It’s time to accept your genetic code. In the same way that someone who has a shoe size of eight would not expect to fit into a size six, the same thing doesn’t work with body size. But the most important thing is to treat your body well, so you can be happier with who you are. Diet mentality is hard to break if you are unrealistic and critical of your body shape, so it’s not easy to do.
You and everyone else have worth; we just need to take the time to learn how to see it. The way you treat your body should be respectful. Learning to like different bodies, including your own, takes time and effort.
Body respect is a way to be kind to yourself. There is a lot of evidence that self-compassion is better than beating ourselves up. Self-compassion is a way to show that our bodies are worth taking care of right now.
If you’re dieting and trying to lose weight, it’s likely that you’re also dieting and talking about your body in a bad way. It’s usually because someone doesn’t like their body and wants to change it in some way. It’s also a common thing for women to be told to “hate their bodies,” which means that if they feel bad enough about their bodies or specific body parts, they will be motivated to diet or exercise a lot in order to change them.
Also, there’s the idea that if you work hard enough, you can change your body. This then leads to strict dieting and over-exercising habits. It’s especially hard for girls and women to meet unrealistic and narrow beauty standards, like being 5’10” and thin on the runway or being muscular (but not too muscular and slim) in yoga or athletics. So it makes sense that our culture has a lot of negative body image.
In the media, fashion, and health industry, there has been a rise in body-positive messages. But the message that “thin is better” is still pretty clear. This message makes people feel bad about themselves and think they need to “fix” something about their body or themselves. Then, they start dieting because they want to fix or change their own bodies. And if you forget why dieting is pointless or even bad for your health, read this post again to get the answer.
Getting out of the “diet mentality” isn’t just about giving up food. You also need to change how you think about and treat your body. The more you hate your body and think it needs to be changed, the more likely it is that you will get sucked back into dieting culture and dieting behaviors.
When you stop hating your body, it’s not an easy thing to do. If you’ve been hating your body for so long, the idea of “loving” your body can be a very hard pill to swallow. I get it now. You can’t just wake up one day and not be affected by all the “thin is better” messages and fall in love with your body. You have to work hard to love your body.
In Tribole and Resch (2012), they also know this, which is why they start with the idea of “body respect” instead of “body love.” Even if you don’t love your body right now, can you at least start to treat it with care? There are many different ways to show respect, but what do they mean? Respecting your body means treating it with dignity and meeting its basic needs, say the people who say this (p.169). You should at least try to respect your body even if you can’t love or accept your body. When people treat their bodies with respect, they will also be able to do other things that are important in Intuitive Eating more quickly.
There are basic things that everybody deserves regardless of shape or size:
- To be fed when hungry
- To be treated with respect & dignity
- To be dressed comfortably
- To move when desired and in a manner that is enjoyed
Depending on what you think you want to look like and how much exercise and food you eat, your natural healthy weight may not be the same as what you think you should look like. To mourn the loss of your “ideal” body picture in your mind, you might need some time. One way to show that you care about your body (and make peace with food) is to trust that it knows what’s best.
Respect and show appreciation for the diversity of body shapes and sizes, rather than pursuit of an idealized weight or shape.
It is not worth any mental and physical strain.
We always need to remember that we are all different, unique, and diverse in our body shapes. You deserve to be comfortable where you are. You don’t need to lose a certain amount of weight or be a certain body size in order to do all the things you love or to take care of yourself.