Friday, 27 January 2012
Hands up anyone who overeats
So many women overeat. So many. And so many women overeat and feel ashamed and guilty. We waste so much energy beating ourselves up, hiding the truth from our families and friends, trying to hide the truth from ourselves. The most destructive aspect of our overeating is the emotional and psychological pain and stress that goes with it. Being overweight is not (despite what the powers that be would have us believe) synonymous with poor health but stress is. Being healthy is not just a natural consequence of being slim. All we seem to hear these days is “Lose weight and you’ll be healthier” Really? (At this point I actually want to bang my head against the wall in frustration! - How can they be so stupid/blind/crazy/ignorant/irresponsible - take your pick). The more extensively I read about diet and health, the more I see it, the same message over and over again - stress is the killer, not fat. And we can be stressed at any size. I’m not saying that there is never any association between being overweight and being unhealthy. Sometimes weight does have an impact on our health but not always and not universally. In fact in many studies show that being consistently overweight has been proved to be a positive where health is concerned and that it's certainly healthier that yo-yoing up and down, which is the best that the diets have to offer.
Oh dear… I’ve gone off at a tangent. My apologies. The thing is the more we hide our overeating and feel ashamed about it, the more we beat ourselves up and hate ourselves for it, the more unhappy and stressed we feel. And that is definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, bad for our health. So, today, take a risk, stop beating yourself up about your overeating. Next time you overeat, instead of being angry and calling yourself all the names under the sun (if that’s what you do! It’s certainly what I used to do). Find a touch of compassion for yourself. If you are reading this blog then you have already taken one step towards changing things. Towards feeling good about the way you eat and the way you look. Instead of telling yourself how crap you are take yourself gently by the hand and remind yourself that you are working on it…
And then when you are ready, think about talking to ONE person you know about what it’s really like. There are sooooooo many women who overeat, just like you do, you could help yourself and one other person feel better by talking about it. It’s so good to know that we are not alone. And breaking the silence stops the shame. And that feels really, really good. And when we feel good, we are less stressed. And that has to be a good thing.