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7 strategies for dealing with your happy body weight, when it's above the 'healthy' BMI range
by Harriet Frew on February 1st, 2020


Weight stigma is huge in our culture and particularly amongst health professionals. It might feel hugely demoralising and shaming, if you’ve worked hard to overcome disordered eating behaviours, but then this has left you with a BMI that is above the so called healthy range.  You might feel caught between a rock and a hard place and very tempted or even outwardly persuaded to go down the dieting route again. Before you do this, read this post, as disordered eating to achieve a ‘healthy’ weight is absolutely NOT the answer.

1. ACCEPTANCE. Radical acceptance of your natural body shape is key. Our individual body shape is largely influenced by our genetics. Looking at your family members and generations back, you will glean a realistic perspective of where your body is in its happy place. If you come from a long line of muscular brunettes, you are likely not going to have the genes for a boyish shape and blonde hair.  That’s okay because all body shapes and types can be celebrated. Step boldly away from the outdated ‘ideals’ and be proud of the body you have.

2. NO TO REPLAPSE. Adopting disordered eating behaviours eg: restrictive eating, purging, over-exercise to maintain a thin ‘ideal’ is NOT healthy. These behaviours are damaging physiologically and psychologically. If your body’s is genuinely in a happier place, over the healthy BMI range, then that needs to be honoured. This is not licence to overeat and not take care of your body. Rather, its acknowledging where your set-point naturally sits. Additionally, you might be a muscular build and remember that muscle weighs more than fat; this can distort BMI calculations.

3. BEHAVIOURS. Research shows that adopting healthier behaviours is highly beneficial for wellbeing, rather than getting fixated on weight loss. So this might mean: moving your body more; eating more vegetables; getting good quality sleep or socialising with your peers. Including more of these healthier habits in daily life, is going to improve your health, regardless of your BMI.

4. TRUST. Begin to trust your body and listen to your hunger cues. Eating when you’re hungry; stopping when you’re full; enjoying your food and eating a whole variety of different foods. Learning to trust your hunger and satiety cues can be valuable in helping your weight stabilise and knowing where your body is in balance.

5. MOVE. Get active for the joy of movement. Make it social; make it something you love; make it something that makes your body feel great.

6. DIVERSITY. Embrace size diversity. Read up on the Health at Every Size Movement. It is a crazy myth that anyone can be thin, with just following the right diet or exercising hard enough. We are all different shapes and sizes. This is to be celebrated 100%.

7. So love your body as it is. Work to make healthy lifestyle behaviours changes that honour and respect your body and appreciate the wonderful diversity of bodies that we all have.

What are your thoughts on this? Do share.


Posted in Body image, body diversity, Health At Every Size    Tagged with body acceptance, health at every size, HAES, body diversity


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Find peace with food and overcome disordered eating.