As cammers, it’s understandable why you’re prone to obsessing over your body – it’s part of the package you’re selling on camera.
If you’re someone who naturally or finally (after much struggling) doesn’t fixate on your weight then good for you. You’re in a small group of performers who focus on health (hopefully in both body and mind) vs. reaching some impossible weight goal.
However, unfortunately, most of us fall squarely in the first camp.
But it’s not our fault.
We’re brainwashed into a preconceived notion of what society says we should look like vs. what’s actually healthy for us.
This is because we’re inundated on a daily basis with photos of ripped guys and impossibly skinny gals who look amazing online. What we forget is most of the time it’s not real or is extremely unhealthy. They’ve either photoshopped themselves to death or they’ve gotten to that body by starving themselves, eating disorders, or taking all kinds of pills and strange supplements that wreak havoc on their liver.
Still however, we hold these “perfect bodies” up as our ideal and kill ourselves to achieve the same look.
To do this, some of us embark on a lifetime of constant food restrictions or yo-yo dieting.
Yo-yo dieting or weight cycling as it’s sometimes called is when you drop the pounds, go off the diet, gain the pounds, go back on the diet… for eternity.
And it doesn’t work. In a report by the National Library of Medicine a whopping 80% of people gain weight they’ve lost back within a year. According to WebMD after 5 years? Almost no one keeps it off!
So why do we still buy into the schlep of dieting?
We do it because it gives us short term results and we feel we’re in control. But we’re not. When our diet stops working, we go rogue – we cut our calories to dangerous lows, try fads that promise to work (but almost always fail), and buy expensive pills and supplements that help us quash our hunger… in short we keep the vicious diet cycle going while blaming ourselves for the up and down weight loss.
So, stop. Stop dieting now. It’s not working. And it’s making you crazy.
Turns out your body likes what’s called homeostasis – it strives to keep itself at a certain weight – and genetics plays a huge part in it. That means you’re more or less programmed at birth to come in around a certain weight as an adult and your body wants to hang out there. So, you’re not going to beat that without a serious fight and that will affect your health. As reported on by Forbes, yo-yo dieting can cause diabetes, heart disease, depression and more.
So how can you stop the dieting insanity, yet still be happy with your body?
I’m not going to give you some long tirade about how you have to accept yourself – as that’s always easier said than done. What I am going to give you are a few tools that others have found useful in maintaining weight, being healthy, and stopping the addiction to dieting.
- Eat mindfully – instead of counting the calories, check in with yourself before you eat to make sure you’re hungry. Then consume slowly and listen to your body to know when you’re full. Remember food is energy and you have to start training yourself to recognize when you need energy and when you don’t.
- Move everyday – do not over-obsess about working out – but make sure you move everyday – whether it’s a walk, a workout, or a dance class, it will have long term effects on helping you maintain weight and health.
- Take up a yoga class. This practice helps you connect with your body so that you can find more acceptance.
- Find variety in your foods and your workouts. Your body gets bored – it won’t to deliver results if it’s constantly doing the same thing. Challenge yourself by trying new workouts and eating what’s called the rainbow.
- Stop weighing yourself every day – this can lead to desperation when an extra pound or two shows up on the scale – often it’s water weight but it can make you spiral.
- Check out this TED Talk by Sandra Aamodt who explains why dieting doesn’t work and how she overcame it’s death grip – it’s liberating!
Alyssa Collins hails from Minnesota, where snowy days were the perfect excuse to stay warm inside and write. Over the years, she turned that joy into a career and has authored numerous articles for various publications (under pen names). Email Alyssa via email@example.com.