Ways to Embrace Your Body (October 2018)
Diet Culture is constantly sending out the message that there is something wrong with us and we must change our body if we don’t look a certain way.
Did you know that, from the time we are born, our height and body shape is already determined for us? A shocking 70% of our body weight is predetermined by genetics.
The more we try to change our body, the more the weight will return. In fact, statistics show that not only do the majority of people gain back their initial weight, they end up gaining more than they started with..
If you have experienced this back-and-forth, you know all-too-well the frustration of constantly trying to change something that is simply not supposed to be altered.
With this being the case, consider what it would be like if you, instead, embraced your body?
I have always said that we have a “suit.” This suit is the body that we are born with. Learning how to appreciate your “suit” without having food rules, being rigid, and learning to enjoy food again is a wonderful goal.
Many of us are not happy in our “suits” which results in the constant thoughts about what we believe we “should” or “should not” eat. This article is going to teach you ways to begin embracing your body.
- Make a “Meal Date” with Yourself
Start with thinking about what food appeals to you for a meal. If you are getting take-out, bring your food home, put it on a plate, set the table with a table cloth and even think about having fresh cut flowers and sit down when eating. It is very common to eat on the couch, multitasking instead of learning how to become reconnected to your body as you nourish it.Additionally, consider listening to music. Many of my clients have reported that eating so formally by themselves feels strange or uncomfortable to them but music helps them remain present and connected without feeling so alone.
- Create a Positive Body Affirmation
Write down what you like about yourself, or what you wish you could learn to like about yourself. To go even further, try saying these statements out loud, even if you don’t believe them at first. Having short write ups and being able to stand and affirm body positivity and self-love can help a person begin to work on ways to accept their body and themselves.
- Eat your Favorite Food
The more we tell ourselves that we cannot eat certain foods, the longer we delay healing our relationship with our body. Not only does this make us unhappy, it often causes us to fixate on those foods that we are not able to consume based on our rigid belief system.Try buying your favorite food as often as you would like: daily, every other day, once a week, whatever feels comfortable for you to start. Think about how you can enjoy the experience of eating a food you love (let’s say chips) while truly tasting it and paying attention to how it feels and how it makes you feel. This will help you begin to work on embracing yourself and all foods.
- Set Time Aside to Take Care of Yourself
I often suggest to clients to take a nap as a method of self-care but always hear the response, “I can’t because then I am not being productive.” I remind clients that taking a nap is being productive, as resting your mind and body allows us to feel more refreshed and calmer in various situations. Self-care equals self-love and compassion towards you.If you are not able to take a nap, perhaps sitting on the couch and watch a favorite telvision show. Maybe a bubble bath is another avenue to look at taking time out for you? Make a list of a handful of options so that you can choose one to execute each day.
- Speak to Yourself the Way You Would Speak to Your Pet or Child
When we begin speaking to ourselves in a loving and nurturing way, we begin to appreciate ourselves more as well. We all deserve respect and to believe we are worthy of the best of everything. The more we practice saying nice things to ourselves, the more this will become an automatic part of our thought process.I hope you can begin embracing your body, little-by-little. Even if you begin doing so less often than you would like, every effort is a start. Working on changing our thought process is like planting a new plant. It requires, water, sunlight, new fertilizer and love to continue to grow!
- Mann, T. (2015). You should never diet again: the science and genetics of weight loss. Retrieved from Salon.com.