Hello everyone, welcome to another Wild Workout Wednesday Linkup where Nicole from Fitful Focus, Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama and I bring you workout ideas, motivation, inspiration and recipes to try. Join us each week by reading along, grabbing our button and linking up with a healthy living post of your own.
I feel like as I begin to write about each principle of Intuitive Eating I think this is the hardest principle. Then I write about the next one and think oh no, this is the hardest principle. The truth of the matter is, Intuitive Eating is hard. It is a process that requires commitment and the principles are hard because you’re fighting against the diet industry, our culture, and basically everything you’ve learned about feeding yourself since you were little. Dieting is easy, giving up the diet is the hard part! So once again I’ll tell you, this principle isn’t easy.
So what does it mean to respect your body? It means that you accept your body as it is at this very moment regardless of its size or shape.
You may think to yourself but I don’t accept my body, I want to be thinner or I’ll be happy as soon as I lose these last 5 pounds. And if you have those thoughts, ask yourself these questions. What do you think you will gain by being in a thinner body? Do you think you will be happier? Do you think you will be more valuable? And at what point will you feel these changes? Does 10 pounds equate to 10% happier? Will you feel 100% satisfied once you reach your goal weight or will you be left wondering what if you lost a little more? What happens in the time it takes for you to reach your goal weight? How do you feel about yourself in the interim?
Do you see how the diet mentality drags you into a cycle of unhappiness? You are always waiting to feel happier and more satisfied but it never happens because diets don’t work! Instead, you can learn to accept your body right now and find happiness immediately.
One of my favourite quotes around body positivity is, “you are not less valuable because you take up more space.” No ones worth is determined by the number on a scale or the size of their stomach so stop letting yourself feel that it is.
Respecting your body also means not putting unrealistic expectations on it. There is an ideal body size and shape in our culture that’s splashed across magazine covers and Instagram feeds. But even if you found the most perfect diet or starved yourself forever, would you actually be able to achieve that body shape? I know that no matter how much I diet, I would never be able to get rid of my thighs. Take a look at my family and it’s a clear genetic trait. So I need to respect that about my body and accept the things I cannot change. Think of what your body shape is like and what it was like as you grew up. Is the body you are idolizing realistic or are you not respecting the limitations of the body you were given. We are not a one size fits all society so we need to stop making that our goal.
Steps to Achieving Body Acceptance
So how do you go from body loathing to body respect and acceptance? It’s not a overnight process and there is no step by step guide that will work for every person. But here are some things that may help you along your journey:
- Recognize that happiness is not something that should be dependent on your body size and that you shouldn’t have to wait for it
- Remind yourself constantly that you are not valued by your size
- Use positive mantras daily
- Surround yourself with people who are positive about their bodies and other peoples bodies. If you find negativity in your group try to bring positive conversations around body into it.
- Listen to podcasts and read blogs that talk about body positivity (Check out my list of recommended Body Image & Body Positive Podcasts)
- Read books on the topic – Intuitive Eating, Health At Every Size, Body Kindness
- Journal about your feelings around your body image.
- Start noticing positive aspects of others outside of their physical appearance and compliment them on those things. Positivity breeds positivity.
Body respect is a skill that needs ongoing practice. You will always be faced with negative thoughts. You can feel great and then one day you put on a pair of pants and you feel awful about yourself all over again. When those days happen, go back through the above steps and find your coping strategies.
Do you have unreasonable expectations of your body? What steps do you take to achieve body acceptance and positivity?
Join the Wild Workout Wednesday Linkup!