Monday, July 1, 2013

TOTAL body acceptance.

I am writing my own diet addiction recovery plan, based on personal experience, research, professional help that I have received since my EDNOS recovery 8 years back, and Mom's words of wisdom ringing in my ears.  I have figured out the first three steps, and have already blogged about one:  End food and exercise guilt.  Now it's time to talk about the second step.

Total body acceptance.

This is much easier said than done.  What do I mean by "total body acceptance"?  

It means that I have to put weight loss on the back burner.  I have to love my body EXACTLY as it is right now.  I have to appreciate it for not only what it can do (YAY I can walk, and not everyone can!  YAY I can see, hear, process information easily, dance [no skill, but I can try!], run, lift weights, play with my dogs, etc.).  But I also have to appreciate its appearance.

In all its glory.  Every inch. Including the hips that I currently loathe and the pimple on my chin.  Okay, maybe not the pimple, but everything else!  

And this is really tough for me.  But I am beginning to understand this part of Intuitive Eating (the book).  There was a chapter about accepting the body that you currently have, and throughout the book it says that in order to be an intuitive eater, you must be willing to put your weight loss in the back of your mind.

That totally makes sense to me now.  Every time that I have tried to follow IE in the past, I have still been mentally counting calories, and beating myself up when I wasn't engaging in diet behaviors.  I tried to push those thoughts away, but I just couldn't, and every time I did IE I would end up not losing weight quickly, which would get me back on a diet.  I hated my body and wanted it to change as quickly as possible.

I want this painting now.  Thanks, Google...

Maybe the ticket to getting the body that I want is to love the body that I have.  It's that whole "have what you love, love what you have" thing. Of course, if I ever truly love the body that I have, then I don't need to change it anymore at all.  And being an intuitive eater doesn't always lead to weight loss.  I may have messed up my metabolism so much from all of this yo-yo-ing around to the point where my body wants to be a size 18.  I don't know.  

I kind of doubt that, though.  Really, I believe that if I start loving my body, I will treat it better by feeding it healthier things and moving it around more, and that will just naturally lead to a bit of weight loss.  I believe the Intuitive Eating book where it says that my body will naturally get to its healthy weight eventually (which may or may not be considered "normal" per the BMI scale, but is healthy for ME - I highly suspect that I will still be a little overweight by those standards).  

However, total body acceptance means RIGHT NOW I need to accept my body, without any secret hopes for weight loss.  It's basically answering that age old question:  

If you knew that you would never gain or lose any weight and would always look exactly like this no matter what, 
how would you treat your body?

I'm getting better at total body acceptance.  One day at a time.  One of the things that I didn't like about being so big was that no clothes looked good on me. 

But I figured something out recently by shopping at Torrid:  There are clothes out there that make me feel beautiful.  They are expensive, though.  So one thing that I do need to work on is getting more money.  Oh yeah, I'm in school!  One day I will have a job that will let me buy whatever clothes I want (well, within reason.  But way more money than I currently make, which is zero).  So maybe the focus shouldn't be on getting smaller so that I can fit into cheap clothes, maybe the focus should be getting more educated in order to make enough money to buy more expensive clothes.  Sounds like a win-win to me.

Anyway...  I guess that I should wrap up this ridiculously long post.  I'm excited to begin the journey of total body acceptance.


bookyeti said...

Awesome post, Leah! :)

Mariebop said...

I love Torrid! Though I don't fall within their size range. My sister just placed an order with her. She finds cuter stuff at Torrid than I do shopping in those cheapy stores. LOL!! I'm an inbetweeny... Not quite plus size and yet not a small enough size where I can find the really cute stuff.

And... the BMI scale is crap. As long as my doctor says I'm healthy, I'm good.

Leah: Not Otherwise Specified said...

Thanks so much!

Leah: Not Otherwise Specified said...

Torrid is amazing! It goes from size 12-26, so I doubt that I will ever not be able to shop there, because I have never been smaller than a 12 as an adult (except for one pair of 10's that I wore in the depths of my ED).

Yes, BMI is crap.

Shannon Tatlock said...

Great thought process. I especially like the comment that if I love my body, I will put healthy food into it and move more. Such a powerful and truthful statement.

Thank-you for sharing this process!