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Body Acceptance Doesn’t Mean You Will ‘Let Your Body’ Go

by Tansy Boggon

Are you afraid you’d ‘let yourself go’ and gain weight if you accepted your body and stopped dieting?

At the beginning of each year, we’re exposed to many messages telling us we must change our bodies. This messaging can cause us to feel down about ourselves. Or lead us to believe we need to control our weight.

It can be tempting to try the next diet, which promises that ‘This is the one that will work’.

We increasingly see weight loss and lifestyle programs co-opt the weight loss science that shows that diets don’t work—telling us their program is different. That you won’t have to restrict or won’t go hungry on their program.

They may promise that you’ll be able to reset your metabolism to become a fat-burning machine. I know how alluring it can be.

All of these weight loss programs and lifestyle challenges feed into the internal belief that you are not good enough. They keep you feeling dissatisfied and discontent with your body.

Furthermore, they provide a sliver of hope that there is just one more approach to weight loss you should try before you give up and let your body go.

More often than not, they are diets in disguise.

Diets require you to fight against your body

Diets require dissatisfaction and discontentment to fuel the fight against our unruly bodies. They are a way to force and resist the body we have. They often come from a place of distrust or fear.

We distrust our hunger and fullness cues. We fear what would happen if we gave into our hunger and trusted our intuition.

I don’t believe you can hate yourself thin.

I don’t believe that trying to control and contain your body is the way to heal anything. Nor is the goal of weight loss the way to take care of your body—to nourish and nurture it, should you want to.

If you are interested in why I don’t believe in pursuing weight loss, I recommend these blogs on how the goal of weight loss can undermine and sabotage your health.

Instead of fighting against or resisting the body you have, I advocate starting from a place of acceptance. Accepting that your weight is what it is right now.

Then, from a place of acceptance, self-compassion and curiosity, you can nourish and move your body in ways that may make you feel most alive.

Joyful Eating Book Cover.

Joyful Eating: How to Break Free of Diets and Make Peace with Your Body

“… practical tools to help people release their sabotaging thoughts, enabling them to eat more intuitively and find joy in the moment.” — Michelle Stanton, author of The Timeless World.

Accepting what is doesn’t mean you will let your body go

As I discuss in Joyful Eating: How to Break Free of Diets and Make Peace with Your Body, accepting your body as it is isn’t about letting it go or resigning yourself to the fact your body will never change. Hey, I can guarantee it will with the passing years!

Accepting your body as it is doesn’t mean you’ll let it go but that you’ll no longer fight against it, resist it, attempt to control it, or guilt or shame yourself for your body or eating behaviour.

Accepting what is involves opening yourself up fully to the moment as it unfolds. It involves feeling into your body and the sensory input of the moment. So that you can determine what to do now—what would feel good physically, mentally, and emotionally?

In this way, accepting your body is freeing. It allows you to nourish and care for your body right now, regardless of body size.

Body acceptance doesn’t mean inaction

Acceptance is not about stagnation but about action that is uninhibited by the thought of what should or should not have happened. It is about releasing resistance, being fully aware of what is and taking action in a peaceful state.

Acceptance then enables us to say, ‘This has occurred, now what? Now how am I going to live my life moving forward?’

If you have struggled with your weight and dieting for much of your life, I believe awareness and acceptance of what is are paramount to enable you to let go of the beliefs and behaviours that keep you trapped in feeling dissatisfied with your body and eating.

Accepting that you are the weight you are right now isn’t saying that you like it or are particularly happy about it, which is often where I come up with resistance.

Instead, accepting what is is about accepting that you are where you are now. And no amount of reprimanding, blaming or shaming yourself for past actions can change that.

Your weight is as it is—now ask yourself, how would you like to live in your body?

Tansy Boggon holding Joyful Eating open to Chapter 2: Debunk the Diet Myth

Download the FREE Chapter: Debunk the Diet Myth

Discover the physiological and psychological reasons why diets don’t work, whether for weight loss or a wellness diet that promises ‘optimal health’.

Joyful Eating: How to Break Free of Diets and Make Peace with Your Body

Are you ready to ditch dieting?

If you’re not sure how to get to a place of accepting and caring for your body without the desire for weight loss, I encourage you to grab yourself a copy of Joyful Eating or download the FREE chapter download, Debunk the Diet Myth, to free yourself of diet stress, once and for all.

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