Sunday, January 16, 2011

Celebrate Healthy Weight Week: Jan 16-22

by Shelly Guzman, RD, CD

Healthy Weight Week is an annual event to celebrate lifelong healthy living habits that prevent eating and weight issues. I love the Healthy Weight Week mantra: "Our bodies cannot be shaped at will. But we can all be accepting, healthy and happy at our natural weights." It sounds so simple, and yet as many of us know, it is not easy to accept our bodies in a beauty-centric society. As someone who has struggled with an eating disorder in the past, I believe the hardest lesson in learning to lead a healthy life is figuring out how to be kind to yourself. While it is good to expect the best of ourselves in life's endeavors, we must be careful not to punish ourselves for imperfection. Sometimes, it just takes letting go of the reigns and having a little faith that things will turn out all right. For me, I realized what I was losing by clinging to my eating disorder. Life was going on all around me and I was missing out. My motto became "get over yourself", which sounds harsh, but in reality just meant I started volunteering so that I could see how other people lived. Meeting people who I thought had so much less than me live life joyously everyday gave me the courage to face my fears and start accepting myself. Choosing to be healthy has become easier and easier, and when I find myself slipping into old bad habits, I remind myself that nothing makes me feel better than making healthy choices that nourish my body and spirit. My advice to others struggling with body image issues is to have no fear, you hold the key to your happiness. Do your homework, because what they say is true, knowledge is power. Learn about what is best for your body, what works and what doesn't (like fad diets). Seek help if you need it, and let's face it, who doesn't need a little help sometimes? In the words of Bob Greene, live your best life!

To learn more about Healthy Weight Week and how you can get involved, visit their website.

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