of winning cold hard cash to make them get off their obese behinds and stop shoveling toxins into their bodies. Wait, I did it again, didn’t I?

Yes, I’m glad they’re losing weight. And it cannot be easy shoving 200+ pounds into a jog bra on national TV. But part of me gets so angry because it’s just so typical of our nation as a whole. We eat too much. We move too little. And money is the great motivator. Nevermind health or the love of your family or the joy of being able to get around in this world without carrying an extra 100 lbs.

On the flip side, I like the concept behind Carson Kressley’s new program. I’m a fan of teaching women to be less critical of themselves. However, I am also a fan of eating well and exercising. So yes, please get to a point where you can look in the mirror and not insult yourself. From Arianna’s On Becoming Fearless:

Imagine if someone invented a little tape recorder that we could attach to our brains to record everything we tell ourselves — a TiVo for our inner dialogue. What we’d discover is that not even our worst enemies talk about us the way we talk about ourselves.

But keep up the exercise and the healthy diet (not dieting but diet as in what you choose to consume in moderation) while learning to appreciate that being model thin more often than not involves smoking, speed, and a faux love of lettuce.

We’ve all got parts of our bodies we wish were better. I’m right there with you. And that’s where Carson’s show shines. Ditch the doubt and learn to feel better about you. But also acknowledge that it’s up to you to contribute. Yes, it’s hard. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t be the fattest nation on the planet. Because we’re nothing if not a little soft compared to other cultures and past generations.

Go ahead. Bathe in my fountain of positivity. I just don’t want to hear you don’t like the way you look in a swimsuit.

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