Health & Beauty

3 Outstanding Ways to Avoid Internalizing Fatphobia While Staying Fit

Staying healthy and active doesn't have to be linked to body size alone, and here's how you can be more conscientious of it

Fitness and health goals

Since it's the beginning of the new year, it's the perfect time to address the elephant in the room: fitness and health goals that everyone seems to set.

While there are so many ways to stay fit, healthy, active,and happy, it is possible to do all this and more without harming and hurting yourself with fatphobia.

Shame may have worked in the past, but it's definitely not something you should keep in your weight-loss toolbox for a host of different reasons. That fatphobia voice in your head is going to take you to a very dark place sooner than you realize.

So the question remains: can you stay fit, lose weight if you want, and remain at par with your health and wellness goals without acquiring fatphobia? The short answer is yes. Here's how:

Think of exercise as a joy and privilege

Having a body that allows you to move, exercise, and enjoy using it is a joy and privilege. Being able to make time for yourself, focus on your physical and mental health, and get out there and be active is a gamechanger, and many people don't have the ability to accomplish that. If you see exercise as a punishment, you're likely to get injured,  tired, and lose all enjoyment and pleasure it has to offer. Instead, find forms of movement that you enjoy and have fun with!

Don't attach fatphobia value judgments to food

Thinking of foods as good or bad is never a good thing. In fact, it's one of the many ways to fall into the trap of disordered eating and attaching damaging ideas and feelings to foods that aren't inherently 'good' or 'bad' for you. Instead, learn to see food as just food and practice healthier ways of eating such as intuitive eating, eating in moderation, and not depriving yourself.

A strong and flexible curvy woman stretches out while reaching for her foot.

Set goals beyond size, inches, and weight

In order to truly enjoy yourself, it's important that you also set goals beyond size and weight. If you only see a drop in pounds or reduction in inches as the only form of progress, you have another thing coming. You're probably making a lot more progress than you realize. Fitness isn't only about a certain number on the scale, clothing size, or physical appearance. If you're sleeping better, in less pain, more active and energetic, your mental health is better, and you feel less stressed out, you're already making leaps and bounds.

In this process, it's important to be compassionate toward yourself and avoid engaging in negative self-talk, criticism, and shaming. Choose positive affirmations, reminders, and goals as a way to shift the focus from self-loathing and shaming over body weight and size to a more holistic sense of wellness.

Calle Ocho News is part of the movers and shakers who are revolutionizing the conversation and challenging damaging social norms around health, fitness, and beauty standards such as fatphobia. We want our readers to practice healthier habits without hurting themselves and feedback into the toxic narratives around weight loss, body image, and fitness. We're not only sharing recommendations for things to do in Miami when it comes to health and wellness, but we're also bringing you a wide range of insights and perspectives on the subject.

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