How Can I Learn to Accept My Body at It's Natural Weight?
The mainstream message in our culture today is one that is defined by dieting, promoting the idea that our bodies are not acceptable unless they meet an impossible standard. The truth is that less than 5 percent of women in America naturally resemble the body type that is prominently portrayed in our media today, leaving a majority of women feeling conflicted between their own bodies and an idea of what is desirable.
The Struggle With Weight and Body Size
Diet culture and media aside, countless women would attest to feeling insecure or unhappy in their own bodies, uncomfortable with their current weight, or desperate to change something about their body size.
For mothers especially, our body size and weight change continuously as we embark through different seasons of motherhood, from pregnancy to postpartum and beyond. The natural changes our bodies go through can be frustrating, and an immediate reaction to this is the desire for control; hence - the reason why so many women fall back on dieting as an attempt to manage their weight or change their body size.
The more important question to ask is not why your body isn’t at a certain weight (whatever that number might be for you), but rather, what are you sacrificing in the pursuit of weight loss?
The majority of women who are viciously fighting against their body’s size and weight with dieting tactics are sabotaging the overall quality of their life. This includes self-care, mental and emotional health, relationships, and more.
Mothers in particular, may find themselves missing out on important moments with their children and families or even communicating a message to their children that their bodies are not acceptable as they are.
Practicing Body Acceptance
So what is a mama to do? How can you practice acceptance of your body at its natural weight or the size that it is currently at? How can you begin to shift the paradigm of health in your mind to one that is focused on connecting to and respecting your body rather than fighting against it?
It is essential to remember that health encompasses so much more than just the physical; our overall health is defined by our emotional, mental, spiritual and physical well-being. If one or more aspect of our overall health is sacrificed for the other, we cannot truly thrive in life.
If you impose rigid eating or exercise practices on yourself for the sake of reaching a certain number on the scale, it is quite possible that your body is not intended to naturally fall at that weight.
Another important question to consider is how would you live your life differently if weight were not an issue? Where do you find yourself holding back for fear of your body size or weight?
Are you waiting until you reach a certain weight or size before you allow yourself to do certain things in life? In doing so, how much precious time are you losing, when you could be truly living by embracing and respecting the body you are in now?
Don’t hold your breath any longer or put your life on hold.
You have permission and every divine right to live wholly and unapologetically in your body, no matter your size or how much you weigh. You deserve to respect yourself and treat your body with every kindness in the world, because your life is valuable and worthy.
There is no number on the scale or size of clothing that can ever change that, so let go of those false promises.
You Deserve To Truly Thrive
If you have been at war with your body, be willing to extend compassion and grace to yourself to begin a new way of living that can start now. Body acceptance is a journey that happens gradually and with a commitment to mother yourself with great care and respect.
Your current weight or body size may not fit into the standard that our society says is “acceptable”; but this does not mean that you need to mistreat yourself in attempt to fit into a mold that was never meant for you in the first place.
Begin making choices that support body kindness, like intuitive eating, self-care and mindful exercise, and you can slowly begin reconnecting with your one and only body that has carried you and protected you through life thus far. Nurture and take care of yourself mama, you don’t deserve anything less.