- If I am overweight, there is something wrong and shameful about my body.
- If I am overweight, I need to lose weight to find confidence, happiness and self-worth.
- Weight loss is easy. If I can’t lose weight, there is something wrong with me.
- Extreme dieting and overtraining, even though they increase my risk of nutritional deficiencies and injury, are necessary practices because they result in weight loss.
- Weight loss is the most important outcome of exercise and eating.
- I am defined by the number I see on the scales.
Each of these assumptions are incorrect, ineffective and dangerous.
They do not just undermine why, and how, we should be striving to eat better and exercise more.
They also, very worryingly, reinforce the idea that changing who we are is a requirement for us to be self-accepting, confident and happy.
If you really think about it, why should this ever be true?
We now know that:
- Disliking who we are, and feeling bad about our weight, does not just lead to emotional and over-eating. It can also degrade the very part of us that can make positive change happen.
- Seeing that we are enough, and getting better at accepting ourselves for exactly how we are, does not just help us to feel better today. It also creates the motivation for us to want a better tomorrow.
The Biggest Loser is now well over a decade behind the scientific world, which suggests that a better and healthier way to manage your weight in the long-term is, ironically, to stop making it all about your weight.
The desire to be the biggest loser undermines our ability to feel like, and be, a winner.