91% of woman are dissatisfied with their bodies.
It is believed that over 80% have some degree of a disordered relationship with food.
Do you see yourself fitting into either of these categories? Statistically, it seems that we probably land in both. I sure as heck fit both statistics.
My relationship with my body took on all kind of sad behaviors. I'd divert attention away from the mirror or only focus on what didn't disgust me. When I did look at the things that grossed me out, I'd tell myself that I was fat and unlovable.
I felt that the only way I could be comfortable in my body was to change what I didn't like...starting with my weight.
We are told that thin, young, and tall is the way to reach happiness. That staying thin or getting thin enough (or in my case, toned enough) will make us feel sexy, help us find a dashingly handsome man (or striking woman), and will make us successful.
Trouble with this theory is that it is based on an ideal that is not attainable for the vast majority of women. The image has been created to drive doubt into your heart about your value and I say it's time to revolt.
I certainly doubted myself because I could never reach thin enough or toned enough.
Feeling not enough, creates motivation to "fix" what's wrong.
For me, not feeling like enough, lead to hating my body (my body became the focus of my problems) and the subsequent roller coaster with food.
Excessive and over exercising
Tight control over every bit that went in my mouth
Obsession with clean eating
Feeling out of control around food
and even cutting.
By my mid 30's, I'd had enough. I was tired and sick, both physically and mentally from all the body loathing, trying but never quite reaching my goals (and if I ever did, it didn't last but more than a month).
I was tired of beating myself up and missing out on life because I was so wrapped up in trying to be perfect.
As my mentor, Marc David says, "Perfectionism leads to self abuse."
When you are tired, you give yourself some time to rest (hopefully) and that's what I did. I had to take a break from restriction and craziness around food.
After that, I set out on a journey to learn how to eat like a sane person, how to make peace with my body, and how to be confident and sexy in my skin.
The following 10 tips are all strategies that helped me to become a healthy, more confident, vibrant person in charge of my relationship with food.
These tips are also essential if you want to be on the positive side of the statistics.
I hope you find them as useful as I do.
1. Stop using a scale to weigh yourself. The number doesn't tell you about you and who you are as a person. The number is never the same hour to hour, scale to scale, location to location. Weight, after all, is not a direct reflection of health or lovability.
2. Do a media detox. Disconnect with social media that promotes an idealistic body image. These are not real bodies, and if they are, they've been posed and artificially manipulated to defy biology. Unsubscribe from fitness and health magazines. Start to see what advertising is selling...a fix for something that they are telling you is wrong with you, when in fact there is nothing wrong with you. You are enough exactly as you are.
3. Learn to trust your hunger. You were born with a blue print on how to eat. Society and family changed that. You have the power to change that influence. Learn about intuitive eating and emotional eating. Physical hunger is just as important as mental hunger.
4. The best nutritionist is YOU. When you stop listening to the outside and begin listening to the inside and the body's function, your relationship to your body will change and so will the state of your body.
5. Move and be active because it brings you joy, strength, release, and pleasure, not because you need to punish yourself for looking a certain way or eating something you believe you shouldn't have.
6. Be kind. Recognize negative internal dialogue, choose to pause, and say something kind instead. Negative self talk is an auto immune response that damages the body's ability to heal and maintain a healthy set point weight, have normal hormone function, and damages immunity.
7. Put an end to dieting and restriction. The quest for perfect health and the perfect size causes more metabolic, physical, and mental damage in the long run. Influencers of health are far greater and complex than what you're putting in your face and how much exercise you've done. Choose to feed yourself from a place of love.
8. Give yourself permission. Permission to feel, to do things that bring you joy, to participate in pleasurable activities, to be soft, to be feminine, to be creative, to be angry, to eat things from the bad list, to be sensual. Whatever it is that you want to do that you've been holding back from, give yourself permission to do it. (As long as your intentions are conscious of others and not hurtful of course).
9. Surround yourself with people who have done the work and are doing the work to be friends with their bodies. Be with people who treat themselves well and aren't obsessed with body image, weight loss, and negative self talk. Like attracts like and you will never be a person who is confident and enjoys the skin your in if you surround yourself with people who are dissatisfied with their bodies.
10. Get present and act as if the now matters, not the past and not the future. The past is behind you, you can't predict the future, but you can make the best of the present moment. Make all the rest of your present moments be moments that you are happy you had while looking back at your life from your death bed. Don't be the person who regrets spending their lifetime dieting and hating your body, (that is unless you feel that's your life purpose).
If you are interested in learning more about how to employ these tips into your life, let's talk.
I'll help you get clear on the strategies that will benefit you the most so you can have a sane relationship with food and a body that you love.
Schedule a free 30 minute Compass Session with me HERE. If you don't see a time that works for you, shoot me an email HERE and I'll make it happen.
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