Body hatred creates fear and anxiety—not the best weight management approach!

















We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not  liberate, it oppresses.
  - Carl Jung

Intuitive Eating Tips

What Can Body Acceptance Get You? Plenty!

by Karin Kratina, PhD, RD, LD/N

If being told to lose weight actually helped people to lose weight, there would be no fat people. If being told they "will die if they do not lose weight" by a medical doctor (as was told to one of my clients only 40 pounds above "ideal") or that they "are unsightly" (as Ann Landers has done) helped people get thin, everyone would be thin.

Few people would elect to be fat in a culture that so flagrantly hates fat people.

We might think that this fat hatred is only about fat people. But this is not true.

Fat hatred also ensure we will always be overly-worried about our own bodies— always checking the mirror to make sure no one else will think we are fat. NO MATTER what our size!

Fat hatred keeps people keeps people hyper-aware of food, focused on food, and sometimes even afraid of food—exactly the opposite of what we want.

Fat hatred keeps people counting calories or carbs, skipping dessert and/or trying to burn off calories. But it does not necessarily motivate them to adopt healthier lifestyles—lifestyles that could help them reach and maintain their natural, healthy weight.

Body hatred creates fear, anxiety, and chronic body dissatisfaction. It keeps people monitoring their bodies and continually trying to change them.

If monitoring the body like this made us thin, most of us would be thin!

This focus does little to make a person feel good about themselves. It also does little to motivate them to take care of themselves. And it is NOT the path to your natural weight!.

To better understand this, consider how you take care of something you really love. Maybe a child, or pet, or favorite object—say a car. You probably nurture them, watch over them in a caring way.

If it is a car, I bet it runs really well. If it is a pet, she probably eats well and gets plenty of exercise (the result of your love), she is probably very healthy.

So why do people believe they have to hate themselves to get thin? To get healthy? Since body hatred doesn’t work, why not try the opposite? Try liking yourself. Well, okay, then what about accepting yourself?

Admittedly, accepting yourself if you are a woman is a radical concept in this culture. Sadly.

But people who accept their bodies (or even like them!) take better care of themselves. They do not wait until they are at XXX weight to take care of themselves (as most people who want to lose weight do).

Liking the self means taking better care of the self, which means more health enhancing behaviors—probably one of the best paths to reaching and maintaining a healthy, natural weight.

So, be radical! Decide to accept your body and yourself ! And then treat yourself as if you did!


© 2010 Karin Kratina, PhD, RD, LD/N

About the Author:

Karin helps women and men break free from food/eating/weight issues. She has co-authored numerous books, book chapters and articles. Visit for more tips on attuned eating and download free handouts including the free Hunger/Satiety Journal Sign up for Stay Attuned, an inspirational ezine, Stay Attuned.

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