Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or registered dietitian. The purpose of my blog is to share my journey. As you will read in this post, health looks different for everyone, so do your own research and find what woks for YOU.
Diet Mentality vs Health Mentality
Diet and health are two different things. Diet culture has tried to convince people that they are the same thing.
Diet culture tells you that you are healthy by being on a diet, when in fact it is generally just the opposite. A diet is not heath.
Being on a diet does not make you healthy. Studies have proven time and time again that diets do not work.
Diets Do Not Work
People go on diets for all different reasons. Some go on diets to become healthy, while others go on diets to change their appearance.
Here is the thing, no matter what your reasoning is for going on your diet, it is more than likely not going to work and will ultimately leave you less healthy than when you started.
Diets often cause a yoyo cycle in people which leaves their hormones in havoc and not only causes distress on their physical health, but also their mental and emotional health.
Mental and Emotional Health
Mental and emotional health are usually not considered when people go on diets, but both of them have a major impact on your overall health.
People go on diets hoping to improve their physical health, only to completely forfeit their mental and emotional health.
When you are constantly restricting foods and then feeling bad when you give in and eat the “forbidden” food; you are destroying your mental and emotional health, which is ultimately connected to your physical health.
Being content and having a positive outlook on life is going to do more for your health then going on an unrealistic diet that leaves you feeling bad about yourself when you cannot maintain it.
Trust Your Body
Overall, the best decision you can make for your mental, physical, and emotional health is to get back to trusting your body. If you have been dieting for years and years like most people have this can take time.
It is a process to retrain your mind that your amazing body is capable of guiding you to the perfect “diet”. There is no one size fits all when it comes to diet. Each of us have different needs and if we will trust our bodies, they will guide us on what those needs are.
The needs will change from day to day. My body craved various things it needed while I was pregnant and then again through nursing. I am so thankful I was at a place of trusting my body throughout those times.
You CAN trust your body to help you navigate your diet each day. Make up your mind to break up with diet culture once and for all and get back to trusting your body. It will not fail you.
3 Ways to Become More Body Positive
Becoming body positive requires a shift in thinking. Positive thinking can dramatically improve your life in many ways.
When I realized I have the ability to take every negative thought captive and replace it with a positive one, my perspective of my body began to change. I no longer had to wallow in negative thoughts about my body. I could put an end to those thoughts.
Here are three tips to shift your thinking from negative to positive.
1. Appreciate your body for what it does, not how it looks.
Focusing on what my body does and not how it looks changed everything for me. What your body is capable of doing is so much more valuable than how it looks.
Everyday that you wake up breathing is worth celebrating. Our bodies are always working in ways that we often don’t even realize. Bodies are amazing things and work in incredible ways regardless of how they look.
2. Stop comparing your body to other bodies.
We all look different and that is something that should be celebrated, not frowned upon. God designed each and every person to have differences, even down to our finger prints.
When you begin to compare your body to someone else’s, you are going to lose your joy. Comparison is a thief of joy.
Learn to love the differences you see in others and yourself. We were never meant to all look the same, and we shouldn’t be striving to look like anyone but ourself. Embrace your body for what it is!
3. Treat your body respectfully.
Give yourself the love and compassion you would give someone else. Hating your body is not doing you any good. Punishing your body through excessive exercise and fad diets does not benefit you.
Learning to show your body love and respect through fueling it with the things that make you feel good and moving it in ways that make you feel good, will benefit you far more than restrictive diets and overexerting yourself.
Show your body respect through proper movement and nutrition. Realizing your body is not wrong, and it is OK just the way it is, shows your body respect.
What are some strategies you have used to shift your thinking? I’d love to hear from you!
Have you ever been out to dinner and decided to order something healthy only to be questioned about what diet you are on? It seems people automatically assume that if you are eating healthy you are on a diet.
Our society is so driven by appearance that people seem to not even understand the point in eating healthy to feel good. Surely if you are out to eat and you choose to eat something healthy you MUST be on a diet trying to lose weight.
Health is about so much more than appearance. Feeling good, having energy, and fueling my body properly, matter so much more to me than the way I look. I know how to eat to lose weight. I did it for years, but it’s not what makes my body feel good.
Eating intuitively, meaning, stopping when I’m full and starting when I’m hungry has radically changed my life. It’s such common sense, but after years of dieting I convinced myself my own body did not know how to do this. I convinced myself I needed to be on a diet that told me when to stop eating and when to start eating. This just is not the case.
As a society we’ve got to start trusting our bodies again, fueling them with whole foods, and watching the amazing transformation that happens. I’m no where near my skinniest and that’s ok! My health and energy are so much more important to me than being thin. Showing my daughter it’s ok to eat when she’s hungry and knowing how to stop when she’s full is so much more important to me than being thin. Knowing that I’m fueling my body with foods that are going to help it stay healthy for years to come is so much more important to me than being thin.
My wish for our society is that we can shift our focus from the outside of our bodies to the inside of our bodies! We should strive for mental, emotional, and physical health. Often times our “diet” steals all three of these from us.