Ditch your ‘shoulds’ and embrace your ‘wants’!
How many times in a day do we get that feeling that we ‘should‘ be doing something?
When you think that thought- ‘I should do that’ how does it make you feel?
For me my heart sinks a little. I feel dragged down. I feel slight irritation. I usually feel guilty too.
‘Should’ is not a motivating word.
Yet ‘should’ appears so often in the mental vocabulary of us larger ladies.
I really should lose this weight! I really should eat salad for lunch! I really should join a gym!
One BIG reason so many of us feel that we ‘should’ lose weight, is that we are constantly told that overweight equals unhealthy.
But what if I told you that this might not be true??
HAES (Health at Every Size) is a movement that promotes body positivity and celebrates body diversity.
It claims that being overweight per se is not unhealthy, and provides lots of proof to back this claim.
The theory is that it’s certain behaviours that are unhealthy e.g. drinking excess alchohol, smoking, lack of nutrients in our diets and lack of movement; and that it’s these behaviours that lead potentially to poor health regardless of whether the person is overweight or not.
I have to say that this makes sense to me.
You might at this point accuse me of wishful thinking
……but look, here’s the thing. We all know that if you are a smoker , it doesn’t matter whether you are fat or thin- smoking is unhealthy. (In fact this article indicates that, ‘overall, mortality risk is smaller in overweight or obese ex-smokers than normal-weight smokers.’)
So it makes sense to me that an overweight body which participates in good nutrition, regular exercise and drinks alcohol sparingly (and of course is also a non-smoker), is healthier than a slim person who does the opposite.
In any case perhaps an even bigger problem is that whilst being overweight is demonised by society as being unhealthy, and whilst for decades now ‘weight loss’ has been the prescribed cure for many ailments – yet still as a society we aren’t getting any slimmer. We are being prescribed something that does not appear to be achieveable in the long term.
Anyway, getting back to the point of ‘shoulds’ being unmotivating
Now that I have shared a 4 pronged health strategy with you, my fear is that you may think you have some new ‘shoulds’ to add to your already long list of ‘shoulds’. And believe me that’s not my intention.
So let me flip this a bit and ask you –
Do you WANT to either maintain your current health, or to improve it?
(I’m assuming your answer is ‘yes’??)
If so, which behaviours do you WANT to change?
I believe in order to make permanent change in your life you have to WANT to, and you also have to be WILLING to do what it takes to create that change.
‘SHOULD’ just won’t cut it in the long term.
In fact immediately we eliminate ‘SHOULDS’ we also eliminate the need for rebellion. We reduce the likelihood of guilt; we don’t feel so dragged down by it all.
We are more likely to take action.
So let me urge you to choose WANT instead!
WANT automatically brings less resistance with it.
WANT is empowering.
Imagine……..what if you no longer felt you ‘should’ lose weight? Or you didn’t need to ‘should’ exercise more?
What if you really WANTED to take better care of your health? What possibilities lay ahead for you and your body then?
I’d love to hear your responses in the comments below!
PS Would you like to join a body positive community?
Then click >>here<< and ask to join my new FREE Facebook group- Time to heart your body and live your life. It officially opens on 1st December 2017. Hope to see you over there 🙂
Claim your FREE video series here!
And join our mailing list to receive the latest news, plus tips on making peace with your body and with food.