The 8th principle of Intuitive Eating is "Respect Your Body."
It sounds simple enough but I have to tell you that it's not easy. This one principle is CRITICAL to becoming an intuitive eater.
I'm probably going to write about 10 million more blog posts about this because believing your body is good enough is really hard. It's especially hard when there's tons of magazines, advertisements, and pictures everywhere reminding us that we need to buy wrinkle cream, botox, a fast car, or McDonalds to be good enough or in order to love life.
In fact, they made a whole documentary about it. Our culture very much values appearance. This is especially true for women. When we don't meet the standards, it can be hard to feel good enough. Even if you don't have a diagnosable eating disorder, managing food can be one way to cope with this very human and very normal feeling.
For me, the process of coming to love my body came from learning to recognize that my body weight was NOT somehow an indicator of my worth or my health.
The idea that your body should look like the cover of some magazine is not only unattainable but not necessarily healthy for your body. I would argue that the fallacy that we can all fit into one size is one of the worst myths out there.
Here's the big thing:
Weight doesn't really matter the most when it comes to your health.
Socially, we have conflated the two. And GURRRRRRRRRRRL, (or BOOOOOOOOOOIIIII) do I have some youtube videos for you to watch:
1. You can be healthy at every size: http://www.bodylovewellness.com/speaking/
This video unpacks one of the largest nutrition studies in the world and shows how weight is not a significant factor in health and longevity when people exercise regularly, eat fruits and vegetables, don't smoke, and drink minimally.
Stop stepping on the scale to measure your "health." Focus instead on healthy habits.
2. BMI is bologna: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlXxoG98urc&noredirect=1
BMI, or Body Mass Index, is a formula that takes your weight and divides it by your height squared. In this video, Laci Green unpacks how it evolved from a simple formula that was explicitly not to be used as an indicator for health to being co-opted by life insurance companies and the dieting industry. Now, BMI is the rallying cry of people fighting the "obesity epidemic."
I give you these videos because the conversation around weight has bled into the conversation about health and part of learning to love your body is learning to know the difference. Taking care of your body is about listening to it, not berating yourself for being "overweight."
Because, c'mon, how well has hating your body worked so far?