Licensed Psychologist

Am I Too Fat?

We constantly receive messages from family, friends and even physicians implying that there is a correlation between weight and well -being. You will be happy, healthy, and successful if you are skinny. You must lose weight in order to live a good life. If you do not fit this mold, you may feel shame or be stigmatized. Unfortunately, this approach has not been successful. Most people who diet gain the weight back. People resort to sneak eating and are unable to enjoy the foods that they love. They may under-eat or over exercise. Periods of food deprivation only result in the body raising the set point and becoming heavier over time. Weight cycling has been shown to lead to poorer health. BMI has often been used as to assess a person’s health status. However, it has been found that people who fall into the obese category according to their BMI are often physically fit than those who are slimmer. Surprisingly, they have actually been shown to have half the mortality of people who are thin and more sedentary. A much better approach is to focus on wellness, encouraging people of all sizes to respect and take care of themselves. Physical activity could be encouraged for pleasure as well as for health benefits. Eating would be in response to hunger and satiety cues rather than a diet plan. Foods would not be labeled as “good or bad”. This approach would respect people of all sizes. They would not be judged based on their body size but instead encouraged to take care of their physical and emotional needs.

Maybe I Have An Eating Disorder

  • I think about food all the time
  • I panic if I eat too much
  • I am terrified of gaining weight
  • I feel fat, friends tell me I'm thin
  • I don't get regular menstrual periods
  • I prefer to eat when no one will see me
  • I have lost more than 15% of my normal weight
  • I find myself compulsively eating
  • I exercise a lot
  • I tend to be a perfectionist
  • I consume less than 1200 calories a day
  • I want to be thinner than all my friends
  • I hate my body
  • I have been depressed and irritable lately
  • I use laxatives or diuretics for weight control
  • I binge and make myself vomit
  • I feel food is my enemy
  • I am preoccupied with food and weight
  • I have extreme mood swings
  • I feel tired all the time
  • I often feel cold when no one else does
  • I have noticed that my hair is dry and brittle
  • I have noticed my skin is drier
  • I have noticed my nails break easily
  • I have more cavaties recently
  • I have noticed my teeth are discolored
It would be a good idea to consult an eating disorder specialist if you have more than five of these behaviors.
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