Think less about food.
It’s a difficult pattern to break when you spend a lot of your time thinking about food. It’s a preoccupation that’s complicated by other factors such as a desire to lose weight, gain weight, tone up, lower calorie intake, and the list goes on. It’s one thing to think about what you’re going to eat, and it’s another to go into a deep discussion with yourself about food. “If I have this, then it’s this many calories, and if I have that then I’ll be able to have this later on, and since I’ll be eating at this time, I should eat that time…”
The more you invest your time into something, the more that it matters. This applies to anything. So how can any of us think that if we spend a good amount of our time preoccupied with food, exercise, our bodies, we’ll manage to lightly brush off any moments when we do exactly what we are trying not to do. The stakes are higher, the emotions are intricately tied… we can’t just accept that it’s okay. You feel guilt, anxiety, a slight freakout, the whole nine yards depending on how much your life is defined by it. “It” being food, body image, an eating disorder, exercise, anything really!
Whatever your struggles are with your body or food it all boils down to one thing: You want to change. There’s something inside of you that would rather pursue a journey of change, rather than one of self acceptance. It’s almost as if we isolate the two because we can’t see how to reconcile them.
But that isn’t true.
The process of change can only get better the more you’re willing to accept yourself. Accepting yourself isn’t this, “I love my body! I wouldn’t change it for the world!” No, come on. I don’t know ANYONE who would say that and if I ever do meet someone who does, I would want to know their secret.
“When you ‘accept’ your body, you are okay with who you are in this very moment. Acceptance is a neutral stance. You don’t love your reflection nor do you hate your appearance. There is no judgment or stamp of approval placed upon yourself. Acceptance requires no change to your body or weight” (Mindful Eating 101, Susan Albers).
Damn. I read that and I’m thinking, how can I do this? How can anyone be neutral about their bodies? And the only explanation I can come up with is that bodies are just bodies. When it comes down to it, they’re simply the vehicles of life. We’re bombarded with messages from society that some bodies are better than others, that beauty defines how “good” you are or how “valuable and worthy” you are, that we can’t accept who we are because it’s not GOOD ENOUGH. And those are lies.
If you’re in the process of change AND acceptance, then you can’t fail. There is no urgency to change, because acceptance doesn’t REQUIRE any change to your body. You are choosing to change your body because you want to, not because you need to. With acceptance on your mind, changing isn’t a daunting task. The stakes aren’t so high. There’s no fear. If you mess up, you mess up! It stops there. No panic, no worries, no negative thoughts. You are still what you’ve always been: You are good enough.
True change is a LIFESTYLE (ongoing) not a FAD (temporary). True acceptance is NOW (as you are), not LATER (as you will be).