THE WAY YOU FEEL MATTERS MORE THAN THE WAY YOU LOOK

Reclaiming confidence in your health requires an understanding that it's more than just body image. Here's how you can do it.

Reclaiming confidence in your health requires an understanding that it’s more than just body image. Here’s how you can do it.


BY: EMILY FONNESBECK, RD, CD, CLT

Working towards a more positive body image can be tough and is often an uphill battle for most people to regain the body trust they have long lost.

The cultural pressures we feel about appearance are real.  They are subtle, sneaky, and can create shameful feelings about our bodies without us even realizing it.  To deal with that shame, many of us make our bodies projects.  We apologize for them, manipulate them, deprive them and beat them up at the gym.  

However, the answer for negative body image will never be found in changing your body.

If it changes as a result of shameful feelings and actions, it will still feel empty and hollow. You will continue to spend your life searching for the moment when you are finally happy and content.  The real answer is much less lucrative and way less popular: accept, respect, and connect with your body just the way it is.  

Here are a few helpful tips to help you look past your appearance, and towards your best well-being.

1. Respect your body for what it is.

Recognize that diet culture prioritizes numbers and weight over healthy behaviors and well-being.  On the other hand, a non-diet, weight-neutral approach is one that prioritizes healthy behaviors and overall well-being beyond the numbers. That’s a huge paradigm shift, but  ask yourself if you truly feel good about prioritizing appearance over everything else.  After all, you are the one living in your body and deserve to feel at home in it.  

2. Enjoy the life you’ve been given back.

Stay attuned to how good it feels to feel well-nourished. Your brain is alert and attentive, and you can feel your vitality coming back because your body is getting stronger.  Eating with your family is enjoyable again, and you’re able to travel without anxiety.  You will begin to feel like yourself again because you have the energy to engage in what is most meaningful to you.  Compare what you’ve gained back to what you previously lost to food rules and body preoccupation, and you’ll be reminded of why you don’t want to go back.

3. See your body as a vehicle for living a meaningful life.

When you live a life without food rules and with body trust, you feel happier and freer. You’re allowing your body to do what it’s meant to do, rather than allowing it to define you.   It doesn’t deserve discontentment, and isn’t just an object to be picked apart.  Your body enables you to live, learn, dream, achieve, feel and experience life.

Choose to listen to and respect your body, it will honor you right back.

Adapted from the original article.  
HEADER IMAGE: KATY BELCHER

Emily Fonnesbeck, RD, CD, CLT is a private practice Registered Dietitian based in Saint George, Utah. Instead of creating unnecessary restrictions, Emily focuses on helping individuals become confident and in charge of their own well-being through Intuitive Eating and Mindful Living. She is a strong believer and advocate for helping people become capable individuals who are confident in taking care of themselves.  Make a visit and read more from Emily.

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