Obesity,Diets#Eating Disorders#Bullying#Fat Acceptance#Please Share
The other day I picked up a magazine from the grocery store called Yoga for Weight Loss. I can't find a volume or issue number, but it says "display until October 15, 2012" right above the bar code.
I bought it for the poses, as I have signed up for a Yoga class starting this September. While flipping through the pages, I came across an article called 'Start Where You Are' by Carrie Peyton Dahlberg. One or 2 paragraphs really stood out for me, and I wanted to share them here:
"Can You Be Fat and Fit?...it can be helpful to explode the myth that good health comes only in thin packages. Body size is far less critical to overall health than even many doctors realize, says Glenn Gaesser, director of the Healthy Lifestyles Research Center at Arizona State University in Mesa and author of 'Big Fat Lies: The Truth About Your Weight and Your Health.'
In analyzing numerous medical studies, Gaesser found that inactivity and a bad diet contribute more to poor health than weight itself, and that it is possible for large people to lead fit, healthy, and long lives. 'The benefits of weight loss have been kind of oversold,' he says. It is much easier for a large person to be (or become) fit than to become slim, and the health payoff is likely to be greater, Gaesser adds.
...[Exercise] modifications differ from individual to individual; large people, just like thin ones, vary enormously. They run the gamut from fit to out of condition, strong to weak, and flexible to stiff.
In fact, many of the preliminary steps on the road toward a personal yoga practice apply to everyone--big or small. If you're a newcomer, it's important to first determine what you want. Do you mostly want relaxation...to bring increased movement into your life gently...Would you like a tool to help you lose weight, or would you rather accept and value yourself exactly as you are?"
From a mental health perspective, I believe accepting and valuing yourself is an essential step toward creating life or lifestyle changes. Change and progress in any aspect of one's life stems more from adversity than from negativity or self-loathing. I think of self-loathing as contagious, in that self-stigma perpetuates stigma and discrimination generally. And change is optional. Except in a court of law, no one has the right to judge others or tell them what to do.
In my ideal world, All People Great and Small accept themselves and others for who they are in their hearts and souls. In such a world, there could be no bullies because I believe bullying comes from a place of emptiness, low self-esteem and the need to be self-important.
I don't know whether society will ever reach that ideal, but I do know that valuing oneself is a great defence against those who try to pull you down.
I'm glad I purchased that magazine, even though it was relatively expensive. There is a website--yogajournal.com--but currently it features a different issue. If Carrie Peyton Dahlberg's message interests you, check out the site for related information. Who knows? Perhaps closer to mid-October, articles from Yoga for Weight Loss will be available in electronic format.
Thanks for reading this and take care everybody!