I often hear:
“I intellectually understand why body acceptance is important – but I don’t yet believe it for myself. I can’t seem to let myself experience it”.
To anyone wondering what body image has to do with feeling crazy around food, let me make this clear: Everything. I believe that a significant reason why women feel out of control around food is because of body image issues. It’s this assumption that we as people are defined by the size, shape and appearance of our bodies that backs us into the corner without anywhere to ‘apparently’ go but ‘skinny town’. You can read more on this here.
Needless to say, if you want to make long lasting changes in feeling sane around food, then for many of you, you’re going to have to do some body image work.
That could involve:
….Challenging the status quo of what it means to be healthy, beautiful, sexy
….Redefining health/ wellness/ beauty/ success etc
….Separating self worth from weight
….Exploring the social issues surrounding weight/ beauty/ health etc.
Many people generally understand – to some degree- that ‘bodies come in different shapes and sizes’ and that ‘your weight says nothing about your worth as a person’. Yet there’s still this issue of ‘how’ can I move from ‘understanding’ to ‘embodying’.
While thinking about and cognitively focusing on changing your mindset around these issues are both very helpful approaches, they alone aren’t the answer to body acceptance.
The best piece of information I can give you is to make the decision to accept your body through taking action. Which means go out there and experience what it feels like to accept your body.
….Instead of thinking about going swimming….Go swimming
….Rather than dream about the day you’ll wear shorts….Wear the shorts today
….Quit dreaming about having sex with the lights on and….Have sex with the lights on
….Instead of staying quiet when around body shaming….Stand up for body diversity
A significant part of my recovery and ability to bounce back from days where I don’t feel so body-loving is to face my ‘body hate’ through action.
For some bonus advice, make a list of all the things you’re reserving the right to experience when you’re ‘thinner’ and get out there and experience these.
I’d love to know in the comments: What are you committing to experiencing for yourself regardless of your weight?
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