I was at war with my belly for decades.
Even at my slimmest, my belly was a constant reminder that I was a failure.
It didn’t matter how many diets I started (and blew) or how many crunches I executed, I resigned myself that the midriff would remain concealed for the rest of my life.
When we have issues with our bodies, it's a challenge to have a peaceful, loving relationship with her.
When we struggle to accept, value or care for our bodies exactly as they are, and believe we don’t measure up to society's beauty standards, we give ourselves the message that “we’re not worth it”.
Why is it so hard for us to embrace our bodies just as they are or see their magnificence?
Diet culture is everywhere in our society.
Our children grow up with images of what women and men “should” look like, or at the very least, should strive to look like. We are a culture obsessed with thinness and youthfulness.
It is a recipe for disaster when not every body is naturally thin and aging happens to the best of us!
Our body size is determined by so many factors.
Your relationship with your body
Physical and mental health
Your dieting history
The drive to live in a smaller body and the pressure to meet a thin ideal catapult us onto the dangerous diet roller coaster and follow exercise regimens that are unsustainable, and sometimes even harmful.
Shocking Facts You Need to Know About
In 1970, the average age of girls who started dieting was 14 years; by 1990, the age had dropped to 8 years of age. In Canada, up to 30% of girls and up to 25% of boys between the ages of 10-14 years are dieting to lose weight.
Eating disorders are on the rise with children.
Developing an eating disorder is now 2-4 times more likely to happen than developing Type 2 Diabetes. https://nied.ca/about-eating-disorders-in-canada/
Adults are not exempt from body dissatisfaction either. We forget that issues with our bodies and food that began when we were younger, often get swallowed and buried as we progress into adulthood. We are taught to focus on how we look rather than address the pain we feel inside as we fight to fit in, feel confident, and be ‘enough’.
No matter what stage of life you’re in, diet culture continues to bombard with messages that challenge your confidence, body image and your relationship with food.
How do we change the way we perceive and feel about our bodies?
These 3 tips will help you begin the Journey to accepting your body just as she is.
Change the Conversation, Inside and Out
We all talk to ourselves. Pay attention to the conversation you have with yourself. Challenge each negative statement and replace it with a more positive one. Make a commitment to stop judging or criticizing your body.
Listen to the conversation you have with others. Make a commitment to stop talking about how awful your body is. Let others know you’ve decided to stop judging others’ bodies too. When we hate our bodies, its easy to be critical of others. Choose to be positive!
2. Do a Social Media Cleanse
Unfollow those who promote negative body messaging or invite you to feel bad about your body.
Search for accounts that match your body type or that encourage body positivite messages.
3. Practice Gratitude For Your Body
Make a list of all the things your body does and can do. Each day focus on one of them and remind yourself to be grateful for the only body you’ll ever have.
Self-worth, self-esteem and the confidence to celebrate who you are should never be dependent upon your weight or shape, whether you like or love your body and her parts, or how you think others judge you for how you look.
Finally, the journey to a positive body image isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes work and practice to change years of hating your bodies and believing you aren’t enough.
What is Body Freedom and Peace Worth to You?
I’m on a mission to help women see their bodies as the miracles they are and learn to respect them no matter the size or shape.
If you’d like some help creating a healthy, positive relationship with your body, I’d love to chat with you. Why me? Because I’ve walked the path to finding body freedom and peace with food and have lived to tell the story. If I can do it, you can too!
I’d be delighted to include you in my Free Online Community, Join the Journey. Come along with us (we’re all on the same path) to a Healthier Body Image with our 5 day Kick-Start – beginning September 28th, 2020.
If you’re ready to learn simple but effective strategies, tips and solutions to take back your power, leave dieting behind you, and begin your Journey to Food and Body Freedom (and peace), contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get started on this path together.