Taking responsibility, staying accountable
- Dr. Sheela Nambiar
June 28, 2016
(This article is an excerpt from Dr. Sheela’s book ‘Gain to Lose.’)
I have seen too many women fall prey to clever marketing and advertising that promise the perfect body. That’s what sells. Of course, we contribute to this walk down fantasy lane too. We choose to take the easy way out and not question these miracle claims. We make excuses for ourselves and play the victim, thereby relinquishing control of our bodies and health.
I believe we need to be more proactive about choices that concern our bodies. We need to be more discerning about long-term health, not just short-term cosmetic results. We should protect ourselves from falling prey to societal pressure to ‘look’ a certain way. It is not always possible to get to a ‘certain size’. Much depends on genetics and environment, especially lifestyle, stress, work and so on. Comparing oneself with another who is perceived to be ‘beautiful’ or ‘slim’ is a futile exercise.
Every woman is beautiful in her own way. She can also be the best possible version of herself physically and mentally by applying some basic principles of diet, exercise and healthy living. By challenging herself intellectually and creatively, she can live a fuller and more fruitful life.
We are more likely than men to allow emotional challenges to affect our eating, weight and health. Crisis in relationships or work can lead to abuse of food and ultimately, the body. Binge eating, anorexia, bulimia are all psychological disorders with a foundation in lack of self-esteem and a troubled consciousness. We are also more concerned about how society views our physical appearance. This always translates into trying to ‘look’ a certain way.
We need to understand that we are truly more than our ‘weight on the scale’. We cannot evaluate our entire lives by a mere number. Being fit is not just about being a certain size, but an improved level of performance of the body and a superior quality life. It is the understanding of this journey that keeps us experimenting, progressing and enjoying the process enough to persist with it for as long as we can. Regular exercise and healthy eating becomes a way of life, so much a part of our day that it is no more an ordeal. It is our way of saluting our bodies. Of respecting it. Rewarding it for being there for us!
We should also love our bodies more (whatever the size or shape). We can love it and still want to get fitter and better. We need to stop abusing it with food or lack of exercise. To accept, deep within that we are already beautiful but can always become even better versions of ourselves.
Dr. Sheela Nambiar is Chennai-based gynecologist, fitness and lifestyle consultant and an author of two best-selling books - Get Size Wise and Gain to Lose and a series of articles on various subjects pertaining to health and fitness published in The Hindu. She started the TFL Fitness Studio in Nungambakkam, Chennai, through which she implements her ‘Training for Life’ program.
Twitter - @drsheelanambiar
Blog - sheelanambiar.wordpress.com
Facebook - facebook.com/tfl.trainingforlife
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