What will you gain when you lose?

Evidently I wrote about my birthday yesterday because my sub conscience knew that today I wanted to write a slightly more “meaty” piece about dieting.

As my friends and family know, I am a word game fanatic.  In fact, I believe part of my birthday festivities tonight will involve playing Scrabble with Nathan (and hopefully successfully guilting him into letting me win, haha.)  My love of word games has stretched to Words With Friends, a fantastic game on Facebook.  I have had an almost constant game going with my sister, “M”, for well over 6 months now. I am also playing a game with an old co-worker (meaning, we’re not co-workers anymore.  She’s definitely not old) and one of my cousins.

What does this have to do with dieting?  Well, over the last two weeks or so the advertisement that has cropped up after I take my first turn is a Special K commercial.  To be honest, I kind of like it.  Simply because they’re framing Special K bars as a snack (and not as a complete meal.)  And then the woman in the commercial (a whole other discussion about why a woman in featured in a dieting commercial) discovers all these really awesome clothes hiding away in the back of her closet that she hasn’t been able to wear for a while.

I will say, this is definitely something I can relate to.  I have some clothes that I LOVE but haven’t been able to wear for a while because of my slow but steady weight gain over the last 2 years or so.  I just can’t bring myself to get rid of them.

Anyway, at the end of the commercial the slogan that is pushed out at you is “What will you gain when you lose?”  Meaning, of course, that you can have a much more full life if you lose weight.  This is where I have a problem and what I want to talk about.

As a person who is on a diet (sadly, yes.  I think that a high risk for gestational diabetes is a pretty good reason to lose some weight) I am hesitant to talk about this at all.  Why should I care about messages the dieting industry is sending when I am on a diet?

I care because these messages are killing us, almost literally.  The idea that you can have a much better life if you look like the lady in the Special K commercial is just plain ridiculous.  Yes, it’s important to be at a healthy weight.  However, that weight is different for every one of us.  And not just because of height or racial background.  It’s different because every single person is distinctly different and their bodies have different needs. All that really matters is that you feel good about yourself and that you are doing what you need to to be healthy.  If you plateau at 147 pounds when you doctor says you need to be 135 pounds, or any other number of examples, it’s not big deal.  As long as you are engaging in healthy behavior.

So, today I would encourage you to love yourself.  Don’t listen to these messages, just listen to yourself.

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