All bodies are different.
If we all followed the same diet choices and exercised for the same amount of time, we’d still be different and look very different.
It’s hard to reject the diet mentality if you are unrealistic and overly critical of your body size or shape. All bodies deserve dignity.
Respecting your body means: treating your body with dignity and meeting its basic needs.
Before we talk about the how: let’s examine your past experiences a bit and see what results you got from them. Spend 5 minutes reflecting on your body with these 5 questions:
1. How has your current and past thinking about your body served you?
2. Has it made you respect your body more or less?
3. What is the message you send yourself when you continue to wear clothing that is too tight or ill-fitting? Or hold onto clothes are the wrong size for you?
4. Does the discomfort you feel make you want to tune in to your body more to determine whether it is hungry or full?
5. Does the discomfort help you tune into your body to discover your emotions, or what food would best nourish you right now?
Most often, feeling uncomfortable widens the already present separation between your brain and your body. This, in turn, lessens your ability to work on these interior feelings that are so important to your relationship to food and your body.
Contrast this to when you wear clothing that makes you feel comfortable and fashionable.
Interested in doing a bit more on this? Then try this exercise:
Sit in a comfortable chair where you can do this exercise without distraction.
Start with a body scan (here is one option: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHkXvPq2pQE)
Now, breathing slowly and deeply, challenge yourself to find one thing you are grateful for in each of your body regions, noting your responses on the downloadable worksheet: Some guidelines if you are struggling: work on the function of a body area instead of its appearance. “I’m grateful for my legs because they allow me to take my dog for a walk.” If you get stuck on one part, skip it for now and come back to it next week.
Post this list in a place where you can view it often.
Once a day, stop and look in the mirror and state one of the above gratitude affirmations.
I challenge you to make these body respect affirmations a daily habit. What might life be like if you do?
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