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Do you judge health on appearance?

For years I judged my health on my appearance, I believed wrongly at 22 stone I was “unhealthy” because society taught me that I was in a body that wasn’t acceptable.

I believed that my size correlated to my health status, and the only way I could improve my health was to squash myself, to make myself smaller.

And that I did, I squashed my body, I got to a place where society would deem me “acceptable” where the patriarchy would confirm that body I had was my best survival tool and I’d met the expectations put on women about bodies and desirability.

I’ve made it… Health conquered, body accepted.

Until that wasn’t the case, until I recognised that at my smallest, I was actually unhealthier than I was when I perceived a negative belief about my health and size.

Those who judge their health according to body focused this ideals tend to feel shame about their bodies.


Health at my smallest, whilst in a “societally acceptable body” looked like;

Meticulous control over calorie tracking

Excessive exercise

No menstrual cycle

Irritability and mood swings

Constant hunger

Food avoidance

Social fear

Perfection ideals

Binge eating and loss of control

Just like It is incredibly difficult to feel positive about your body when you base success on looks, it is incredibly difficult to feel positive about your health when you’re focusing on your body. 

And that’s what I was doing, and maybe you are too, I know for a lot of my clients when they begin with Thrive they have an associated belief that their body is an indication of their health not just for themselves, but for others around them.

People assume someone is unhealthy in a larger body.People assume someone is healthy in a smaller body.

Which is false and is drawing these conclusions based on appearance.

I was in a “smaller body” but far from healthy, I had no confidence, my food relationship was rock bottom, and I controlled my weight with excessive restriction and huge binges, my emotional regulation was non-existent and my self esteem, self worth had gone with the wind.

But you know what made it harder?

The constant validation from others, the constant reinforcement that I “looked good” and everyone wanted to know what I had done to shed the lbs and maintain it.

I felt like a fraud, on the outside everyone accepted me, the male gaze flooded in, women spoke more to me, but I was seeing myself as an object, I believed that I needed to keep perfecting my look because despite the attention I didn’t feel healthy.

Fortunately we are years on from Rebecca and her high beauty standards and thin ideal beliefs, and in the healthiest place ever.

I’ve never been more accepting of my body, my food relationship is peaceful, my emotions are stable(ish), I am human and hormones are wild, my connections are beautiful, my love for myself is the greatest, my confidence is in myself to achieve, but none of this has come from my size, my shape.

The reason I am talking about this is because the warmer months are coming, and for a lot of you reading this you are probably thinking about dieting, which is absolutely fine and something you have complete autonomy over, but I first want you to consider if you’re doing that because you believe your weight and shape make you “unhealthy” and that you believe you’ll be more accepted and “healthy” in a smaller body.

Because like myself and so many who have spent years trying to squash their bodies, to fit and “ideal” have never felt healthy, confident, accepting.

And actually “participants who place greater value on weight and shape in weight loss interventions are more likely to re-gain their weight in comparison to those who de-value it”

Your weight does not determine your health.

Your health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. WHO

You can be in a larger body and be significantly healthier than someone in a smaller body.

You can have better cardiovascular health in a larger body than someone in a smaller body.

You can have better emotional regulation, self awareness, mindfulness than someone in a smaller body.

The belief that thinner is better, more superior, healthier, creates a negative stereotype especially in females and is linked with a range of physical and psychological issues, including disordered eating behaviours.

I question to you now 🙋‍♀️ …

How do you identify your health?

What does health mean to you?

For me now, health is freedom, the ability to feel at home in my body, to move my body for enjoyment, to connect with those closest to me, to reduce risk of chronic illness, to be mobile, to have good fitness, stamina, strength, to be mindful of my choices, to maintain as regulated as possible, to embrace imperfection, to be compassionate, open minded, willing to change, willing to fail, be wrong, to be guided by failures, to take risks, to have adventures, and know that my body is supporting me.

I urge you to get curious about what health means to you, and if it does mean the “thin ideal” know that there is nothing wrong with you and rather that is just a belief formed over centuries of diet culture nonsense.

Listen to this podcast to begin with strategies to exploring your health outside of your body shape.

When you diet from a place of acceptance, awareness, recognition of other factors outside of your weight and shape you are far more likely to maintain your weight.

Body confidence doesn’t come from weight loss.Health doesn’t come from weight loss.

But you can have the two irrespective of your weight and feel peaceful in your body.Likewise you can have the two and still be willing to embark on a fat loss journey.

I know it feels more vulnerable as the warmer months creep upon us, smaller clothes and a larger amount of self doubt creeping in, it doesn’t have to be like that. Here we use evidence based strategies that support the behaviour change, mindset development to be accepting in your body, recognise the entire aspects of health and have an approach that adds value to your life.

One of my clients, just this week, went on holiday with her little girl, and after the work we have been doing felt more content in her swimwear 👇

A feeling she had never had before, and each holiday previously was a “f&%k it” on her diet.

That is health, that is connection, that is sustainable.

The amount of times I hear…

“I look back at photos when I was smaller and still hated myself then”

Welcome to the side of the industry that supports you connecting to your body, healing your food relationship and finally achieving a life of health FOR YOU, not for any beauty standards, thin ideals or hashtags.

Thanks for reading, let me know how you get on listening to the podcast and identifying your own health.

Have a lovely day,

Rebecca x


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