Every individual’s body is genetically different. If we all ate the same thing and did the same amount of exercise for an entire year, in the end, every body would still look very different. Each person’s genetic inheritance contributes differently to his or her bone structure, body size, shape and weight (http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/every-body-different).

How Can You Determine Your Ideal Body Weight?

Your ideal body weight is a weight that allows you to feel strong, energetic, healthy and able to lead a normal life. When your body is healthy and at an ideal weight, you have the energy to interact with friends and family, concentrate on school or work and participate in the activities you love.

Your body can be healthy across a wide range of weights. Eating balanced meals and enjoying regular physical activity will help in reaching your normal body weight. So, what should your normal body weight be? There are many factors that go into answering this question. Not only is it genetics, but also the environment you’ve grown up in, the stages of your life and your lifestyle. When you think about the term normal, you should think diverse.

Health and fitness are about enhancing your overall energy and enjoyment of life. It should help to deal with the emotional and physical lows and enjoy the highs of life. These are things that are possible at many body sizes, but not if you are starved or malnourished. Exercise should be fun, not punishment.

  • Treat your body with respect
  • Stay well rested
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Exercise moderately
  • Resist the pressure to judge your and others weight
  • Respect yourself and others

Weight Stigma and Eating Disorders

Weight stigma, also known as weightism and weight bias, is discrimination or stereotyping based on one’s weight. Those who are very overweight or very underweight are the ones most targeted. For some eating disorder sufferers, they have endured a lifetime of negative stereotyping and discrimination about their weight and have convinced themselves they’ll never be thin enough. In order to break this cycle, an individual must discern how to handle both the real and self-inflicted experiences of weight stigma and modify their thinking about the meaning of “fat” and “thin”.

Individuals are stigmatized by:

  • Hate speech
  • Negative comments regarding body size
  • Negative stares and demeanor
  • Stereotypes
  • Inequalities in employment and education
  • Overall mistreatment

Weight stigma can result in:

  • Feelings of shame over body size and weight
  • Biases predetermined by weight
  • Judgment of character based on weight
  • Discrimination because of weight
  • Disordered eating

Look Beyond Size

When someone’s body size becomes their identity, it can lead to disordered eating habits as a means to gain or keep the approval of their peers. Because many people believe individuals who have a lower weight must have more self-control, many mistake anorexia or bulimia for a disciplined lifestyle. Someone may look fine on the outside, but the tolls of an eating disorder are killing her mentally and physically.

Eating disorder sufferers are inclined to have a skewed view of how others see them. Getting to a healthy place mentally and physically requires reclaiming your identity. This involves realizing the positive qualities that define you and what makes them important. How do you treat others and yourself? How do you impact your community? What are some healthy activities that make you happy or made you happy at one point in your life?

We Can Help

The Meadows Ranch realizes it isn’t easy, and sometimes feels impossible, to understand your true identity and value. The journey to recovery and healthy thinking and believing doesn’t have to be taken alone. If you or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder, we can help. For additional information about the treatment of eating disorders, please call to speak to a Counselor at 866-390-5100 and we will contact you with the information you need.