Health and digestion, social trends, a doctor’s suggestion, food availability, and motivation for cooking are just a few of the many variables that influence our decisions around food and our bodies. All these different layers oftentimes leave us picking apart our food choices and what we look like.
As a dietitian, a lot of my work is spent debunking nutrition myths and creating a safe space for body image healing. Here are 3 things I have found to be supportive in nurturing a positive relationship with food and body that support holistic health.
Forget about that “flavor of the month” diet or juice cleanse. Eat food permissively with balance, variety, and moderation. Allow room for both functional and fun foods. Give your body consistency and predictability so that you may more fully connect with your innate cues of hunger and fullness and move towards a more intuitive style of eating.
By approaching nourishment in this way, you will cultivate a sustainable and positive relationship with food that supports your overall health and wellness.
“Life beyond diet culture is about having variety & balance in your food choices, and about getting your needs met, both for nutrients and for satisfaction and pleasure.”
– Christy Harrison, Anti-Diet
It may be scary to let go of what others deem as an external measure for health, however, focusing on this number for validation can often consume our thoughts and create emotional distress. Studies have also shown us that using this number alone does not give us an accurate depiction of someone’s health status and that health can be achieved independent of weight.
Health is so much more complex than what we see on the scale. Removing this measuring tool will allow you to tune into and connect to your body so that you can assess your well-being on a deeper level.
Oftentimes we spend a lot of time and energy focusing on our appearance and body dissatisfaction. If we have had a more negative approach to how we view our bodies, it can be extremely challenging to invite body love and compassion into our lives.
A practice that may begin your journey to body acceptance is introducing body-neutral statements or mantras into your day. For example, “I am grateful my arms allowed me to hug a loved one today”, or “I am enough”. By introducing gratitude and neutrality into your relationship with your body you may crack open the window for continued healing as you brave your journey to body acceptance.
Intuitive eating, quitting weigh-ins, and practicing gratitude for your body are all important pieces of the larger goal of body and food acceptance. As you do this work to reframe your understanding of holistic health, just know that we are here to support you – we are just a phone call away.
Written by Victoria Mackowiak, RD, LDN
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