At the beginning of each year, we are exposed to many messages that tell us we need to change our bodies. This messaging can cause us to feel down about ourselves or lead us to believe that we need to care about our weight.
Thus, it can be tempting to try the next diet, which promises that ‘this is the one that will work‘. Or we can be convinced by a new program (often that have co-opted weight loss science which shows that diets don’t work), that their approach does work. They tell us that 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.
However, all of these programs and challenges feed into the internal belief that you are not good enough as you are. 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.
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 pretty much guarantee that 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.
Instead, 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—now, what would feel good physically, mentally and emotionally?
In this way, accepting your body is freeing. It opens you up to nourish and care for your body, right now, no matter your body size.
If you’re not sure how to get to this 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 and free yourself of diet stress, once and for all.