“Today, I will try to look kindly at my body and to treat it with love and respect.”
This is one part of the Live Well Pledge in Health at Every Size by Lindo Bacon, PhD.
This pose, Ustrasana (camel pose), brings up a lot of feelings and sensations for me. It’s uncomfortable, my breathing changes because of the shape I get into, and it’s also space of deep growth. Sometimes it makes me dizzy and nauseous but I only go as far as my body says to go, mindful to be aware of the discomfort but not to the point where I’m ignoring physical and mental limits.
I value the relationship I’ve built over the years with my body. I listen to it as best as I can, slowly building trust over time. Maybe I needed this reminder today- to listen to and to trust my body’s wisdom.
What’s one way that you can love on your body, be kind to your body, and/or treat it with respect today?
Overheard in the dressing room today, “you look skinny, you look beautiful, you look great”.
I winced, felt my body tense, and I hoped that you would get my telepathic messages from the other side of the dressing room- “Noooooooo!”, “How do you feel?”, “How does it fit?”, “Does it make you shine from the inside out?”
YOU ARE COMPLEX AND MAGNIFICENT IN SO MANY WAYS
Hearing this message in the dressing room wasn’t a surprise, unfortunately it happens often. It’s the way society teaches us to evaluate and be critical of beauty (among other things). It does do harm in the long run though. When you hear a message often and for a long time it can sink in to your belief system and make you think that you are supposed to look a certain way. Those words in the dressing room equate an arbitrary number to a person’s worth and beauty. Also, eating and body image issues are not just “women’s problems”. Studies are showing that more people are becoming aware of the gender-neutral nature of eating disorders and body image issues.
I used to play volleyball in college. It was my first time leaving home and I didn’t know how to feed myself while I worked out and played volleyball like it was a full-time job. I relied on my teammates and the people around me to help me figure out what to eat and how to take care of myself and there was definitely a lot of trial and error. This is one of the reasons why eating and body image issues are important to me and why I value working on a team to help individuals who experience these concerns.
In collaboration with Gina Mateer, Registered Dietitian (RD), Licensed Dietitian (LD), Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian (CEDRD), with Nom-Nomaste, we wanted to highlight some reasons to visit a dietitian when a person is concerned about their eating and body image issues.