Iremember the day my thigh cellulite stared back at me in the mirror. And I not only felt comfortable with it, I embraced it.
I also remember the day my jeans no longer fit. Because for the first time, I wasn’t planning on what I could do to lose a few more pounds. I was planning on buying a new, larger pair of jeans.
And I remember the moment where the waitress asked me if I wanted fries or a salad, and I legitimately wanted fries. So, I said “fries” and enjoyed every last bite without guilt, fear, or regret.
It was a long journey to this cellulite-embracing, new-jean purchasing, fry-eating place. But, it was worth it.
Today, over 10 years (and many fries) later and now, as a Dietitian who helps women break free from dieting, I can tell you – it’s not about shrinking ourselves to worthiness. It’s about caring for ourselves into a life full of joy.
In order to do that though, we need to feel comfortable in our bodies. Once we can feel comfortable in our bodies, we can do (and find) the things that bring us joy.
Here are five simple ways to feel more comfortable in your body:
1. Detox your social media
Do a social media audit. Keep accounts that inspire and uplift you. Find accounts that echo who you are becoming. Then remove those that don’t. This sounds so simple and has been said many a time, but it’s said so much because it’s important.
You want to foster an online (and offline) world where you feel love and compassion. Not judgement and unworthiness. So, unfollow away.
And know that as you become more confident in your body acceptance journey, social media will become less emotionally triggering. But you’re building your “sea legs”, so honor your fragility and the space you need to create to do that.
2. Add structure to meals and then adjust
If you’re reading this, you’ve likely heard the phrase, “honor your hunger and fullness”. But, if you’ve never done that before, it can be confusing and anxiety-producing. And while everybody literally has a different body and different individual needs, all of our bodies like structure and consistency.
So give that structure and consistency to your body and allow yourself to get curious throughout the process. Ideally, you want to eat a balanced meal with protein, carbs and fat within an hour of waking up and then something every 3-4 hours after that. Overtime, as you become more comfortable and trusting of your body, you’ll learn more about what your body needs and what feels good to you. And most importantly, what’s enjoyable
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3. Remove things that keep you trapped you in dieting culture
Entering into a new phase of living, eating, thinking and being, requires releasing what’s keeping you stuck in the black and white dieting mindset. It’s time to play in the grey. So – out with the old and in with the new!
Remove dieting books, magazines, scales, old clothes and photos that taunt you, and anything else that you feel is keeping you stuck in diet culture.
You may even find that some relationships need to be reevaluated. It’s hard, I know, but it’s important to create boundaries so you can heal.
4. Give yourself a break
Please know that by healing your relationship with food and your body, you’re doing a big, bold, and brave thing that is so amazing. That not everyone does. Honor that. And give yourself big, huge generous doses of self-compassion along the way.
You’re going to have some highs along with some lows. And you’ll have some murky in-between moments too. All of it is okay and totally normal. Show yourself the same compassion you show to your loved ones. You need it just as much.
5. Get to know your body shape
What’s the shape of your physiological frame? Do you have an hourglass, pear, apple, or more athletic figure? Or something in-between?
By understanding your body’s natural framework, you understand more about your body. And that understanding can be freeing.
For example, for years I kept trying to diet and exercise myself into a Victoria Secret-like body shape.
Then, one day, at my most thin and most miserable state, a miracle happened. I realized I was never going to look like those women because quite simply, that was (and is) not my body’s natural shape.
Owning this realization was one of the most freeing things to happen in my body acceptance and ultimately, body love journey.
By owning your shape, being kind to our yourself, and nourishing your body, you can find this freedom too. It’s not always easy, but I promise it’s worth it.