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Accepting Your Body at Any Size

Look Beyond the Scale continued...

Instead of focusing on one number -- your weight -- pay attention to how you feel when you wake up or after you hurry to catch the bus. Also check on all your other numbers, such as blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Those may paint a better picture of your health than just your weight alone.

If you're trying to lose weight, Silverman suggests swapping weight-loss oriented goals with fitness goals like keeping your cholesterol level down or training for your first 5K.

"Instead of running away from your old body on the treadmill or the StairMaster, work toward a goal that makes you feel accomplished," she says.       

Choose an exercise you love, and you'll be more likely to stick with it, Osachy says. When you exercise for stress relief and fun, your weight and health may naturally start to fall into place, she says.

As an added bonus, doing something you love will make you see your body in a different light, Silverman says. For instance, instead of loathing your thighs, you'll appreciate them because they enable you to do the things that you love, whether that is yoga or cycling.         

Cut Yourself Some Slack

Forget perfection or rigid rules. It's OK to splurge once in a while even if you're trying to lose weight, Goldman says. Not letting yourself have a little cake at a party may make you more likely to overindulge later.

Focus on the bigger picture and praise yourself for the healthy choices you make, rather than the times you think you've "failed," Silverman says.

Don't label any food as "bad" or "good." You'll only feel worse about yourself and your body if you eat something that isn't your definition of perfect, Goldman says.

Don't Compare Yourself to Others

"Healthy comes in all shapes and sizes," Goldman says. 

Never resort to unhealthy measures, such as not eating or taking potentially dangerous supplements, to fit society's idea of what looks healthy, Silverman says.

If you're physically fit, and everything checks out with your doctor, you may want to redefine your weight-loss goals altogether. If negative thoughts about your body become overwhelming, or if you are finding it hard to give up perfectionistic habits about food, weight, or exercise, talk to your doctor or a counselor or therapist.

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