If your #1 reason for losing weight is based on aesthetics, I can guarantee you that you will fail; and by fail, I don’t necessarily mean you won’t achieve your weight loss goal. Eat less and exercise more – job done (although is it ever really this simple?). By failing, I mean that when you get there, the feeling that everything in life will somehow fall into place, like a perfect family photo, won’t happen.
Sure, you may achieve that picture perfect photo for a split second. Yet, that happy family that stares back at you from their perfectly printed photograph… well, it took hours to orchestrate. Anyone who has attempted one ofthese knows all too well how often they are accompanied by tears, arguments and distractions.
So unless you’re living in a cupboard under the stairs with Harry Potter, it’s pretty obvious that we live in a socially fuelled world. This means we see everyone posting their “perfect lives”, glittering snapshots of the very best parts of life, which only reinforces to us muggles our own dissatisfaction and highlights our imperfections.
“If only I could lose x kgs, my life would be perfect”.
In theory… maybe. Or would you find something else that was wrong with it? You must have underestimated the amount of weight you needed to lose, it must be more, or you lost too much. You still don’t have a box gap, your tuck shop arms are still there and your stomach isn’t flat enough. You still feel uncomfortable in front of mirrors and that everyone is judging you wherever you go.
We objectify our bodies and are constantly told that we are not enough. Our bodies are too thin, too fat, too wobbly, too fragile. We are not strong enough, not fit enough, not pretty enough, not good enough… and the list goes on and on and on. We are too this and we are not that.
Over and over again we are told what we are not and why we can not.
It’s called marketing, and it works. Create insecurities, then leverage them. A quick fix, a simple solution – the dream. All you need to do is stand on a vibration plate for 10 minutes a day to shed weight (which is total bulls*t, actually only burning ~10grams/hr (1)! Maybe what you really need is to purchase the latest set of scales with built-in body fat percentage calculators; often inaccurate, but at least your friends will think you’re high tech (2,3)! #winning
Assuming happiness is directly correlated with a number on a square box that you step onto, which tells you nothing more that the overall mass that your entire being is made up of, is as stupid as buying happiness from an empty jar online.
Why is it that we need to be less and weigh less (in most instances) to apparently feel that we are more? Our bodies ARE NOT merely aesthetic cases that need to be perfect in order to be worthy. The truth of the matter is that they are the ONLY home in which we will live out our entire lives. What our bodies ARE, means so much more that what they are not.
Our bodies are strong, our bodies are adaptable and our bodies are capable of so much more than many of us ever give them credit for.
o instead of feeding this vicious cycle of self-loathing and scrutiny, why not instead focus on what we can gain. Instead of yearning to be less, focus on being MORE. More present, more powerful, more confident, more resilient, more whole.
And just remember..
Happiness is NOT defined by the weight (read body fat) you lose, but by the life you gain.
- Rittweger, J. (2010). Vibration as an exercise modality: how it may work, and what its potential might be. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 108:877–904. DOI 10.1007/s00421-009-1303-3
- Carolina, L.H.Y. et al. (2011). Accuracy of direct segmental multi-frequency bioimpedance analysis in the assessment of total body and segmental body composition in middle-aged adult population. Clinical Nutrition. 30:610-615.
- Sun, G. et al. (2005). Comparison of multifrequency bioelectrical impedance analysis with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry for assessment of percentage body fat in a large, healthy population. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 81:74–8.