This post is long overdue, but it’s dedicated to every woman out there who hates her body. Every time you look in the mirror, the negative self-talk and body bashing begins. You wish with all your might that you were slimmer because your clothes will look better and you will instantly feel like a million dollars and everything in your life with just fall into place.
Dieters forever have it drilled into them that they will feel better about themselves after they lose a few pounds or reach that magical goal weight. It’s not your fault. Society has done a good job of upholding the value of being slimmer and has taught us that changing our bodies is the key foundation to happiness and realising our own self-worth. These set of principles are everywhere, it’s no surprise that we often fall into the dieting trap and this mindset can be hard to shift.
I’ve been there and got the t-shirt. Many moons ago, I used to tell myself that I would be so much happier if I was slimmer. For those who aren’t familiar with my story, I come from a past consisting of a disordered relationship with food in my teens and early 20s. Restricting and over analysing everything I ate and obsessively weighing myself in a bid to become healthier. I struggled with food guilt, body image issues, low self-esteem and a general feeling that I wasn’t worthy of good things.
Thankfully, I’ve come a long way since those dark days and it’s been a long journey to get to where I am today. I’m not perfect, I still have bad days, but when the negative self-talk starts in my head I have word with myself and re-write the script.
It’s so easy to look in the mirror and point out everything that you hate about your body. However, if you want it to be it can be just as easy to celebrate everything that you love about your body too. We’re far too quick to pull ourselves down which generates a torturous relationship with our bodies. Let’s be honest, we’re only ever given one body in this lifetime, so we might as well love and honour the one that we’ve got.
Dieting not only creates a fear around food but also teaches us to hate our bodies. We become transfixed on trying to look like someone else, that cover girl with the washboard abs and perfect thigh gap. I’m not bashing naturally slim frames, that’s how you’re supposed to be and you look beautiful like that. Nevertheless, the diet industry makes us think that healthy only comes in one size and it’s so sad that we all rush to try to be like that.
Let’s get real, no matter how hard you diet to try to look like that slimmer girl you’re never going to look like her. Even if you ate exactly the same foods and did the same fitness program, it’s genetically impossible! Her body is hers and your body is yours. Again, it’s just another way that the effed up dieting dogma makes us feel like crap, conditioning us to think that we have to morph into something else to fiercely love ourselves.
Despite what the diet culture may tell us, being smaller doesn’t make you more worthy nor is it going to make you happier. So many women lose tons of weight and they’re still not happy. Why? Because they haven’t addressed the key issues about why they hate their bodies so much. Dieting doesn’t challenge the root cause of the problem, which is why many women after reaching their goal weight are still miserable and still hate their bodies.
Loving your body doesn’t come from trying to achieve the perfect body or following the perfect diet, it’s about learning to accept the one that you’ve already got. Just like the wonderful Taryn Brumfitt (I have a girl crush on this woman!) reminds us, “your body is not an ornament, it’s the vehicle to your dreams” as such it should be loved and shown so much gratitude for all it does for us.
Instead of torturing and punishing our bodies with diets let’s move forward and nourish and give it the respect it deserves. Let us, stop the negative self-talk about our bodies and commit to loving ourselves more. Let’s commit to eating freely, loving ourselves and becoming the happiest and healthiest version of ourselves at whatever size this may be. Let’s say no to diets and promote a healthy balance full of vibrant wholesome food, which includes cake!
Life doesn’t begin when you start a diet or drop a dress size, in fact, life begins when you ditch the diet culture altogether.
So, what’s the secret to loving your body?