Many women, myself included, struggle between self acceptance and wanting to lose weight. In this article behavior change expert Shahroo Izadi discusses why it’s ok to love yourself and still want to lose weight.

It’s soaked in our culture that being thin is the only way to be. So, of course we want to lose weight, she says. Her book The Kindness Method talks about treating yourself well. And her own journey changed when she started prioritizing her mental health.

One of Izadi’s own ‘aha’ moments came when her counsellor asked,‘What if you’re never slim?’ She says, ‘At that point, I made a decision to treat myself better than I ever had in my life.’ That is the core of her programme: treating yourself – with food, exercise and other self-care – the way you’d want a loved one to treat themselves. The way, in fact, you’d always promised you’d treat yourself once you lost the weight… but now.

I’ve found this focus on kindness and self-compassion to be the foundation of health without dieting. Even if you desperately want to change, the place to start is with treating yourself well now.

I can’t recommend Shahroo’s books because of their fat phobia and weight loss focus, but I do endorse her behavior change ideas.

Behavior change expert Shahroo Izadi says you can love yourself and still want to lose weight | Red Magazine On-line