Intuitive Eating Principle 8: Respect Your Body
The idea of loving your body can seem daunting at times. When we look at ourselves in a mirror or see a picture of ourselves we only focus on the parts of our bodies that we don’t like.
It’s so easy to pick ourselves apart, even if we are happy with one part of our body, we wish another part was different. Often we fixate on weight and body size.
Because we wish our body was smaller or shaped differently, we sometimes talk to it harshly, we tell it “I wish you looked different” or “I hate you” or “you are gross.”
Sometimes we force our bodies to make it through the day on minimal amounts of food, or make it exercise for hours on end.
When loving your body seems daunting, start instead with just respecting your body. This means taking care of it. Would we treat your pet the way we treat our bodies? Would we withhold food, force them to exercise excessively, or tell them that we would love them more if they looked a little different? Hopefully not! Start by treating your body with the basic respect that you would treat a pet.
Make sure that you are giving your body enough water and food to do all the things it needs to do every day. Remember that your body shows up for you day and night, keeping your heart beating, your kidneys working, and your lungs breathing. It lets you see, feel, and experience the world around you.
Give your body adequate rest, and clothes that fit, and stretch and move it so it feels its best.
Treating your body with kindness doesn’t mean that you are “giving up” or “letting yourself go”. It just means you are respecting your here and now body.
The next time you find yourself telling your body something mean, pause and thank it for what it does for you. It’s okay if you are unable to love certain parts of your body right in this moment. Start simply by treating it with respect.
Are you interested in learning more about how the Intuitive Eating approach can help you reach your health goals? Reach out to us and set up a consultation with one of our Registered Dietitians today, or click this link to sign up for our 6-week online Intuitive Eating Program!
Author: Becca Sprague, MS, RD, LD