What would x lbs either way really, realistically change about you as a person?
- Make a list of things, without really thinking about it too hard. For example, “If I lost five pounds, I would finally be able to ___.” Whatever you put in the ___ is an ultimate goal; “losing x lbs” is a proxy goal. So if you wrote “…I would finally be able to love myself,” then self-love would be an ultimate goal. Note that these “ultimate goals” have to be about you and no one else — so “then I would be able to be loved by others" is not an ultimate goal, but "I would be able to accept love from others" would be. You are the subject here, not the object.
- Go through the list and evaluate how realistic each statement is. Consider whether torturing yourself, denying yourself the necessities of life, being at war with your body, sounds like something that would lead to those ultimate goals.
- Brainstorm more effective and healthier ways to use that same amount of energy and time to reach your ultimate goal — like using coping skills, finishing a project, strengthening relationships with friends and family, etc.
- Consider if someone you love (like a younger sibling, or a cousin) came up to you and asked how to achieve those same ultimate goals. What advice would you give them? Would you advise that they starve themselves, or throw up their food, putting their life and sanity at risk? Would you say that the only way they are worthwhile is if their body looks a certain way?
- If the answer is “no” for them, then the answer is “no” for you, too. In fact, the answer is “no” for everyone, since, again, body shape has no bearing on how good of a person you are.