Are you happy with your weight? Now is the perfect time to take a closer look at your weight and how you feel about it.
Depending on the source, Healthy Weight Week is either this week (Jan. 13-19, 2013) or next week (Jan. 20-26, 2013). But either way, a time of awareness about weighty issues is upon us.
According to the Healthy Weight Network website, “the 20th annual Healthy Weight Week is a time to celebrate healthy, diet-free living habits that last a lifetime, and prevent eating and weight problems. Our bodies cannot be shaped at will. But we can all be accepting, healthy and happy at our natural weights.”
The Network website also states there is a “Women’s Healthy Weight Day” on Jan. 24, 2013.
Of course, weight does not only have to do with our bodies. The whole concept of a “healthy weight” has everything to do with our minds as well.
Ramani Durvasula, the author of “You Are WHY You Eat: Change Your Food Attitude, Change Your Life” and a clinical psychologist, said in an email that taking care of the body by keeping it at a healthy weight is also taking care of the mind, and vice versa.
“Unhealthy weight can contribute to issues with self esteem, and it is reciprocal - when we don't value ourselves, we don't treat ourselves well (e.g. eat badly, don't exercise, don't sleep enough) - and that shows,” Durvasula said.
She said a major tool to moving toward a healthy weight is practicing mindfulness. Instead of using food to medicate, it’s necessary to stop and think about any problems that come up.
Durvasula said that healthy weight can be influenced by different factors like activity level, muscle mass, genetics and height. She said bodies have a “set point,” which is “the weight our bodies will sit at as long as [we] eat a healthy set of calories and maintain appropriate levels of activity.”
“Our healthy weight is often not our aspirational weight,” she said. “I have seen dozens of women and men in my clinical practice who destroy their bodies in the name of achieving that size 0/2 body, when the size 8 body is actually about where their body stays and is healthy.”