The reality is that we live in a culture that makes it nearly impossible to love your body. And this work of practicing self acceptance, intuitive eating, and weight-neutral self care -- it entails swimming up the proverbial stream. A million and one little fishies will say you're going the wrong way! But here's the thing, it's probably going to be hard work either direction.
Dieting and being in constant war with your body is toiling, agonizing, life-stealing work. Alternatively, the journey to be at peace with your body is hard. A long and winding road, full of twists and turns; our bodies are constantly changing so the journey to be at peace with them is never really over. Long ago, I realized that it was going to be a formidable challenge to love my body in spite of all the nasty things I'd believed and internalized about it. But at least this path had the potential to be life giving, rather than robbing me of experiences, pleasure, flexibility, time, and energy for the people I love.
If you aren't sure which way to go, today, I would invite you to think about who you might be as a person & how you might be affected by letting go of the thin fantasy?
What has the thin fantasy promised you? Example: "I will be happy if I'm thinner."
((Love? Peace? Happiness? Contentment? Control? Relationships? Success? Mental health?))
Let's dig deeper into this belief by using 4 questions from Byron Katie's "The Work"
1. Is that thought true? (yes or no?) "I will be happy if I'm thinner."
Yes / No You may only answer yes or no. Resist explaining or adding conditions. Yes, but...
2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
Yes / No Is there any way this thought could turn out to be untrue?
3. How do you react? What happens, when you believe this thought?
What happens in your body or mind? Do you feel better, worse? How does this effect how you eat or move your body? (Example, "I feel disgusted by my body. This is why I'm so unhappy. I shouldn't have
eaten [that food] at lunch. I've blown it today.")
4. Who or what would you be without the thought?
How does this thought serve you? How does this thought hurt you?
Now, turn the thought around. List several opposite thoughts. As you visualize the situation,
contemplate how each turnaround is as true or truer. (Example: "I will still be unhappy when I am
thinner." "I will be happy when I am bigger." "My weight will not effect my happiness."
As Byron Katie writes, "I discovered that when I believed my thoughts I suffered, but when I didn’t believe them I didn’t suffer, and that this is true for every human being. Freedom is as simple as that."
What would it be like not to believe the thought that you'd be a more worthy / lovable human if your body looked better?