I’ve found myself reading a lot of articles and blog posts about positive body image and the goal of having the general population accept that extreme diets will never work. I am fascinated by the way media and businesses have made a profit off of people who just want to live a higher quality life.
I’ve never done a true “crash diet” because I was well aware that they are incredibly unhealthy and scientifically proven to result in weight gain down the line, but I have dabbled in unhealthy restrictive eating.
What does that look like? I looked back in some old food journals from my freshman year of college…it looks like a single boiled egg and a cup of grapes for one meal, grilled chicken and broccoli for another meal, and steamed spinach and a cup of black beans to finish out the day. By the end of each “meal,” I popped a piece of gum in my mouth so I wouldn’t want to eat any more. I would also get like 6 cups of herbal tea so I could sip while my friends finished their normal sized meals followed by a chocolate chip cookie.
If you’re like me, then you’ve watched a friend eat a slice of cake or a chocolate chip cookie after dinner and wondered “How can she just EAT that like it’s no big deal?” I wanted that…to eat normally without anxiety of eating too many calories.
Fortunately, I no longer have that amount of anxiety (thanks to many years of practice) over something as harmless as dessert, but I still over-analyze the choices I make when I’m eating a “treat.” It doesn’t help when people feel like they can comment on what others eat. I’ve had all of the following comments from the SAME person:
“You have so much food for lunch today.”
“Is that all you’re eating?”
“Well of course you can eat that because you’ll work out later.”
“You must just have a good metabolism.”
“I didn’t think a healthy person would eat those kinds of things. ”
Why do some people feel the need to comment on what others are eating? Unless your comments are said out of genuine concern, just stay out of it. I usually offer a quizzical look to the unsolicited commentary and remind myself that what I eat should not be dictated by other people’s opinions (or what I perceive other people’s opinions to be…) I worked very hard to overcome some personal issues, and I want others to have the same freedom that I get closer to each day!
If you’re a restrictive or anxious eater, here are some sources I think might be good reads/listens!
RESOURCES TO HELP US CONQUER RESTRICTIVE EATING!
“You’re Supposed to Eat, So Stop Eating the Smallest Amount Possible” – This article, written by Caroline Dooner of “The F*** It Diet,” delves into her previous restrictive eating and overexercising habits. She also offers a few tips on how to begin the process to END restrictive eating and how to eat without anxiety.
A notable quote from the article:
Start using your unique voice. Stop stifling yourself. Stop waiting to be thin. Stop waiting to be better before you reach your goal weight. It is never gonna happen that way. Your life starts NOW. This is the crazy, exciting paradox. All the things you thought you had to wait on weight for, you can do those now.
Summer Innanen – Summer is a certified nutritional practitioner and body image coach who is OVER dieting and unhealthy restriction. She has a blog, a podcast, and a course all dedicated to helping you figure out how to be content with yourself, love your body, and be more fearless in all aspects of your life :)
Maddy Moon – Madison Moon is a former fitness model and self-proclaimed G.I. Jane who let food and exercise dictate her life. She’s made some incredible changes, and she writes about important body image topics on her blog and her podcast.
@positivebodyimage on Instagram – While Instagram often comes under fire for deleting pictures of women that seem a little imperfect, they also have some great user accounts posting awesome messages and photos every day! By the way, if you have any accounts with “fitspiration” or “thinspiration,” please unfollow. It’s not healthy, and those people are probably hungry.
Paleo Parents – While this site primarily focuses on how a family lives a Paleo lifestyle, the creator, Stacy, also talks a lot about positive body image. She has two podcasts: The Paleo View and Strong Woman Radio. Both podcasts discuss how to live life in a healthy, restriction-free way.
Comments? Thoughts? More resources? I’d love to hear from you!
What do you love about yourself?
What positive body image resources have you found and loved?