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Welcome to How to love your body today we are sharing 10 important steps you need to take to get closer to food and body freedom.
This episode is brought to you by our 10 steps closer to food and body freedom guide you can grab it at bit.ly/undiet10steps
01 Diet Mentality
This is number one for a reason. If you only do one thing in this work, be aware of and work on shifting the way you think.
How we THINK about and what we believe regarding food and our bodies is what creates our unhealthy relationships with these things.
The first step is to be aware of our thoughts and beliefs.
Diet culture is so ingrained in us that we assume what we think is true and “just the way it is”. But it isn’t.
Guilt around food isnt natural.
Picking your body apart isnt natural.
Wanting to control the way your body looks isnt natural.
Counting calories and following food rules isnt natural.
That is all learned.
Working through the diet mentality means being aware of these thoughts and beliefs, unlearning them and then discovering a new truth for yourself when it comes to food, movement, your body and wellness.
02 Intuitive Eating
Intuitive eating is an amazing resource. It truly is intuitive, both of us read the book after we were already a ways down the path out of dieting and when we read it we thought that’s what I’m doing! It is natural, this is the way we’re born – listening to our hunger and fullness, eating with ease and flexibility and not having negative emotions around any of it. If you never dieted, weren’t full of the diet mentality and just ate “normally” since you were born, you would be an intuitive eater. This is something that you can learn to begin the steps forward but it’s also something you’ll naturally fall into when all of the mindset, body image, self love, is worked on.
03 Weight Gain Fears
THIS IS THE #1 thing holding people back. We know this. It’s the scary part because of the world we live in but it’s also the thing we need to consciously practice letting go of. The FEAR itself does not help us, it can feel like control, it can feel like it’s keeping us from going wild but it isn’t, it’s just keeping us from freedom. The first step out of fear is to take action. What is the fear of weight gain/ not losing weight holding you back from doing? Do those things (if you know it something you want for yourself). Such as beginning to allow more foods, loosening food restrictions and food rules, ordering what you want instead of what you think you SHOULD have. This fear can be diminished so you can move forward in a way that honors your body instead of a life that is just about controlling your body size.
04 Get Rid of Guilt
Guilt can hang on even when we start allowing all foods. This is when a lot of people reach out and ask – I’m eating the food and it’s not “working”, I’m still stressed about it, thinking about it all the time, bingeing and its not getting easier. Mental allowing (not feeling guilty or like you really shouldn’t be eating that) is also needed in order to find freedom with food. Putting the food in your mouth is a great start, your body needs the calories and it needs to know it won’t be going into another famine (diet) again! But to get the mental benefits like not thinking about food all day, being able to have food in the house and forget it’s there, not feel stressed every time you eat a dessert – you need to be OK with eating the food you’re now allowing. This comes with time but there are also a lot of mindset shifts you can work on to make this happen more quickly.
05 Body Acceptance
Let’s be real – our tumultuous relationships with food started because of not accepting the body we had at the moment. The funny thing is that we talk to so many women who say WHAT was I thinking? I looked great back then! We don’t see ourselves accurately AND we put way too much value in the way we look (thanks a lot diet culture) which leads to body dissatisfaction and then we turn to controlling our food intake to FIX the problem. In order to get back to food freedom we need to work on the issue that started it all, feeling like we needed to (and could) change our bodies. Body acceptance does not mean you like the way your body looks, it means you have a respectful relationship with it, you value it for all it gives you and you have an understanding that controlling the way it looks is not your job and really not in your power.
Wellness without the obsession is the idea that you can absolutely care about your health and wellness without it being rigid or stressful – in fact if your wellness is stressful then it isn’t very healthy at all! The key pillar of wellness without the obsession is removing the focus on weight. Once this is in place, you can then recalibrate what health and wellness mean to you. WWTO will look different for and on everyone!
Boundaries are needed in order to protect yourself and your process of letting go of diet culture, the people around you are likely still dieting and have the diet mentality so protecting yourself against this is a key step in doing this work long term.
08 Food Freedom
Food Freedom is not the opposite of dieting – it is what comes when dieting is no longer a part of your life or your thinking. Many people think that being free around food means eating whatever you want whenever you see it – and it is true in a sense, you CAN eat whatever you want whenever you want, absolutely, but if you’re simply in retaliation of dieting (which is a common first step but to live here forever can be stressful) it isn’t freedom. If you are in reaction to something you are not living freely, you are still ruled by the thing you’re reacting to (diet culture). So instead of thinking of food freedom as doing the opposite of dieting, think of it as starting from a blank slate and then doing what you want to do from there. This will both be enjoyable AND feel good. For example, if you have food freedom you know you can eat things anytime so something like christmas dinner can be FULLY enjoyed and you can also feel free to stop when you like and feel good afterwards – this is really our definition of having it all!
09 Body Signals
Having the ability to tap into your body signals and honor them easily is an important life skill. We’ve been taught out of this by diet culture. Imagine not being able to listen to your signals when you have to pee, or feel too warm, or are thirsty. We react to these body signals without judgement and the same thing can happen with hunger and fullness too!
Knowing what you want gives you a beacon to work towards. Having a vision of the relationship you want with food and your body gives you a path to work towards and this can make the journey feel like less of a freefall. We know this work can be scary and hard so having a vision of the future will lead the way.
To get more help in these ten areas grab your free 10 steps closer to food freedom guide at bit.ly/undiet10steps
PS – Our Intuitive Eating and Body Image membership starts November 1st and prices increase on Friday October 23rd 2020! → thebodylovesociety.com/membership
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The Body Love Society provides women with the mindset tools and community so they can stop dieting, practice intuitive eating, and learn to love their bodies.