More important than reshaping your body is reshaping the psychological perspectives and beliefs you hold about weight, physical perfection, beauty, and weight loss. Most often, people are motivated to lose weight to attain a certain self-defined concept of physical beauty and perfection. Even though the media can strongly influence your perceptions, ultimately you are the only one who can choose your personal beliefs.
This is empowering because it means that you define your own ideal of what beauty is. If you commit to yourself that you’ll transform your perceptions so that they are supportive and foster self love, then you’ll appreciate your body every day--regardless of your shape and size--and you’ll feel comfortable and happy to be you.
How Keeping A “Diet Mentality” Is Harmful
1. You're focusing on "What's wrong" rather than appreciating and loving your unique beauty.
Having a negatively skewed judgment of your body is psychologically harmful and it has the potential to spiral into an insatiable desire for attaining some form of personally defined perfection. This is akin to chasing a carrot on a stick because your ideas of perfection will change the closer you reach the goals you've set for yourself today.
While you may have convinced yourself that you just need to lose 10 pounds or that you'd be much sexier if you could fit into clothes that are two sizes smaller than what you're wearing today, you might be surprised (and disappointed) when you reach those goals and still have a nagging feeling that it's not enough.
2. There's no such thing as objective perfection.
In fact, there's no such thing as objective reality, but that's a slightly different discussion. We all know that any form of objective perfection or objective beauty doesn't exist. We each define our own beliefs of what perfection and beauty are. While you're berating yourself for the flaws you've magnified in your imagination, there are innumerable people who would appreciate your beauty if only you give them the chance to do so.
The adage that beauty is in the eye of the beholder is profoundly true. Only you can transform your own view so that you appreciate your own unique beauty. Focusing your attention on transforming your beliefs will cultivate much more serenity than focusing solely on changing your physical form.
3. Criticizing your body leaves you stuck in a superficial definition of beauty, grace, and happiness.
The more you convince yourself that beauty is defined by the shape, colour, size, and feel of your physical body, the less you will be able to see, appreciate, value, and celebrate the real beauty of the gifts of life and of being human.
By prioritizing the parts of you that can be seen and touched, you rob yourself of the joys that could spawn from your attention to the non-physical elements of who you are. I believe it was Oscar Wilde who said "Be yourself. Everyone else is taken." This is a wonderful quote to remember when you're comparing yourself to anyone else for whatever reasons.
Yes, the world may be full of people who fit your definition of physical beauty, but you also fit someone else's definition of physical beauty and you just don't realize it yet. If you don't (yet) appreciate your own physical beauty, pay attention to the aspects of yourself you do appreciate. Foster those parts of yourself that bring you joy and that enliven your spirit. Your true beauty will radiate from the inside out when you glow with gratitude for being you.
4. Narrowing your focus on weight loss as your endpoint makes you see only the end and not the path.
Most people who prioritize their body size and shape are doing what I call "Moving through life with horse flaps on." Horse flaps are meant to restrict vision so that a horse doesn't become spooked or distracted by unexpected flickers of movement along the side of the road. Horse flaps literally create tunnel vision.
While a healthy degree of focus on a goal can be beneficial because it gives you direction and inspires motivation, an extreme level of focus can drive you deeply into a single perspective at the absolute exclusion of others. A myopic perspective is of no benefit to any person—irrespective of what the belief defines.
Having a myopic perspective on what defines beauty or an ideal body size and shape can lead to a self destructive attitude if you don't appreciate your beauty and it can lead to an unfairly judgmental perspective of others. You’ll miss out on the fun of life because you’ll be so focused on your desire to be perfect that you won’t be able to see or experience anything else.
5. Beauty is universal.
Redefine your personal definition of beauty so that you fit your own standards. I've travelled the world and met thousands of people. And I've confirmed what I feel I've always known: There is no such thing as a person who isn't beautiful. By far, the most beautiful people are those who shine from the inside out and glow with a loving appreciation of being alive.
I mean that whole heartedly. The human form is gorgeous in every way. It's time we all celebrate that.
Part I. Is January Really Weight Loss Month?
Part II. How to Use Herbs to Gain Health