Just before I launch into this topic, I just want to preface it by saying that I do get a bit ‘ranty’.
This is an area I’m particularly passionate about, as I see the pursuit to ‘lose the last 5kg’ robbing people of their joy for life and the freedom to live and be truly happy in their bodies.
I’m sure you’ve all seen the weekly women’s mags big flashy cover claims such as how to ‘Lose that stubborn belly fat for good’, how to ‘Drop those last few pounds’, how to ‘Get bikini body ready this summer’ or one I saw this week how to ‘Get your body back after baby’.
There’s no hiding from the fact our culture is obsessed with weight loss, but in particular, it seems as though it has become the norm to have a constant dissatisfaction with our bodies current weight and always be living to just drop ‘the last few kgs’.
I want to pose the idea today, that this desire is misplaced and actually completely unnecessary.
For most of us, our bodies need a little bit of ‘squish’ to be healthy. To have flourishing hormones and abundant energy, women, in particular, need a certain percentage of fat on their bodies. This obviously differs from person to person, but body fat plays an important function in fertility. Body fat cells produce estrogen, needed for many things but essential for a healthy menstrual cycle.
Despite what the media portrays, the natural state of the human body, is not hard and lean. The males in hunter-gatherer tribes worldwide are indeed often slim and muscular, but the woman on the most part are not.
Your bodies are smart and on your side. There is a reason the ‘last 5kg’ are the hardest to lose. It’s often because they shouldn’t be lost at all!
There is a theory that hypothesises that every individual body has a ‘set point’. This is the point (the weight), from which if a person deviates either side of, the body works hard to get back to. Your set point now at 30 or 35, may not be the same set point you had at 18. It may be 5kg more, and that’s OK! It doesn’t mean you’re not healthy. Health is NOT a body size!
Our body knows where it needs to be to be healthy. If you are eating nutrient dense foods, exercising adequately, sleeping well and have good mental and emotional health, then I’m suggesting that there is no reason that the weight you are now (with some natural fluctuations from season to season), should not be your happy weight.
If you are restricting food and over exercising to maintain a particular body size, then that’s not your natural body size!
If you are constantly looking for the elusive fix to lose the ‘last 5kg’, ask yourself, ‘is this a battle I want to be fighting’? Is it worth it? Are those tacos and a frozen margarita with your best friend, or glass of red wine and a couple of pieces of chocolate with the hubby worth giving up to see a lower number on the scale? In my opinion, they are not! Life is for living. Constant restriction and the cycle of guilt and blame around food is not only toxic to our body satisfaction, it’s mentally exhausting! And while I’m on the topic of scales….throw them away!
No one will love you more if you lose 5 kg. Let go of the scale! Don’t associate your worth with the number of the scale. Ask yourself ‘How do I FEEL?’ Do you feel healthy? Do I have the energy to do the things I want to do each day? If the answer is yes, then for your own mental health, let go of the pursuit to lose the weight you think you need to lose and embrace a little bit of squish.
Join me and let’s stop fighting ourselves!