Beyond the scales: off the rollercoaster and into a positive relationship with our body
We've all been there. That obsession with our weight. It's like you're possessed.
When our happiness is attached to how our bodies are, we are bound on a rollercoaster ride. Our bodies are constantly changing, so when we attach ourselves so strongly on how it looks, we will go on a ride with it.
I know for many of us, the main consequence we worry about with an excess of bad food and inactivity is putting on weight. As a teenager that was a massive obsession for me. The problem: as soon as you lose that weight, or 'look right', there is no motivation anymore. If the reason you're eating healthier foods and doing exercise is to be thinner, this is not sustainable. This is why it leads to restricting 'bad food' and eating too much in turns. This is a very tiring way to live. For the longer term, to get intrinsic motivation to want to be healthier, we need to look beyond the scales.
Intrinsic motivation can include exercise you actually find fun or a sense of accomplishment. Alternatively, eating healthier foods because it removes poor digestion or it gives you more energy. Viewing food as medicine.
A good way to find the intrinsic motivation to be healthier is understand the wide-spread effects the lack of it has. To recognise that unhealthy eating, has more permanent, serious effects than we realise. A significant factor is the tangible effect bad food has on our brain. This includes mental health, brain capacity and mood, amongst other things. Read my post 'Our Brain is, what it eats' for more details 👆🏽.
But the most important thing, after finding intrinsic motivation to be healthier is our own body positivity. If we cannot accept our bodies the way they are today, than anything we do to increase our fitness and health can be marred by an underlying feeling of it never being enough.
We won't wake up one day and be perfectly okay with our body. It takes time. It can begin with just seeing our body as a companion or friend who has been with us for a long time. Would we treat a loved one like this? We treat our bodies like a commodity but we are given one and must treat it with respect.
Try speaking to your body with kind words a few times a day, every day. We don't have to feel it yet. But we must rewrite our old way of thinking and write a new narrative of a positive relationship with our body.
We must start from the place of slowly accepting ourselves (it's a long job, but worth it!) and eventually we'll find we love this body. It has been with us through thick and thin. It deserves better...
I'll leave you with these words:
"You have been criticising yourself for years and it hasn't worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens" (Louise Hay)