The Counselling Centre

Weight Issues

Weight is not a measure of self-worth. Why should it be? Your self-worth is your view of yourself as a total person - how you treat others; the contributions you make to your family, your friends, your community, and society in general. Your weight is just your weight. Don't give it any more importance than that.

Here are some ways to feel better about yourself:

List your assets, talents, and accomplishments and review that list often. Add to your list daily.

Focus on the positive aspects of your life – good friends, doing well in school, a job you like, great relationship, a nice apartment.

Stop criticizing yourself. The inner voice that's telling you you're no good is a liar. View the voice as an unwelcome intruder and show it the door!

Avoid "globalizing". Instead of saying "I'm such a failure," say: "I didn't do that one little thing quite right, but I do most things right".

Let go of perfectionism, particularly in terms of food. You probably eat pretty healthily a lot of the time. Stop rebuking yourself for the occasional indulgence. Quit thinking of foods as "good" and "bad". Instead, use such terms as "a good thing to eat frequently" or "a good thing to eat occasionally".

Develop mastery. What are you good at? Capitalize on these things. Seek further education or training. It's fun to have things we do well.

Develop a more positive body image by appreciating your body's functional nature. Thank your legs for carrying you around. Thank your arms for being able to embrace someone.

Educate yourself (and those around you) about obesity. What the research really says about obesity and what most people believe are two different things. You are not to blame for something science doesn't fully understand.

Subscribe to magazines that show larger women in a positive light, such as Radiance, BBW, and Extra! Surround yourself with positive images of large women.

Don't become preoccupied with thoughts of food and weight. Dieting can cause this. Plan what you're going to eat and then forget it.

Put nothing on hold as a reward for weight loss. Make a list of things you've always wanted to do and start doing them now. Being thin is not a prerequisite for living life.

Remember that society is not always right about things. Just because we have a cultural obsession with thinness doesn't make it right. Like human beings, societies are imperfect and make mistakes.

Develop a personal style that announces to the world: "I like me!" How you feel about yourself is reflected in the way you carry yourself, your grooming, your clothes, your smile, the way you speak.

Dress comfortable. This may sound silly, but comfortable, properly fitting clothes will improve your whole mental outlook. Tight clothes will make you feel miserable and unhappy.

Surround yourself with positive, supportive people. If they're not, tell them that you've stopped measuring your self-worth on the basis of your weight and you hope they'll follow suit. If they won't, there are plenty of people who will.

List the positive aspects of being a larger person. Has being large made you more tolerant, kinder, stronger?

Do not buy into the notion that there is one ideal image of shape every woman needs to conform to. That is nonsense. People come in all colours, sizes, and shapes, and that should be the beauty of the human race. We do not have "figure flaws". We simply have diverse shapes".

The Counselling Centre offers individual and couples counselling to help with these issues. For more information, call The Counselling Centre at 420-5615 or drop by our office on the 4th floor of the Student Centre.