Body image concerns are highly connected to eating disorders. People strive to obtain a body shape or size through their disorder. A common misconception about size is that it equates to health. People consider a “smaller” shaped person healthier than a “larger” shaped one. Health is not determined purely by body shape and size, health is a combination of lifestyle choices.
Let’s, look at two different examples: Suzie is at a “normal” BMI but binges and purges daily. Nancy is at an “overweight” BMI and eats a well-balanced diet and exercises regularly. It is obvious that Nancy is healthier. They are healthier not because they are “smaller” but because of the lifestyle choices they made (This sentence is not clear—who is healthier because they are smaller?). It is important to look deeper into a person’s eating patterns and activity to determine their health instead of making assumptions based on looks.
The set point theory also needs to be taken into consideration. This theory states that all bodies have a natural weight that is “set”. With normal diet and exercise, this weight will be maintained. This theory is thought to be the reason why people have a tendency to regain weight after dieting. People are unique in their natural hair color and height, why not also in weight?
By taking care of ourselves on all levels, we can sustain health at every size. Listening to your own hunger cues and honoring these cues is important. At the Inner Door Center® we believe in intuitive eating and mindfulness. If you are interested in learning more about intuitive eating and health at every size, a dietitian at the Inner Door Center® is available to work with you. Visit our website at innerdoorcenter.com or call our office at (248) 336-2868 for more information.