Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Health & Happiness @ Any Size?
Part Two

12 Steps to Health At Every Size
By Peggy Elam, Ph.D.

The ultimate payoff to shifting your focus off of weight and toward health at whatever size you are right now is better emotional and physical health. Why not give it a try? Try this: 

1)  Stop weighing yourself. Shift your focus from weight & body fat to healthy behaviors & fitness.
2)   Fire the food & body police.
3)  Stop critical self-talk. Would you speak to a friend or loved one the way you do to your body?
4)  Increase positive talk. Talk to & treat yourself & your body the way you would a cherished friend, loved one, or child.
5)  Clean out your closets. Give or sell or throw away everything that doesn't fit, is uncomfortable, or that you haven't worn in years. Fill your closets with beautiful, comfortable clothing in your present size.
6)  Eat well & mindfully. Enjoy your food. Let nothing be off-limits; there are no forbidden foods. Don't restrict what you eat in order to lose weight, as those behaviors & attitudes have negative consequences. Focus instead on eating & living well.
7)  Be active. Find, create, or rediscover activities that you enjoy, and engage in them regularly.
8)  Listen to your body. It is the means by which you subconscious communicates with you. No one can discern your body's messages better than you can, although you may need to re-learn its language. Pay attention to "gut feelings."
9)  Respect your body. It is a manifestation of and a conduit for your soul. Ensure that others respect it, too.
10)  Reconnect mind & body. Increase your body awareness through yoga, walking meditation, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, massage & bodywork, and/or movement therapy (such as Feldenkrais). Focus on what your body can do and how good it can feel.

11)  Address any emotional eating independent of weight change.
12)  Invest in and support yourself rather than the weight loss, pharmaceutical, healthcare, fashion or beauty industries.

Dr. Peggy Elam, Ph.D., is a Psychologist, publisher (Pearlsong Press,, editor, author, artist. More on her work can be found at her blog at 

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