National Eating Disorders Association
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Dear Melody: How Can I Accept Healthy Weight Gain?

“Dear Melody” is a monthly advice column by Dr. Melody Moore, a clinical psychologist, yoga instructor and the founder of the Embody Love Movement Foundation. Her foundation is a non-profit whose mission is to empower girls and women to celebrate their inner beauty, commit to kindness and contribute to meaningful change in the world. Dr. Moore is a social entrepreneur who trains facilitators on how to teach programs to prevent negative body image and remind girls and women of their inherent worth. Her work has been featured in the books Yoga and Body Image and Yoga and Eating Disorders: Ancient Healing for Modern Illness, as well as in Yoga Journal, Yoga International and Origin Magazine.

How can I stop thinking that my healthy weight gain is a bad thing and how do I accept being in the normal weight range?

Three things. None of them easy, but each of them possible. One graceful step at a time, you can first begin to unravel the assumption that your weight is what matters about you. It isn’t. This is the first thing. There is so much more to who you are than what you weigh. And it is imperative that you land in the truth of this step, because without doing so, you will continue to be seduced into the illusion that your weight is your worth. The “good” and the bad” come from this limited perspective about your whole, worthy self.   

The second thing: Your “normal” weight range is your body being able to function effectively to carry around your soul. Your personality. Your essence. Your purpose. The inner you. If you are able to eat from the wisdom in your belly, you will find that your body is in sync with your hunger signals. And that it is not working against you. Your body is not the enemy. It is the temple. The vessel. Your body is the shell, not the soul.  How your body ends up looking when you nourish it according to its needs is its own unique and individualized expression of beautiful.

Thing three? To know that your “normal” is yours, and yours alone. You cannot be compared to anyone else or any standard for yourself that you’ve contrived. Own who you are. Only you can. Your eating disorder contributes to you seeing a distortion of the reality that you look better when you weigh less or look smaller. The truth is that your body looks best when it is nourished, and that it feels best when you feed it what it needs. The result of nourishing your body is a nourished mind, one that will be less likely to believe the inner critic of your not being thin enough unless you are underweight.