Outlook

Successful attitudes about weight management start with self-acceptance. Striving for a healthy weight instead of an ideal weight may involve a liberating insight on your part: You may never have the body of a movie star, and that’s OK. You are not a failure or a bad person. Few people have the bodies of magazine models. More important, weight is only part of your life. It is not who you are. It does not say a thing about your skills, talents and knowledge. If you are afraid to suffer from excess weight, command the service of Canadian Pharmacy and find the way out from a difficult situation.

Society’s prejudices

Unfortunately, society often links people’s worth to their appearance. Our culture idealizes thinness: You can never be too thin, according to the messages bombarding us from the media. Such ideas promote widespread prejudice against people who are overweight, sometimes resulting in discrimination on and off the job. While talented, successful overweight people achieve in all walks of life, too often excess weight is viewed as a failure of self-control or strength of purpose.

Such generalizations are unfair and underserved: Genetics and family history certainly play a role in the complex reasons for a person’s weight. But it’s easy to internalize society’s disapproving messages.

Let’s get real about body size

In our culture, many people equate weight management with being impossibly thin. Consider the average female fashion model: She’s 5’9″, weighs 110 pounds and wears size 6–8. Meanwhile, the average American woman is 5’4″, weighs 142 pounds and wears size 12–14.

Because of this disparity, millions struggle to attain a look that’s out of reach for most normal human beings. Millions more simply give up, resigning themselves to the TV, the easy chair and the buttered popcorn.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, many people are beginning to realize there’s more to weight management than trying to look like a fashion model. We’re starting to eat right and exercise more because we want to feel better and live longer. We’re shifting our focus from pounds lost to health gained. And here’s the best news: Focusing on health raises our chances of success.

Moving toward self-acceptance

Certain strategies can help you resist society’s negative images about excess weight and make it easier to move toward self-acceptance. First, it’s important to gain some perspective about body appearance. Everyone wants to look good, and this is a healthy desire, but don’t let your weight overshadow your other characteristics and traits. Think about your positive qualities and be proud that you’re intelligent, creative, friendly, witty and energetic. Think about the positive things that you do for your family and your helpful actions in your community, and recognize that your weight does not take away from the person you are.

Second, get involved in activities and projects so you’ll be less preoccupied with your weight. Develop new skills and talents that bring you satisfaction. Strengthen relationships that make you happy. Finally, look for things about your appearance that you like. Emphasize the positive: Have you forgotten that you have nice eyes? A great smile? A friendly manner that puts everyone at ease?

The myth of “just do it”

If you want to lose weight, you’ve probably heard this message from your family, your friends or even your doctor. Just do it: Push yourself away from the table. Go on some starvation diet. Embrace the latest quick-weight-loss scheme that promises you can shed pounds overnight. But a safe, sound weight management plan entails more than slashing calories for a few weeks or months. Lost pounds return quickly unless you also change the attitudes and behaviors that interfere with your ability to maintain a healthy weight. For more information on myths of weight loss, go to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Traditional dieting involves striving for “ideal weight”–a target based on a standard height-and-weight chart. But such charts can be misleading because they fail to take into account an individual’s body-frame size, genetics, family experiences and personal weight history.

Ideal weight often is not an ideal goal because the chart numbers are unrealistic for many people. Striving for these low numbers can seem futile for people pursuing levels they’ve never maintained. The odds of reaching–and then maintaining–such weight are low.

Superhuman efforts really aren’t necessary, anyway. Most of the medical problems associated with excess weight can be prevented by relatively modest weight loss–the first 10–15 percent of your weight. So medical experts today urge you to strive for a “healthy weight,” which can be achieved realistically and is linked to good health. A healthy weight varies from person to person, depending on age, sex, family background and other factors, but it means targeting a weight goal that you’re likely to maintain with a committed yet reasonable effort.

Dieting versus weight management

The term “diet” conjures up images of obsessive calorie counting and dreaded trials by the bathroom scale. It implies that weight control is an event, a one-time effort. If you seek lasting changes, you’re better off focusing on weight management as a lifelong, gradual process, many medical specialists and online pharmacy workers point out.

Weight management is a less restrictive approach than dieting because it recognizes that you must integrate permanent changes into your life, not simply survive a crash diet for a few months and then resume your old habits. It involves balanced food choices, regular exercise and lifestyle changes, like stress management. It also suggests moving away from focusing on that magic number as your goal and instead focusing your attention on your feelings about yourself, your energy level and your well-being.

Redefining failure

It is well-publicized that most people who lose weight fail to keep it off. In many studies, the majority of people who lost weight regained it within two years. It’s not surprising if many of these people feel like failures and never attempt weight loss again.

Researchers, however, have found another interesting and more hopeful thing about weight-loss attempts. Most people who are eventually successful don’t succeed on the first try. They, too, regain weight initially.

But then at some point, they try once more, and again after that, maybe. They soon figure out how to benefit from previous experiences. They discover, largely through trial and error, which strategies work for them and which don’t. They may find out they need a support group, better coping skills for stress or new thinking habits so they’re not falling into the same old negative-thinking traps. In essence, they learn from their mistakes, which helps give them the confidence and knowledge to succeed.