No matter how much work we do on our relationships with food and our bodies, since we live in a diet culture that values thin bodies, I think it’s unrealistic to think you’ll forever be free of negative thoughts about your body (until we eradicate diet and beauty culture!).
Our environment is set up to keep triggering body dissatisfaction.
There’s Big Business investment in that coupled with our primal need for belonging.
So what to do?
Here’s a very simple, very powerful question to ask yourself when you find you’re:
- comparing your body to other people’s bodies and wishing yours was more like theirs
- clicking on links about weight loss miracles (or bog standard diets)
- criticising your body’s image in mirrors or photos
- having thoughts or making plans about how to change your body
- and the like…
Where do I want to invest my energy?
Your mental, physical and emotional energy is yours to use. It’s a precious resource. You get to decide how and where you’ll invest it.
Your investment will pay dividends.
The kinds of dividends you can expect to receive by investing your energy in changing your body (or trying to maintain a body shape that is not naturally yours) are:
- perpetual dissatisfaction
- potentially an eating disorder
- injuries from over-exercise
- disconnection from your body’s cues
- fear of food
- lack of trust in yourself and your own body
Whereas the dividends from an investment in Intuitive Eating, body acceptance, mindfulness and self-compassion are:
- acceptance of your body and all bodies
- trust in your body
- enjoyment of food
- ease with food choices
- connection with and respect of your body’s cues
- greater ability to meet your needs as a whole
- and so much more!
It’s a simple question to keep asking yourself: where do I want to invest my energy? Am I happy with the dividends I’m likely to receive?