In a world where we are constantly being told to change our bodies it makes sense that in terms of body trust, we may be lacking. Diet culture does it's best to keep us stuck in this cycle of wishing our bodies were different.
So what's up with the desire for body change?
Our societal obsession with equating thinness with health or happiness is typically at the core of the systemic belief that our bodies are not enough and we need to change them in order to succeed. As you start to navigate your way out of the diet culture weeds, you start to recognize that your body is, wait for it, not the problem. Cultivating a sense of body trust is a very important step in working to heal your relationship with your body.
We were all born free of body shame or weight stigma so this journey is more of us learning to re-trust our bodies. It can feel that we are building this trust from the ground up, but all it takes are small baby steps. The relationship you have with your body is dynamic. There will be good days and there will be not so good days -it’s part of being human! However, you can practice respecting and trusting your body, rather than judging it, comparing it to others and fighting it.
3 Ways to Start Building Body Trust
Remind yourself that your body is not the problem
New mantra, maybe? It's OK, (and actually totally normal!) to not feel amazing in your body every hour of every day. Cut yourself some slack and practice self-compassion. We live in a culture that acknowledges very little about our value outside of our appearance. Know that you are working against the grain here and continue to talk back to those messages that you’re worth is attached to your size. Give yourself time and patience as you work towards hitting reset with these deeply ingrained beliefs. Remember: self-compassion. When you catch yourself having negative self-talk, notice it, call it out for what it is, and let it go because those thoughts don't serve us
Recognize how your body shows up for you everyday (regardless of how you have treated it)
Practice gratitude. Your body can do some amazing things! As you read this, your body is fueling your brain to interpret the words in this post. That’s pretty amazing! If you can’t find some love for your body now, see if you can recognize what it does for you and what it allows you to do (for example: think, breathe, sit, talk).You are here and your body showed up for you today. No matter how negative you may feel towards your body, it showed up for you - it has your back. Body trust can be re-established by eating adequately and regularly, with nourishing, satisfying food our bodies are asking for. With time and practice, we will rebuild trust between ourselves and our body
Get out of your head with some grounding exercises
Try deep breathing or a short meditation to help you be in the moment with your physical self. See what you notice -- your breath? Your heart beating in your chest? The sensation of your body in space? Sounds? What is happening around you? Start to reconnect with your body as you ground yourself -- notice the cool air entering through your nose, feel your lungs expand and your chest rise and fall as you breathe. Tune OUT the diet culture noise and tune IN to the natural signals your body is experiencing. Negative, self-doubting thoughts may come, but you can learn to let them go (and not act on them!)
Building body trust is an important step in your work towards rejecting the diet mentality and reconnecting with your authentic self. As you navigate this process it can helpful to have a little more support and guidance (and that's where we come in). How can we best support you today?