If you missed part one, check it out here first.
Normal eaters: they understand subconsciously that they are allowed all foods. It doesn’t mean they eat all the food. They just know they’re allowed to.
What might appear to be superhuman willpower, is actually them not even trying at all. They can stop halfway through a chocolate bar if they’ve had enough because they know they are allowed it later if they feel like it. This means they don’t have Last Supper Mentality. (Also known as: get it all down now because you’ll never be able to have it again mentality.)
So after reading part one you know how important it is to let go of food rules and begin practising the belief that all foods are allowed?
But how do you actually do that?!
By accepting your body exactly as it is.
Yep. We’re going there!
Doing the body image work is essential in healing your food challenges and becoming a normal eater.
So stick with me here. This stuff is important.
I know what people hear when I say “accept your body as it is”. They hear: eat as much as you can, stop exercising and stop taking care of yourself. That is a totally normal reaction. It goes against everything you’ve been taught growing up in this diet obsessed, thin ideal culture. So yeah, it’s going to feel pretty confronting!
The thing is, that’s not what “accept your body as it is” means at all.
When you accept your body the way it is you eliminate all the chaos around food. You begin to work with your body, appetite, cravings and cues, rather than against it all. You’re able to take even better care of it.
I get it though, this stuff is easier said than done. When I realised body image work was essential in healing my relationship with food, I was less than thrilled. I used to cringe whenever I saw any love your body campaigns or advice in general. I would think “yeah that’s nice for other people, but it’s not really for me. I’ll lose weight first then I’ll like my body.”
What I eventually learned was that accepting my body, was the last piece of the puzzle in overcoming my challenges with food.
I’m not saying you need to stop, drop and fall head over heels in love your body right now this second. That could be a stretch right now! (Totally fine.) What you can do to make a big shift towards becoming a normal eater is open yourself up to body acceptance.
Now if you are like I was and are having a little cringe as you read this, I get it. But let’s ask why. Why is body acceptance so hard? Why is it so bloody hard to say “I accept my body right now, without needing to change it”.
It’s hard because you’ve been taught there’s a right and wrong way to have a body. You weren’t born with these thoughts, they were learned.
You are bombarded daily with messaging that says this is the right way to have a body. And if you don’t have this body, you aren’t worthy. You suck.
Unfortunately we can’t control all of the media’s messaging. However there are three things you can start doing to open yourself up to body acceptance:
- Practise awareness.
Notice the media’s messaging. Once you open your eyes to it your mind will be blown. You’ll likely start to find things funny. Because it is funny, it’s ridiculous.
- Filter what you can.
Clean up the one source of media you do have a bit of control over: social media.
+ Start by unfollowing people who don’t make you feel good. (I think sometimes we forget that’s an option!) Do this anytime you’re scrolling. You can always follow people again, but for now give yourself a break.
+ Next add in body positive accounts! Flood your feed with body positive babes who are owning who they are. It’s important to see a range of different bodies, rather than just the ONE kind of body portrayed in the media. I can’t explain how much this will help.
I’ve put together a list of body positive babes on Instagram to help you get started. The best part is, you’ll find even more accounts through these ones. Download the list below.
Body acceptance changes everything when it comes to your relationship with food. As uncomfortable as it might feel, it really is crucial in becoming a normal eater.
Just remember, your body wants to thrive. Accepting it as it is right now is not going to lead you astray. You’re a team. It’s working with you and for you.
And it’s perfect as it is right now.