Most people spend their time being critical of themselves, their bodies, weight, and food. Instead, I encourage guests here at Movara to employ compassion, patience, and trust as they remove judgments from themselves, weight and food. Paradoxically, the more critical you are with yourself, the less likely you are to reach your goals. The more accepting you are of yourself and food, the MORE likely you are to reach your goals.
Why is that? Why is it that letting go of food rules and weight obsession actually gets us where we want to go? I don’t know if I have one solid answer, but it is a curious paradox. Ultimately, what we try so hard to control actually controls us. Instead, intuitive eating and making peace with food aim to put you back in charge of YOUR choices, rather than micromanaged by a set of rules.
The ability to let go and trust cannot be underestimated. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of grit, particularly because of the food and weight-obsessed culture we live in. As guests move forward in eating fear foods or not obsessively monitoring weight, fear and anxiety are bound to intensify. It’s in those moments that many retreat. It gets hard and super confusing and completely overwhelming. This isn’t something that can be done in one session or without professional help. If you are currently receiving help, keep going! Make sure to reach out on hard days and let us remind you why you are working so hard. Don’t stop because it gets hard, let that be when you ask for help.
If you question yourself or find it hard to make peace with food and you are ready to start trusting and accepting yourself, I offer 3 suggestions that I find make this process all the easier:
1. A complete social media detox. You need to hide or unfollow anything (yes anything) that discusses weight, body shape, food rules or diets. I’m casting a pretty wide net there; if it’s questionable just get rid of it.
2. A healthy dose of gratitude. I’m not saying you need to fake anything or start “shoulding” yourself into feeling a different way. Just start looking for things in your life or as you go throughout your day that you are grateful for. When we start looking, we start seeing. Looking for the good can change our whole outlook, and help us gain perspective. We are conditioned to believe that the way we look is most important but it’s just not.
3. Lastly, you are not expected to love or even like your body. In fact, I don’t think that would be a wise goal. Instead, I encourage you to work toward, and practice, body respect. Realize really deeply that your body is YOUR body. Another one is not going to magically appear. The energy you are currently spending on manipulating or changing or comparing your body will be better used in learning about it and respecting it.
I love the work I do and I love seeing someone heal their relationship with food and their body. It never ceases to amaze me how much impact that has on every other aspect of their lives. I hope you find the peace you deserve.
Adapted from a blog post by: Emily Fonnesbeck RD, CD