Rock your minivan

Written by amy on August 2nd, 2013

mini van   I love metaphors. I am always one metaphor away from completely understanding the universe. In my job as a dietitian, I frequently use metaphors during counseling to help my clients better grasp concepts and explanations.  One of my favorite ways to explain the relationship between weight, body image, and health is by comparing our body to a car.

Unlike the cars we drive and trade in when the car starts to break down, our body is the only one that we will have for our entire lifetime.  Therefore, it is essential to give your car the right gas (food) and the proper care (exercise, sleep, etc.) to have this car perform well.  The kicker about this car is that we can not choose the type of car we are going to have. And the type of car you drive says nothing about you as the driver. Some people are genetically predetermined to look like a sports car, some are meant to be a wagon, and there are some who are meant to be a minivan. That’s just the way it is. Unfortunately, our culture has emphasized the smooth, sleek  sports car as the ideal body image. In doing so, many people continue to struggle with self-esteem issues, frustration, and disappointment when their own bodies more closely resemble big and boring minivans.

So here is my recommendation. Instead of choosing a body size or an arbitrary number on the scale as a goal, make health your goal. Choose to take care of your car so that it carries you smoothly through life.  Feed it healthy foods and in a healthy manner. Exercise frequently. Sit infrequently. Improve your sleep habits. See a doctor regularly. Learn stress reduction and relaxation techniques. Nourish supportive relationships with others. There are better indicators of health. Making healthy changes in these may or may not also change your weight, body size and shape but it will definitely bring your body closer to your genetic potential – whether that be a sports car or a well-tuned mini van.  And, if you end up being a minivan, rock it!


Love these images on the subject!

scale with words               All-women-weight-150



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