Do you sometimes see messages about movements like “health at every size” or “body positive” or “intuitive eating” and wonder...are those ideas healthy? Or are they an excuse for unhealthy behavior? If you do, you’re not alone! I’ve definitely wondered these things in the past. So let me ask you a few more questions.
Do you feel out of control around food you think will make you gain weight (or prevent you from losing)? Unmotivated to exercise because it feels like punishment? Anxious about food, movement, and your body? Again, not alone! Been there MANY times in various stages of life, and I think the MAJORITY of women have.
So why and how did I decide to leave dieting behind, and how do I know that I am still healthy and pursuing my best heath?
When we pursue something against our core values held deeply inside, it breeds anxiety. When my therapist said that to me a while back, a HUGE 💡turned on for me!
Do I believe, at my core, that small bodies are better than big bodies? That I'll accomplish more, or have more worth in the eyes of God or others who truly know and love me if I shrink myself? HECK NO. So why did I spend years trying to be skinnier just for the sake of looking more "attractive" in the view of a diet/weight-obsessed society?
What works better for me and my health? Shifting my mindset toward what I really DO value...things like:
Caring for my body so it can support me in carrying out God's purpose for my life
Prioritizing my health so I can be at my best when my loved ones need me
Fueling my brain so I can have the creativity, thoughtfulness, and energy to do meaningful work that I'm passionate about
So what happens when I come at it from that angle?
No food is "bad" or "off limits" so it sparks neither fear nor out of control desire around treats...therefore I listen to what foods make my body and brain feel GOOD and choose those more because feeling good so I can do good is the goal!
Movement is not a chore or a punishment, but one tool of many that I have to build my strength, energy and happiness, so I do more of it!
I take more stock in health markers like blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, etc. than arbitrary measurements like weight and BMI, and I have healthy numbers where they count.
Being body positive and believing in health at every size isn't a mindset that justifies being "unhealthy" or eating dessert all day every day or ignoring health markers.
Instead, it's about aligning your WHY for how you eat, sleep, drink, move, and otherwise care for yourself with what you believe to be true at your core. And for me, that has nothing to do with the number on the scale, and everything to do with how much energy and vitality I have to pursue my God-given passions.
Will you take a few minutes to explore your core values around your physical health? Why, truly in your gut do you wish to maintain or improve your health? I would be honored if you would share your thoughts with me, and thrilled to brainstorm what goals or actions might align for you!