Respecting your body is an ordeal for most. Like myself there is always a part of my body that I wish could be better or improved. Ultimately, we should appreciate what we were born with and focus on appreciating what we have. I have taught myself over the years to have a healthy relationship with my food, mind, and body so that I can become the best version of myself.
I have learnt how to distinguish between physical and emotional feelings and gain a sense of body wisdom. It is also a process of making peace with food so that you no longer have constant worries about food and eating. It is knowing that your health and your worth as a person do not change, because you ate a food that you had labelled as ‘bad’ or ‘fattening’.
The underlying premise of intuitive eating is that you will learn to respond to your inner body clues. You were born with all the wisdom you need for eating intuitively you just have to teach your body how to act on it. On the surface, this may sound simplistic, but it is rather complex. This inner wisdom is often clouded by years of dieting and food myths that abound in the culture. For example, “Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full” may sound like basic common sense, but when you have a history of chronic dieting or of following rigid ‘healthy’ rules about eating, it can be quite difficult.
So what is the recipe for body respect?
- Don’t compare yourself to someone else
Too often we spend so much time on idealising over someone else’s body. Comparing yourself to others can lead to more dieting and body dissatisfaction. You do not know how someone acquired their current body shape.
- Feed your body mindfully with foods that benefit
One of the most important things you can do to get yourself on the path to eating intuitively is to implement mindfulness, both outside of and during mealtimes. This will not only assure that you’re eating what you need when you need it, but it will also decrease the likelihood of using food as a mask for a deeper emotional need.
- Dress to impress
Sometimes you just have to let go of clothes that no longer serve you. Each year our body shapes will naturally change, the best thing you can do is change with it. Spring cleaning the wardrobe is a great way to take note of your body, you might have just spent a whole season in your favourite tracksuit, however when you pack your heirloom cut off shorts and get to your sunny destination, you may find that those shorts no longer serve you. Go out and treat yourself! And dress your body.
- Self love
If you find it hard to take care of yourself, maybe you need to take a moment to fall in love with the person you’re taking care of so that self-care becomes a basic need rather than a distant guilt-inducing fantasy. I always say: self-improvement without self-love is like building a house without any foundations. You can build and build, however if there is no stability at the bottom, the building will eventually collapse.
We live in an age where everyone is always trying to improve themselves, but they forget that the most important thing we can ever fix is the line of communication between our heart, our mind, and our soul.