Accepting Yourself, Not Obesity

Though it is the responsibility of the individual to keep his or her body in healthy shape, there are many contributing factors to obesity that may require special consideration. After all, when someone is overweight it is very easy to point a finger at all the things they are doing “wrong”, such as overeating, making poor food choices and not getting enough exercise. However, these are just a few factors that can contribute to weight gain and obesity. Many people who are heavily overweight or obese are also struggling with not having enough positive support to make the changes they need to make, do not know how to make healthier choices or lack the self-esteem and motivation to lose weight.

Accepting Yourself Not Obesity

There is a big difference between accepting yourself and accepting obesity, the latter of which leads to continuing an unhealthy lifestyle.

Being overweight and obese can be an emotional strain. Not only do you have pressure from society to look a certain way, but feeling good about yourself and your body can also be a battle. It is important to realize that just because you may be overweight does not mean you are a failure, a weak person or unattractive. However, being heavily overweight or obese is hurting you physically and losing weight should be something that you consider for this reason alone. Accepting yourself and loving your body is wonderful, not matter what your size, but accepting obesity will ultimately put your health and life at serious risk.

An article published in the New York Times (January 22, 2008 in the Health Section), entitled “In the Fatosphere, Big is In, or At Least Accepted”, the author examined blogs that are written by people who are obese and overweight. In it, the author noted that there were frequent messages that encouraged readers to accept themselves for their “fatness”, and that they needn’t believe all of the “propaganda” about the negative health aspects of being obese, as well as the fact that they should even avoid diets.

Although some of the bloggers did make valid points, such as the fact that it is important to love yourself no matter who you are, from a health standpoint, they may be taking things too far. There is a big difference between accepting yourself and accepting obesity, the latter of which leads to continuing an unhealthy lifestyle that will put yourself at a much higher risk of avoidable illnesses and health conditions, such as heart disease, cancers, and diabetes.

It is very important to realize that while some people who are overweight and obese seem to be content and not concerned with their state of health, they do indeed suffer from a reversible health condition and need love and support to make healthier changes in their lives. Nobody likes to be told that they are overweight and need to lose weight, so giving support can be challenging, but can be done effectively if approached delicately.

Here are some points that show the difference between accepting yourself and accepting obesity:

  • Accepting your body – Indeed, it is important to love yourself inside and out. However, part of that love should be the willingness to seek healthier lifestyle choices so that it can run at its best, stave off disease, obtain better nutrition, and simply feel good.
  • Stop dieting – Yes, dieting is not really a healthy option as it is only a short-term solution to being overweight. Instead, a healthy lifestyle including proper nutrition and regular exercise should be encouraged.
  • “Big is Beautiful” – It is very important to understand that beauty is not just an external feature and that everyone – no matter how big – can be beautiful. However, true external beauty lies in a body that is treated in a healthy way and respected, not one that has been given up upon.
  • You can be healthy at any size – This is indeed true, but when you are obese, you are at risk of a number of serious health conditions and your life expectancy shortens significantly.

If you are obese or overweight, like so many of us are, you should love yourself and consider yourself beautiful no matter what number the bathroom scale shows you. However, its important to begin to understand that a large part of self-love is taking care of your body so that it is healthy and you can live a long life. As soon as you start accepting yourself, not obesity, you will be ready to take steps to losing weight and living a healthier life.

Other Related Posts and Articles you May Find Interesting: “Is Fat Becoming the New Thin?”, “Enabling Obesity”, “Standard American Diet Attributed to Obesity and Poor Health”, and “Lifting Yourself from a Weight Loss Funk”.

4 comments to Accepting Yourself, Not Obesity

  • Gregory Despain

    Yes there are fat people who are just to lazy to do anything about it but what about the peopl who do try and dont get anywhere? I have watched my mom fight her weight all her life walked while from floor to floor at work to eating mealing the daoctor told her to do to every exercises video she could find. Stopped going to the gym cause someone said some hurtful things to her there. She lives in a small town with only the 1 gym next closes 1 was an hour away. We had to chips or cookies in our house growing up. The messed up thing is now she has cancer and was tolf not to try to lose weight just to stay at the same weight she is.

    • disco_sue

      Her doctor should be doing tests to find out if her thyroid is underactive. Yes it is very hard to loose the weight. Best bet is to not let yourself get so big in the first place.

  • disco_sue

    I do agree very much with this article in that one needs to love themself and realize that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, but when your health is at risk, you cannot use that as an excuse not to get healthy because “you love your self the way you are.” But, I honestly think that this trend of “needing to love and accept yourself” is moreso directed at the general public then obese people, and is a backlash to the over-baring media-crazed Hollywood ideals of being over-the-top skinny. It’s directed at the more “normal” weight ranges, to say, hey it’s ok that you are not totally emaciated and thin and photo re-touched like all the super models in the magazines. Real people lool like real people, some are a little heavier and a little thinner. If you are obese, that is a problem. Just like if you are too thin that is a problem as well. Love yourself no matter what yes, but take care of yourself as well.

    • Randee

      I agree. It matters because so many young girls and women today suffer from bulimia and anorexia and a skewed body image that has them binging and purging and eating fewer than 500 calories a day, subsisting not on food but on coffee and cigarettes and diuretics.

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