How many times a day do you think about your weight?
I believe there are people out there who can honestly say they never, or at least rarely, think about how much they weigh. I have several friends whose weight doesn't seem to fluctuate, who appear to eat when they're hungry and stop when they're full, and who never ever bring up the topic of weight in conversation.
I would like to become one of those people.
For this week's "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy" column about whether overweight and obesity are as bad for your health as they're made out to be, I interviewed Linda Bacon, author of Health at Every Size. Bacon believes that our collective and individual obsessions with our weight are, paradoxically, preventing too many of us from attaining and maintaining our ideal body shape and size.
Mind you, ideal may mean something different to you than it does to Bacon. She believes that when people stop obsessing about how much they weigh and focus instead on eating healthfully, getting more physical activity just for the fun of it and adopting other sound health habits, their bodies will naturally gravitate toward the weight they are meant to be.
Of course, that doesn't mean everyone will be a size 6. But in Bacon's scheme (which is shared by many other health, nutrition and diet experts), so long as our bodies are healthy and our lives full and rich, we shouldn't really care about being a size whatever, any more than we should care about the number on the scale.
For me -- and, I suspect, for many others -- going on a "diet" encourages me to think about food all the time. Being constantly aware of my weight makes me do all kinds of silly things, from incessantly assessing the size of my waistline and thighs to checking my image in any reflective surface I pass. And the more I think about food and my thigh size, the more I want to eat.
On the other hand, when I get consumed with engaging activities, I somehow shed a few pounds, as if by magic. Planning a big trip, for instance, or digging into a juicy novel distracts my attention away from my weight. When food and fat no longer consume most of my waking thoughts, my body does, as Bacon predicts, tend to take care of itself.
I wish I could take back all the moments (adding up to hours, weeks, years) I've wasted thinking about my thighs so I could put that time to better use. Starting today, I'm going to try not to obsess about my weight. I'm going to work on noticing when those thoughts pop up and on nudging them aside as I shift my focus to something else. It'll be hard -- lots of habits to break.
Care to join me?
This week's poll:
Posted by: rudolphdc | July 7, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: bloggomio | July 7, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: RedBird27 | July 7, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: dkosnett | July 8, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.