Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.” Let’s seek to use our minds greatly, and discuss some ideas for a moment.
As someone who overcame childhood obesity, without yo-yo backsliding, I intimately can relate that these are some of the strongest emotions in the world surrounding nutrition, exercise and body image.
Obesity has become a bug-bear designation, fraught with sensitive, reactive ego. When we recover from obesity, or food sensitivities (like gluten) and substance addictions (like sugar), an enormous chemical storm assails our mind with the “molecules of emotion” (ibid Candace Pert). This gives rise to a cacophony of self-deprecating judgements, which we often outwardly projected upon others. [Disease and illness of any kind can cause this catastrophizing filter judging ourselves and others.]
So, let’s distinguish between:
- preferential judgement (what you consider beautiful and worthy) and
- professional assessment (what has been scientifically evaluated and you have been occupationally educated to measure.)
What I “prefer” for myself has ZERO place in another individual’s personal preferences. And when I am approached for my professional services, I feel it a duty to remain nonjudgmental in any assessments I am asked to conduct. I believe in carrying that professionalism throughout my life.
We can be very attached to being alive (quantity of life) and having a great (quality of) life… and so we can inadvertently slip health and fitness into criteria for beauty and character. This causes us personal suffering and viscous judgement toward and from others. However:
- Beauty and worth are subjective and unmeasurable. You are beautiful and worthy by divine creation.
- Health and fitness are objective and measurable. You are healthy and fit depending upon your transitory behaviors and attitudes.
For example in the following image, some people have been judging her on the beauty and desirability (worth). She wanted to become fitter and healthier, and then she did. She did this because she loved herself from before to after. Unfortunately, many consumed by their own issues, project self-loathing upon her, presume social pressures coerced her into a deprecated behavior, and mutated her into some pre-fabricated definition of beauty. Her health and fitness, as is evidenced by that gorgeous smile BEFORE AND AFTER, is merely a byproduct of her choosing to make changes, but her beauty and worth as a person are constant and inviolate.
If you are less healthy and less fit, that doesn’t mean that you’re less beautiful and less worthy. Nor when you’re healthier and fitter are you more beautiful and more worthy. Keeping firm on this distinction will expedite the ability to improve quality of life (fitness) and not lessen quantity (health). But it will also prevent the confusion between preferential judgment and professional assessment, and allow people to offer us valuable information without any emotional reaction to their feedback.
Self-love, not self-loathing, gateways positive transformation in body, mind and spirit. “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” ~ Socrates