“I’ve struggled with my weight all my life. I remember going to Weight Watchers with my mom when I was 10 year old. That was humiliating! Ever since then, I’ve been on and off diets. I feel like such a failure,” lamented my client, a 38-year-old medical professional. Like most people who struggle with weight, she grew up with the message that she wasn’t “good enough” and that being over-fat was not acceptable.
To counter all of his negative self-talk, I encouraged Sue (not her real name) to remember that just as dogs come in differing sizes and shapes, so do people. And no one size or shape is “perfect” or able to transform her into a “better” person. I encouraged her to live on a fantasy island, where she could be “good enough” at her current weight.
I also shared these words of wisdom: “To compare is to despair.” I invited Sue to stop comparing herself to others and to simply appreciate all the wonderful things her body does for her. Easier said than done, but certainly a worthy goal.
If you, too, have struggled with being overweight for most of your life, you might also feel imperfect and inadequate. The solution is not to change your body from the outside in (by losing excess body fat) but to change yourself from the inside out. You can be a good person at any size.
Nancy Clark MS RD
Sports nutritionist and author, Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook
Information provided by Nancy Clark, MS, RD CSSD (Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics), Chairperson of the Nutrition Committee of the Female Athlete Triad Coalition. Nancy Clark counsels active people at her private practice in Newton, MA (617-795-1875). For more information, read her popular Sports Nutrition Guidebook and food guides for new runners, marathoners, soccer players and cyclists, available via www.nancyclarkrd.com.