“Why would your body ever surrender to you when all you’ve done is not accept it”
That quote was like a sucker punch. I’ve spent so much energy working on my relationship with my body and I still catch myself in moments of not accepting it.
I realized recently how much diet culture I grew up around. I have clear memories of the adults in my life constantly being on diets and expressing wanting to lose weight. I never saw acceptance or love towards their body. Now, this is just my experience of it. It may not be their experience or how my siblings experienced it.
This still persists to this day and I understand now how deeply engrained it is in me. I’ve been paying extra attention to my thoughts and it’s kinda shocking. Considering I spend a lot of time working on how I talk to myself there is still an underlying ‘good food choice/good day/good week’. I still have the belief that I need to lose weight and I need to eat perfectly in order to do that.
But here’s the thing – even at my lowest weight/size I still felt like I needed to lose weight. It has always been a constant. I still feel like my worth as a person, wife, coach, or human is tied up in my size. That’s messed up. But it’s also so freaking common.
This is not to blame the adults in my life. They struggle as much as I do with the stories and beliefs that shaped them.
At a dinner recently I noticed the talk around diet and it all felt so restricted. Diet culture breeds this insidious restriction around food that feels like you have no freedom or choice. I felt exhausted listening to it. It’s almost suffocating.
I want freedom. I want to breathe. I don’t want food to be something I have to weigh, measure, track, and obsess over.
And so every day I choose. I choose to pay attention to my thoughts. I choose to talk lovingly to myself. I choose foods whilst doing my best to not think about the affect on my weight (I will think about the affect on my gut and joints – some days things are worth a bit of gut upset other days they’re not). I choose movement that I feel like that morning. I don’t choose movement with weight loss in mind.
We are surrounded by commercials and social media with insane standards of what our body should look like whilst also being surrounded by absolutely shit food. We live in a culture that revers busyness and pushing our bodies. Especially when we have goals it can feel really challenging to slow our pace.
This past year I’ve had no choice but to surrender to my body. Hormones will do what they please. I couldn’t keto harder or fast longer – in fact they made things worse. I’m eating more and doing less intense workouts. Surrender.
The more I surrender to my body the more I feel her surrender to me. The more I trust my body to tell me what she needs the more she talks. Has this resulted in weight gain? Maybe, I don’t know what I can attribute to nutrition and what I can attribute to hormones. It also doesn’t matter. My worth as a human is not a reflection of the amount of fat on my body. My ability to show up and be the best version of myself is not a reflection of the amount of fat on my body. My knowledge is not a reflection of the amount of fat on my body.
When it comes to food I do have one guideline (not a rule, a guideline): is it real? I want meals made from ingredients. The least amount of packaged food as possible. There are so many views around what is healthy but I believe that when we approach food with the mindset of just trying to eat ingredients it’s the simplest and easiest way to create a healthy relationship with food and bodies.
Eating has become a very complicated thing. We restrict so much and it ultimately backfires on most of us. We obsess over macros and calories. Then we treat ourselves to junk food as a reward. Then we workout out to erase the guilt of said treat. I’ve done all of these things and in the process shamed my body.
Surrendering is hard. It requires trust in ourselves. It takes time but I can feel the shift happening within. Hormones are balancing. My body feels great. I have days where I struggle and I feel stuck in my body, but now I’m having more days of feeling free and comfortable in my body.
It’s worth it. You’re worth it. You’re worth not wasting brain power obsessing over food.
Surrender and acceptance – two incredibly powerful and loving acts 💜