LOVE OR HATE: WHICH REASON ARE YOU HEALTHY FOR?

Take the time to look at yourself in the mirror, and allow some inner reflection to reveal what your true feelings are around your health.


BY: KYLIE MITCHELL, MPH, RDN, LD

We all do it. You look at yourself in the mirror and check out your body.  Is it a bad thing to look in the mirror?

No, it’s not the mirror that is evil, it’s how we use it.

A mirror can be a tool used to body check. That has the potential to increase the likelihood of negative self talk, and may encourage manipulation of your body towards an unrealistic perception of perfection.

On the other hand, a mirror can be something you look into and think, “You look epic, and you’re going to rock your day.”

There are many health tools in your life that can turn into a dilemma, one which increases negative self talk and encourages you to manipulate your body.  That includes perceived ‘healthy’ behaviors which may actually be more harmful, such as going to the gym, eating vegetables, and looking in the mirror to check up on your progress.

None of these things are negative on their own, and it’s not any particular food or going to the gym that is bad for you.  

It’s the behavior around the food or the gym.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

Do you eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day because you know it nourishes your body, or do you eat 5 servings a day because it’s a rigid rule you’ve become obsessed with following?

Do you go on a walk outside because it feels awesome to move your body, or do you go to that 5am spinning class because you have to be thin or else?

The next time you are about to do something related to food or exercise, stop and ask yourself this fundamental question:

Am I doing this because I love my body, or because I hate my body?

If you are trying to control and manipulate some aspect of your body that you hate, then it may be time to consider stopping engagement in that activity.  Instead, give yourself a break from the rigid exercise or rigid meals to look inward and ask yourself,

“Am I pursuing health, or am I pursuing an appearance?”

After all, eating delicious fruits and vegetables is about nourishing the needs of your body and soul. And being at the gym is about moving your body to feel incredible.  

It is not about manipulating your body towards society’s distorted view of perfection. Bodies are naturally made of fat, organs, skin, and bones…

And you are healthy by having them all.  

Adapted from the original article.

Kylie Mitchell, MPH, RDN, LD is a Houston-based Registered Dietitian helping individuals create a healthier relationship with food without restrictions. By promoting positive body image, Kylie is driven to stop disordered eating and help people fall back in love with a healthy relationship with food and their body. Read more from Kylie at immaEATthat.

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