There is nothing wrong with wanting to maintain a healthy body, but at what cost? Take a closer look at how your thoughts are shaping your quality of life, and rediscover what’s most meaningful to you.
Have you ever wondered if your food and body image thoughts are truly healthy? In a culture fixated on diets and body appearance, it isn’t uncommon to feel overwhelmed or bombarded with messaging. Whether you’re in the car on the way to work, shopping at the grocery store, or out with some friends – you’re likely to be exposed to some messaging about food and body image.
This messaging is pervasive and inescapable.
As it infiltrates into your own thoughts about your eating habits and body appearance, it may even start to feel obsessive and controlling. So how do you decipher if it’s gone too far?
One question to ask yourself is: “What percentage of your waking hours do you spend thinking about food and your body image?” When I first started asking this question to my clients, I was surprised at the responses I received – I knew that diet culture was pervasive, but I didn’t know the extent it influenced the day-to-day life of people.
This question is an opportunity to step back and look at the big picture.
Consider some of these questions to decipher whether or not your food and body image thoughts are taking up a significant amount of your time:
- Do you allow food or exercise rules determine whether or not you participate in different social events with friends or family?
- Do your conversations with friends and coworkers often revolve around the latest diet trends, your newest exercise regimen, or how you feel in your body?
- Does a change in your eating or exercise plan for the day leave you feeling like a failure?
If your answer was “yes” to any of these questions, it might be a sign that things have gone to far, and it may mean that your food and body image thoughts could use some quieting. Here are a few ideas to help you quiet the noise and start creating a more peaceful conversation with yourself.
1. Take back your time.
If you weren’t spending time thinking about food and body image, what would could you spend your time thinking about? Write those things down and slowly start intentionally thinking about them.
2. Stop tracking.
3. Tune out the noise.
Be aware of the information you’re consuming and get curious about it. Don’t believe everything you hear and know that what works for someone else, might not be the best option for you.
By quieting the diet culture noise today and change the internal conversation you’re having with yourself.
You deserve to live a life filled with thoughts that are meaningful to you.
Adapted from the original article.
HEADER IMAGE: JURICA KOLETIC
Kaycie Lindeman, RDN is a Registered Dietitian in Minneapolis, MN. Having worked with cancer patients in the clinical setting, Kaycie advocates for the supportive role of nourishing foods in one’s body during treatment and beyond. Through her experiences, Kaycie extends her work towards helping women who are ready to reclaim their health through a non-diet approach and stand up to society’s unrealistic beauty standards.