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> Back to Healthy Eating Excerpts List

Healthy Eating Excerpt from Don't Weight


Do you want to feel better about your body? Do you want to build a healthy lifestyle? Good. These are goals you CAN achieve! These are goals that are constructive and self-esteem building. Self-nurturing goals like these are behind the growing Self-Acceptance / Self-Care Movement that has been building for over two decades. Self-acceptance helps people take better care of themselves. People who feel better about their bodies are more likely to succeed at maintaining healthy lifestyle changes than people who are self-critical and feel bad about themselves. According to Michael Kiernan, PhD, in a study done at Stanford University School of Medicine, "Members who started out more satisfied with their bodies, regardless of size, were more than twice as likely to succeed as their deeply dissatisfied counterparts (55% compared to 26%)."

In my psychotherapy practice, I see many people who are working on weight issues. Most of the people who are working on weight issues start out by wanting to lose weight as their primary goal. In my experience, at least half of those who want to lose weight have avoided social contact because they "felt too fat". Could it be that weight watching and the accompanying anxiety are contributing to social isolation? At least a third of my clients who started out watching their weight have reported staying at home and avoiding going out in public because they "don't want to be seen when they are this fat". Could it be that weight watching and society's negative attitudes toward fat are contributing to agoraphobia and other emotional problems?

The title of the book mentions healthy eating and fun fitness. Have you noticed what I have NOT encouraged? (You may have assumed that I was talking about it just because I promote healthy eating and exercise.) I have not encouraged weight loss or dieting. There is a very, very good reason for my omission.

Watching your weight is an ANXIETY, NOT an action.

In this book I propose we need new reasons to eat healthy and exercise. We need a new primary goal. I do not want to contribute to the negative effects, body loathing, and anxiety of watching your weight.

If weight loss were your primary goal, every action would be an exercise in self-criticism. If you were to focus on weight loss, you would be giving yourself the message that your body is wrong.

When healthy living is your goal, every action is an exercise in self-nurturing. When you focus on self-care and self-acceptance, your body is right where it should be ... with you on your journey toward wellness.

I encourage people to build a healthy lifestyle independent of weight. I recommend that you take action toward wellness, not weight loss. Specifically, I hope you will gradually let go of a focus on your weight and put your attention on your life. You deserve a good life. There are many aspects to making a good life. In this book I will primarily focus on motivation, eating, and fitness.

  1. In Chapter One we will look at the way you think about yourself, your body, your motivation, and the process of change.
  2. In Chapter Two we will explore a new way to make choices about food, emotional needs, and avoiding the "dieting vortex".
  3. In Chapter Three we will look at you, your body, and ways to stay fit in the body you have today.
  4. In Chapter Four we will pull it all together. We will look at "a day in the life" of Mary. A fictitious woman who demonstrates this new way of looking at self-care and self-acceptance.

As I received feedback on HOW people use this book, a pattern developed. This book is like an onion. It is likely that you will react and interact with it in layers. Often people sit down to read a section or two and find that they just keep reading all the way through. It is interesting. It is fun. It is like you and I sitting down and having a chat together. I AM talking directly to you. I have listened to people who cope with issues like yours. I have lived through many of the same things that you are living through right now.

Even if you read the book through, you may find it useful to go back and read it section by section. Like peeling back the layers of an onion, you will get closer to your central core issues regarding food, eating, body image, and your life. You will choose to revisit the sections that are most important to you. There are concepts to think about. There are psychological and awareness exercises to do. There are actions with which to experiment. This book is an EXPERIENCE. Give yourself time to have this experience over time. You will get more out of it if you try the actions suggested within your own life. Your awareness will grow more if you experience the new thought patterns for yourself as you live your day.

I often get the feedback that this book is like a warm island of acceptance and self-care encouragement. I suggest that you come back often and bathe in the warmth of these accepting attitudes.

You may find that you follow this pattern of reading the book and then going back to experience a section at a time. You may use this book in a completely different way. The choice is yours. Actually, that is the foundational premise of this process for healthy living:

The Choice Is Yours!

Tune in to what is going on INSIDE of you.

Increase your AWARENESS of what you need.

YOU CHOOSE the best way to meet your needs.

NOTICE if that way to meet your needs was effective.

If it was effective - ENJOY.

If it was not effective - make A NEW CHOICE.

This internally motivated process is the opposite of following a program that some external expert has formulated. With this internally motivated PROCESS you are always on your journey to self-care and self-acceptance!

Your body hungers for nutritious food. Your muscles ache for movement and exercise that feels good. Whatever your age, whatever your size, whatever your health status, whatever your abilities or disabilities, you CAN succeed at improving your wellness. You CAN eat healthy and start moving NOW!

For more information and support as you take your journey toward self-care and self-acceptance, check out When you sign up as a member (it is FREE to sign up) you will find:

  1. Your Online Workbook with exercises to help you understand yourself and make better choices.
  2. Your eNewsletter with motivation and information to help sustain positive motivation.
  3. Track Your Success to help you measure success without depending on the scale
  4. Much, much more!

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By Kelly Bliss M.Ed., A.C.E. author of Don’t Weight, Eat Healthy & Get Moving NOW!
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