Ok, spoiler alert. I chose this title to get your attention. I have no interest in promoting “quick fixes”, “get skinny diets”, or shaming you for what you look like or don’t look like.
I DO, however, have a huge interest in supporting you to love the skin you’re in, feel confident and sexy this summer, and to choose sustainable, healthy lifestyle changes!
So, if you’re still interested… read on.
Here’s a little history about the beginnings of dieting and society’s pressure to be “skinny and pretty”. In an article interviewing Amy Farrell, author of “Fat Shame” and Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Dickinson College, we learn that fat became enemy as early as the mid 19th century, when the first modern dieting book was published in England.
Before this, having a little extra was a sign of fertility, wealth and leisure. The NEW sign of a civilized, disciplined, affluent person was one who was thin. The “oversized” body, particularly on women, became equivalent to being primitive, uncivilized, and “less than”.
Doesn’t this sound familiar? Like how we have gone through other astonishing phases of discriminating our brothers and sisters (based on skin color, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, etc.). Shaming ourselves and others for Fat on the body is NO DIFFERENT.
The TRUTH is, we scientifically don’t have the answers to how much any one person should weigh. Our current measurements of “healthy” BMI, body part ratios, body composition, and current nutrition guidelines aren’t always the whole answer. This should be the headline on the next Women’s Health Magazine…
However, the $67 Billion diet and weight loss industry would never let that happen. If we were at ease with our bodies and believed they would find the right weight for themselves when we practice self-care and positive body image, there would eventually be NO DIET INDUSTRY.
But we aren’t there yet. The industry is taking advantage of the cultural image that says “women who are skinny and pretty with big boobs and a bubble butt will rise to the top”. So… if we are spending so much money to look a certain way, why do people need to keep coming back to it with surgeries, diet after diet, the next magic pill…
Say this method did have our best interest in mind… it’s intention then should be to go out of business, not keep everyone circling back through it, never actually receiving the results they were truly seeking, such as positive body image, confidence, self-acceptance and overall health and happiness. So, why is the industry still in business?
If the methods of rapid weight loss worked, it would have worked, and 98% of people that go on a weight loss diet wouldn’t gain the weight back within a year! What we need to wrap our heads around is that yes, it matters that we are eating high quality whole foods and moving our bodies. The other 50% of the equation is who we are as eaters (to quote my teacher and mentor Marc David).
According to the practice and science of Dynamic Eating Psychology, our story of health and body is an intricate, individualized system that is always moving and changing based on factors such as genetics, environment, stress, mood, emotional well-being, mind-body nutrition, meal timing, food quality, macronutrient balance, sleep quality, and more. By working in all of these areas, our bodies tend to take hold of their healthiest shape.
Let’s get to the 3 Ways to Get Your Summer Body NOW, shall we?
#1 Love Your Body as it is NOW
So by “Summer Body” I mean get the body you’ve always desired: A body you are in love with, you honor, and you accept.
I’m not saying get the aesthetic attributes you’ve always wanted or you feel like you should have. Your body may never look like the one culture currently labels as “perfect”. And it’s up to you to love it anyways. There is nothing wrong with wanting to shape shift and continue to elevate how we eat and incorporate exercise. However, it is the intention behind it that matters.
Intention A. You are working on self in order to live a long, purpose-filled life and fulfill your highest potential in this World?
Intention B. You do diet after diet and torture yourself with starvation, self-hate, and quick fixes merely for temporary approval, short-lived satisfaction and the self-righteous ability and temptation to be able to say “I look better than other people”.
If your longing is intention A: Here are some practices to get started learning to love your body NOW!
- Do a Self-Discovery Exercise: Write in a journal and answer the following questions:
- When I think of my body, the first thought that pops into my head is… because…
- What does accepting my body mean to me?
- What would my life be like without my obsession with food and body?
- If my body could talk, it would say…
- What is my ideal relationship with food and body?
- More questions like this HERE.
- Give yourself a body-love Mantra! Say it everyday in the mirror, naked.
- I love my body and honor it in all its beauty.
- My body is a sexy, curvy, unstoppable temple and I love it every day.
- I am strong, beautiful, healthy, and I accept my body just as it is; it is perfectly imperfect, just like me!
- Be Patient with Yourself- Like any new behavior… it comes with practice. If these steps feel uncomfortable and bring up emotions for you… remind yourself “this is a sign that it’s working ;)”
- Include More Pleasure!
- Science==> We are genetically structured to seek pleasure and avoid pain==> We are also physiologically designed to receive pleasure from food==> The second our brain sees that delicious cookie or savory chicken (or insert whatever meal makes your mouth water), digestive and hormonal chemicals are released==> These chemicals are responsible for things like making us happy, telling our belly we are satisfied and can stop eating, making us happy, mobilizing/metabolizing fat
- Science==> When we eat too fast, eat with guilt, restrict our diet to foods we don’t like but are eating because they are “healthy”or we are on a diet… other chemicals take over that actually KEEP us hungry (even if we’ve eaten) and stressed (and stressed means cortisol which desensitizes us to pleasure and therefore we have to eat more to actually feel the pleasure)
- So… the more you relax around eating and just play this summer, the better chance your body has to finding a weight at which it is happy and healthy!
#2 Decipher “Who is the Real Enemy?” Fat? or Flawed Expectation?
Our war on fat is not only making us unhappy with self and in an endless battle with accepting our bodies. It is also CONTRIBUTING TO OUR BIGGEST NIGHTMARES.
Here’s the science:
Enemy (real or perceived) in this case food, fat, our body ==> Fight or Flight response in our body ==> Survival Response ==> Stress in the body ==> raised cortisol and insulin, decreased function of digestive organs ==> non-ability to properly digest, assimilate nutrients, burn calories, metabolize food ==> Fat is stored on the body!
Ouch… you mean to say the very thing I’m doing to lose weight (skipping meals, restricting calories, seeing food and body as the enemy)… is causing me to keep weight on? Yep!
- The real enemy here is a flawed expectation for us to look a certain way
- When you go to put that beautiful summer dress on, or a new bikini… whose voice are you going to listen to? Any voice (media, other people, or your inner critic saying you aren’t good enough?)
- Or are you going to listen to your inner confident, sexy, authentic self who deserves love, affection, praise and acknowledgement…
- Sometimes letting go of our goal helps us achieve it.
#3 Seek the Right Guidance
Instead of turning to the magazines and articles that contribute to your lack of self-acceptance, here are some amazing resources that can further you on your journey to loving your body, finding peace around eating, and learning how to truly nourish yourself!
- Nourishing Wisdom– by Marc David
- The Gift of Our Compulsions– by Mary O’Malley
- A Directory of Eating Psychology Coaches- You can find me here too! But if another coach is a better match for you, that’s who I want you to work with!
- Join the Health at Every Size Community
There are countless more resources, but start with these if this has at all sparked your interest to dive deeper into this beautiful practice of Eating Psychology!
*Note* I have nothing against nor am promoting the people or Magazines showed in this video/post. I am simply attacking the widespread epidemic of fearing fat and not accepting ourselves, because it is this epidemic that is causing eating disorders, distorted body image, and girls as young as 3 to say “I’m on a diet”