On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your body image?
1 = poor/terrible and 10 = it’s ok (not perfect and it can fluctuate, but generally you’re ok with how your body looks and feels)
If you said less than 5, you’re not alone. Many of our clients say 1-2, some ask if they can go negative.
As heart-breaking as this is, it’s not surprising as we are born into a world where we are conditioned from a very young age to believe thin is good and fat is bad. Thinness is portrayed as attractive, successful, healthy, fit and more worthy. Whereas fatness is often portrayed as unhealthy, lazy, clumsy, unfit or “out of shape”. However, humans do not need to be thin or slim to be healthy, fit, attractive or successful people.
A key part of the work we do with our clients is around body image. This work is about learning how to change your relationship to your body, change how you see and feel about your body. For many, this is often the toughest part of the process, but how we feel about our bodies drives how we feel about our eating and our actual eating behaviours. Therefore, learning how to lessen the shame you feel about your body is key in being able to move through the intuitive eating process. When we feel better in ourselves we are more likely to take care of our health; we are more likely to eat well, to be active, to listen to our bodies and meet our bodies needs.
But will I lose weight?
The honest answer is we don’t know. Some people lose weight, some people who have been restricting may have a weight gain and for others, their weight stops fluctuating and stabilises.
For some people, not focusing on weight loss can feel like they are “throwing the towel in” – but you are doing anything but this when you stop focusing on weight. Doing the work to change your thinking about weight and body size is probably the toughest work you’ll do.
Most people when they come to see us want to lose weight and this is what we say…
Given the world we live in, it’s totally ok and understandable to want to lose weight. If you can be ok with not actively pursuing weight loss, then we can help you learn to eat intuitively and take care of your body and to feel less shame around food and your body. It’s also completely ok and understandable to struggle with trying to do this, but if you can sit with struggle and not actively fight it – that is pursue weight loss through food restriction – then you are winning the battle. A key part of our job is to help you navigate this struggle.
Check out these fabulous women who are helping the world to see bodies differently and to fight weight stigma.