You Need to lose 5 pounds–Says who?

Today’s post was inspired by a fantastic newsletter that was delivered to my inbox this morning. The email, sent by Institute for the Psychology of Eating, mentioned something so good I had to read it three times.

Tell me if this sounds like your inner-voice: “You have to lose 5 pounds (or 10, 20).” “You’re too fat.” “Your legs are fatter than they should be.” “You should be a size 4, not a size 8.” Well, it certainly sounded like mine (and in all honesty, I still have those thoughts at time but not as frequently and I have learned to pay them no mind.)

But the next time you have the “I need to lose 5 pounds” chat with yourself, you should immediately ask yourself this one question: SAYS WHO?

Just think about that for a moment. Really sit with it. SAYS WHO? Who says you need to lose 5 pounds? Who says you’re fat? Is that really true? If a family member, doctor, or stranger tell you that, how do you know that they have the right answer? Are they basing this on science? How can they, or you, really, truly, 100% know that you need to lose 5 pounds? Or that you’re too fat?

The answer is that they can’t. There is no such thing as a magical, ideal number. For example, weight fluctuates with the seasons. We tend to lose a little naturally in the summer and gain it back in the winter. Our body is protecting us, keeping us safe. Can you really control that?

So here’s what I’m trying to say: The next time you think “I need to lose 5 pounds” or “I’m too fat,” ask: SAYS WHO? And then, is that really true? I’m willing to bet that no, it’s not true, and that perhaps your obsession with your weight is unfounded. Who would you be, and how would you feel, without that thought? Without the thought that you were too fat?

Pretty damn good, right? It just takes a little practice.

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3 Responses to You Need to lose 5 pounds–Says who?

  1. Carol August 18, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    That newsletter was great, I had to read it twice and definitely created a whole new perspective for me to my weightloss and how I perceive others that come into the studio. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Lauren Slayton August 18, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    Wait, did the article in your inbox say this? I’m very confused. I think it would be great if everyone could lose that voice but a)some people may feel better losing 5 or 10 pounds and b) very hard to lose that voice.

    • Amanda August 22, 2011 at 7:45 am #

      Sorry for the confusion…told you I was a bit rusty coming back. What I mean by “Who says” is that the desire to lose weight should come from YOU, that you know losing 5-10 pounds will be better for you. But not to put yourself through the heartache and yo-yo dieting and nasty cycles again if you’re really OK with where you are, and it’s just media/etc telling you that you need to keep losing. But I do agree that often people feel better losing 7-10 pounds, but…it has to be because THEY want to and it’s right for them right now.

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