The work of body acceptance and helping women heal from diet culture is near and dear to me. I believe that our bodies are sacred space and they should be treated with love and reverence. This shift in perspective has an impact on everything we do, from how we speak to ourselves to how we feed ourselves.
But this hasn’t always been my perspective. I’m a reformed weight loss coach, and I come from a long history of being deeply mired in diet culture. I counted calories, points, and carbs. I over-exercised and starved myself. I eliminated entire food groups and believed in juice cleanses and intermittent fasting as “self-care” strategies.
The truth is, I fully engaged in eating disorder behavior from the age of 13 and it held and sustained me for most of my life. The beliefs I had about my body and food were a way to practice the perfectionism that ruled my entire life. I believed I could control my body’s size, shape, and state of health far more than I actually could.
When I wasn’t actively engaged in eating disorder behavior, it resulted in my body changing size, which I interpreted as failure and loss of control. The eating disorder would lure me back into restriction and over-exercising that was often packaged as “healthy lifestyle changes.” I totally bought it, and was so good at it that I sold it to others as a weight-loss coach.
It took years for my eyes to open and to see clearly. It began as a quiet undercurrent of questioning my beliefs about certain foods.
Why am I afraid of rice?
If sugar is the fuel our brains use, how can it also be “poison?”
What if I put actual dairy half and half in my coffee? Would I burst into flames?
What would it feel like to give up this false sense of control?
And the scariest question of all:What if I decided to actually accept my body, just the way it is?
It took support, honesty, and compassion to move from a place of restriction and control to a place of acceptance and trust. And some days are still better than others. But I trust my body and its innermost wisdom now. I trust myself with food and I’m no longer obsessed with it. It feels so FREE!
So this is my work now, to support other women as they question and shift their beliefs about themselves and their bodies.
In my Facebook group this month, our focus is on the body as sacred space. If you want to join the conversation, join my Facebook group!
Remember, too, that I’m always here to support you. 🙂 If you want to talk about it, you can schedule a complimentary, no-strings-attached phone call here.