Intuitive Eating Principle 8: Respect Your Body
Instead of working against our bodies, we can work with them in order to improve our lives both inside and outside of mealtime! This means ditching the negative self-talk and learning to accept your body for its natural state.
Body image is something that many of us struggle with, but it is important to remember that in many cases, we are in control of whether or not we can accept our bodies for the way they are. Our perception of what our bodies should look like is so often skewed by unrealistic standards set by society’s increasing emphasis on the diet industry and thus, diet culture. We can reject the diet mentality and choose to view our bodies in a neutral light – the size of our body is not a reflection of who we are!
To practice respect for our bodies, we can start with these premises from Tribole and Resch:
My body deserves to be fed.
My body deserves to be treated with dignity.
My body deserves to be dressed comfortably and in a style I like.
My body deserves to be touched affectionately, with my consent and with respect.
My body deserves to move comfortably, to the extent it is possible.
Some steps we can take to practice respect is by choosing to not worry about the number on the scale, not comparing your body to others, speaking positively about yourself and your body, and focusing on what your body can do for you as opposed to what it looks like. By choosing to treat our bodies with patience, we will feel inclined to honor them through food and exercise habits that feel right for us.
Stay tuned for Madi's posts on Intuitive Eating Principles 9 and 10!