You are not making New Year Resolutions today. That doesn’t mean you don’t have goals. You are secure in the belief that you can be healthy at any size, but that doesn’t stop you from wanting to change your size. Life is good, but you are also not afraid to ask for a little more. But you feel like the only one. As you scroll Instagram, you feel like the body positive movement is shaming you for wanting to lose a little weight.
Body acceptance and being body positive are significant steps in the right direction for the fitness industry. I love seeing confident women of all ages and sizes represented in workouts and advertising. I support the subtly sexy selfies with curves in all the right places. The understanding that “thin” does not automatically equal healthy or define your worthiness is a crucial mindset shift. However, it should not be an excuse to dismiss or even shame someone who wants to lose weight. Especially if that weight loss improves health numbers or athletic performance.
Would you tell a runner who wants to hit a new half-marathon PR just to love the way they run and stop trying to be something they aren’t? If they have a sound training plan, enjoy their runs and love a challenge, absolutely not! So why are some folks making the goal of weight loss sound like a sin?
My goal is to provide women with a path to a healthier and happier life. I want you to be healthy, to feel energetic and strong. I want you to see your body as a friend, not the enemy. Being body positive, however, does not have to conflict with the goal of losing weight.
Now is the perfect time and place to revisit my Middle Ground Manifesto. My Middle Ground Manifesto is at the core of my coaching and my philosophy on how to live a healthy and happy life. It has three parts.
There is a Middle Ground. Learning to reject all or nothing thinking will improve all parts of your life. Finding your Middle Ground is about consistently practicing habits that allow flexibility to live your life while you pursue your goals. It means you can have a cookie, just maybe not all the cookies. It means if you planned to go to an hour-long spin class but have to stay late at work you still do a short workout when you get home because you know something is almost always better than nothing.
The Middle Ground is about finding your 1% percent better, focusing on doing small things consistently. Here is where you find the power say no to short-term fixes and say yes to healthier habits that will ultimately facilitate weight loss if that is what you want.
There is enough to go around. This means YOU are enough. Yes, you are enough just as you are. You are worthy of all you want just as you are right now. It also means you are worthy of the investment of time, money and love it takes to reach your goals. If you want to wear a smaller dress size that’s ok – if it isn’t a condition of your future happiness or to the detriment of your health.
There is a time and a place for everything. No more restrictive dieting and starvation. You can lose weight and still have a cookie. Ideally, you don’t have all the cookies but even if you did that doesn’t make you bad or wrong. You didn’t “cheat” or “fall of the wagon.” It just means you weren’t as mindful as you wanted to be in that moment. It’s a chance to learn what didn’t work, not to punish yourself with back to back classes at the gym. It also means if you know you feel better saying NO to the cookie and it doesn’t align with your goals you have every right to do that. No one should make you feel bad for making a mindful choice that makes sense for you. For example, I count carbs at my meals. Not because I’m doing a diet but because, as a type 1 diabetic, I have to take insulin for my meal. For me, it is the right choice to look up my black bean soup from Panera on My Fitness Pal so I can give my body what it needs. Someone who didn’t know me might think I was obsessed with calories or my macros. No, I’m just focused on my goal of a good A1C.
Your goals are YOUR goals. You can be body positive and want to lose weight. NO ONE should shame you for that. I am not here to not judge those goals or force my own on you. I’m here to help you find a healthy way to achieve what you want. Not every client I work with is working on weight loss, but everyone has a desire for some sort of improvement. My mission is to help them love their bodies and themselves just as they are while giving them the tools to go after what they want. While they all have the same fundamental habits to practice, I acknowledge and respect that we are all different. Beware of those who can’t respect that.