Day 8 - Respect Your Body

You might not like it, but believe me when I say it:
the biggest obstacle you have to making peace with food is respecting and accepting your body....exactly as she is.

BUT FIRST: let's talk about yesterday.
How did it feel to think about the fact that emotional eating is, to some extent, perfectly normal? To consider it a valid coping mechanism, as opposed to a shameful, sinful behaviour you obviously participate in because you are SO broken?

You are not broken.
Most negative behaviours around food are a reasonable, natural, human reaction to a culture that encourages you to behave in a very UNnatural way around food. Trying to control your biological drives and curb your human desires, in order to manipulate your body, has consequences.

We've already talked about listening to your biological drive (hunger) and your human desire (pleasure and comfort)...now it's time to tackle the next part of the equation: constant attempts at body manipulation.

Day 8: Respect Your Body

"Accept your genetic blueprint. Just as a person with a shoe size of eight would not expect to realistically squeeze into a size six, it is equally futile (and uncomfortable) to have the same expectation about body size. But mostly, respect your body, so you can feel better about who you are. It's hard to reject diet mentality if you are unrealistic and overly critical about your body shape" - Tribole & Resch

Tough Love Moment: If you were happy with your body, like reallllly okay with it, you wouldn't have a problem with food. You are fighting food because you believe, deep down that controlling food is a rational behaviour. A behaviour that will lead you to a perfect body. And a perfect body will give you a perfect life.

But here are the facts we've learned so far:

  • Diet's don't work. The research has shown that controlling food has never, ever lead to long-term weight loss for any but a very small % of the population.
  • Hunger is a biological drive. When we try to override it, our body fights back.
  • The shameful voices in our head aren't helping us to behave better around food. The opposite, in fact.
  • Pleasure, not shame/guilt/control, fuels our metabolism.
  • Like binge eating, emotional eating increases in those who are hell bent on approaching food with a weight-loss focused, diet-mentality.
  • All of our attempts to control food (and our bodies) leave us more out of control than ever.

So, as I see it, you have TWO choices:
Door #1:
Continue to try to manipulate your body. Stay stuck in diet mentality. Drive yourself crazy and never have a moment of peace in your life. Oh, and remember, the stats tell us that staying in this food-control frame of mind won't actually make you thinner. In fact, it's quite likely your weight will slowly go UP over time. You'll stay crazy and your body will do exactly what you are resisting.

OR

Door #2:
You let go. You make the decision that your body is perfectly FINE, just as she is.
You consider how you would act if you liked your body and you let go of the old stories that eating food in a relaxed way will make you fat and unloved.

How would you behave differently?
How would you approach food differently?
How would you care for your body differently?

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Your Homework
Make a list of all the things you WOULD do, if you liked your body, AND THEN YOU START DOING THEM.

  • Dress Better
  • Have more fun
  • Eat delicious, healthful food slowly
  • Wear lipstick
  • Be more outgoing
  • Be kinder to others, less moody
  • Get a massage
  • Drink more water.
  • Moisturize
  • "Get it together"
  • Go for that job you've always wanted
  • Start dating again
  • Make time for exercise you love
  • Be more confident
  • Wear a bathing suit on the beach

It's ALL available to you RIGHT NOW. Exactly as you are.
Make your own list....and then get to werk.

Little Note: Body love and Body respect are NOT about one day waking up and delusionaly believing that you are supermodel.

It's about understanding that you don't need to be a super model to be beautiful or worthy of love/affection/belonging. It's about a deep, unconditional belief that you are worthy - just because you exist.

It's also about recognizing that "the supermodel ideal" is a societal invention that is available to less than 5% of the population and that continuing to engage is drastic behaviours around food and exercise, in order to try to fit into a mold that will likely never be you, is an abuse against your body.

It's about embracing that over-used word "authenticity" and daring to be exactly who you are...and to find NEW role models. Women who are living beautiful, bold, exceptional lives in gorgeous bodies of all shapes and size. THAT is the new goal.