My Health Mantra

This is about me (and maybe you?) 

It is about my struggles with self loathing.  It is about the struggle to be better, but never defining better so consistently “failing”.  

It is about the revolution of not doubting my own worth based on how much weight I lose. 

I started to struggle to come up with phrases that would help me when challenged about my reversal of dieting culture.  I often came up speechless when someone would comment on another person’s weight, what they ate and how much of it in a day, how many pants sizes they had dropped.  I had to come up with some one liners to lead me through the responses.  This became my mantra.

  • I am not how much I weigh or how much I’ve gained or how much I’ve lost.
  • I am not what I eat…I’m what I do and what I say.
  • Changing my shape and size isn’t going to make me happy
  • Changing the way I feel about my body/myself will.
  • I respectfully decline to discuss your size, my size, her size or his size in any way.
  • I will eat what I want, and move on.
  • I swim, bike, or run every day…being healthy doesn’t mean being thin.
  • I embrace my body as a part of me.

How do you respond comments about your weight or other’s weight?  Why do people think it is acceptable? 



  1. I try to avoid engaging in any conversation that would berate another person’s size or shape, especially when that person is trying to better themself. On the other hand, I haven’t had much success when talking to someone who displaces the blame away from themselves and continues crying to the world about the hopelessness of their situation.

    Self-actualization plays a key role as far as I’m concerned, so if I don’t associate a draw in power with certain negative things, I would be doomed to repeat them. Nonetheless, I applaud your mantra and am very keen on these, as well as personal mission statements. Good luck in your journey!

  2. Love those mantras. I am still trying to accept what I’ve done to myself. I have a myriad of health problems because of my unhealthy lifestyle choices. Not because of my weight, but because of my feelings about my weight and the resultant sel-defeating choices I made that reinforced a negative mindset and let to more unhealthy choices that made me sicker…you know the drill.

    Being introduced to HAES has been helpful, but I still struggle with equating beauty with thinness, not necessarily health, but beauty. Sadly, when I don’t feel beautiful, it’s a downward negative spiral about self-worth, comparison to impossible standards and I open myself as a target for others opinions.

    I have tried to respond to comments by saying “I am focusing on getting my health back in order at the moment. I’d prefer not to discuss dieting/weight loss, please.” The responses I have gotten are hugely negative – things like “if you’d focus on weight loss, you’d look/feel/be healthier” or “that’s just an excuse for laziness” and, my favorite “I bet your doctor wouldn’t approve of that”. It’s quite disheartening. I am looking for a place that others would understand the struggle to go against the mainstream and help me re-frame my own vision of beauty, health and a joyful life.

    I also wonder if HAES is really just a thinly veiled diet in disguise. Sure, you can eat whatever you are hungry for until you are satisfied, but you still need to convince yourself that what you’re hungry for is salad, fruit, low fat and whole grains. You still have to exercise every day – whether it’s disguised as “joyful movement” or “life movement” it’s still exercise. I’m working hard to reframe things, but I still have these questions…

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