The Psychology Of Fitness

Mindsets, Body Types and Everything In Between
Tues Psych Post ~ Open-Mindedness and Acceptance of Your Body, Part 1

Tues Psych Post ~ Open-Mindedness and Acceptance of Your Body, Part 1

Over the past couple of weeks, there have been a number of blogs that have made me think a bit deeper about body acceptance. HeyJoob.com had a post a couple of weeks ago that talked about “Fat Acceptance” or the more PC “Healthy at Any Weight” initiative.  I guess this has a positive connotation to it – that you should accept yourself at any weight – although I’m pretty sure that the research clearly states that it’s almost impossible to be “Healthy” at any weight (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11429721).  Don’t get me wrong, you can be “Happy” at any weight, but definitely not “Healthy” at any weight.

That post was also stimulated by something which prompted me to write “Being a Little Different than the ‘Norm’”, in how people that are not healthy have snide comments about you being healthy.  Basically, the irony in how people who are not healthy tend to have negative comments for people that do eat healthy (which I’ve always found interesting).  The reaction in my head is, “So what you’re saying is I should TRY to be obese, sick, unhealthy and tired from eating shit foods so YOU don’t feel bad about eating foods that make YOU feel like that? That’s what you’re saying???”  But I digress.

The bottom line is that the person saying something negative is either insecure, genuinely confused as to why you’re not enjoying the snack or simply close-minded that you genuinely have absolutely no desire to eat that said food.

Here’s a great video on some of their thought processes that just make no sense:

With that said, I can’t simply say that the person eating the food is “fat, overweight or obese” because they are eating the crap food and I’m not. In fact, that’s a very narrow-minded, myopic look at obesity and is something I don’t completely believe in. Below I list 23 reasons standing in the way of me very simply saying that if you “eat like crap” then you will be obese (although I obviously know that people will have to change their eating if they want to lose fat and keep it off):

23 reasons why people are obese
1 – Lack of Willpower and Self-Discipline when it comes to diet and staying physically active
2 – Lack of Exercise
3 – Poor Diet
4 – Sedentary Lifestyle
5 – High Stress
6 – Poorly understood methods for fat loss
7 – Food intolerances and gut issues
8 – Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
9 – Hormonal Imbalances – Subclinical and Disease State
10 – Limiting Beliefs and Poor Self-Acceptance
11 – Toxicity ranging from petrochemicals, heavy metals, pesticides and poor detoxification pathways
12 – Bacterial or viral infections
13 – Lack of balance between Phase I and Phase II liver detoxification
14 – Uncontrolled Inflammation
15 – Mitochondrial damage and high oxidative stress
16 – Lack of Adequate Sleep
17 – Injury, Aging and Muscle Loss
18 – Low Priority of Exercise and “Eating Right”
19 – Genetic and Epigenetic factors that decrease one’s ability to detoxify substances, control blood sugar, etc.
20 – Nutrigenomics and how certain foods affect you personally
21 – Unknown persistent environmental toxins and pollutants causing a negative endocrine response
22 – Lack of Realistic Expectations and therefore loss of motivation
23 – Any combination and confounding of these factors
(In a future post or posts, I will be highlighting these reasons in a much more detailed way).

Basically though, what I’m saying is that although there are close-minded individuals, I can’t definitively say that because that person decides to not eat like me, he or she is “obese.” It’s more complicated than that. As such, although many of the reasons listed above are improved with a healthier diet and exercise, not all of them are.

Then last week, Harlow (http://harlowthinkingoutloud.blogspot.com/2011/08/plastic-and-processed-soy-does.html) put up a post that again resonated with needing to be a little different than the norm.

After reading through her blog and searching about 10 pages for a picture (that was taken down), I found out that “Happy at Any Weight” should really include thin people also.

I find it interesting how if you’re overweight or obese, you’re not happy with your body. If you’re rail thin and gorgeous, you’re insecure about your body or someone being better than you. If you’re striving to build a body worthy of awe through bodybuilding, you can have muscle dysmorphia and be unhappy with your body. In other words, no matter where you are on the spectrum of body types, there remains one underlying theme that can effect them all – dissatisfaction and low acceptance of your body AS IT IS.

With that said, what are the root causes of body dissatisfaction?

Tomorrow’s post will try to scratch the surface of this topic while providing some proven methods for liking your life just a little bit more.

In the mean time go to this link and take the 5 minute quiz before tomorrow’s post: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/mar/07/personality-test.

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3 comments found

  1. I think that people always strive for something different and never feel they are perfect. It is so hard to just look in the mirror and accept it.

    1. I think you can be content with your body while wanting to improve it. I just think that if you truly “hate” your body, in a consistent manner and you’re working out and eating right, there’s more going on then simple dislike of what you see in the mirror.

    2. I am a famliy practitioner who is obese and has been obese all my life. I am currently planning a talk on treating famliy obesity and that’s how I came across your blog. Actually I can see the validity in both points of view. As a patient I was always told that I should lose weight, but never really given any actually help. Over the last 9 months I have lost about 50lbs because I finally became motivated to try to work on my weight regardless of what was going on around me or what stressors came my way. I try to take time to counsel my overweight/obese patients, but it only helps when they are at a point where they see their weight as a problem that they ware willing to face long term. Most times patients want a miracle pill or special 30-day diet and do not really want to change habits that the have had for years. An additional problem is that obesity treatment takes time to discern the problem and what the pt has tried in the past and what options are available-all in an environment where insurance companies do not want to reimburse for Obesity visits. I have found that as an obese physician who has had some success in losing weight I have been a sensitive ear for my patients and a good motivator. I do not pretend to be perfect, but sometimes it especially angers me when I se obese children (like the 54lb 2-year old-totally different subject). Usually I don’t respond to bogs, but I just felt compelled to add my 2 cents to this one.Plus Sized MD

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