This piece was authored by the fabulous dietitians at RD4BC.com
Bodies come in all different shapes and sizes. We see it every time we hit the gym, get our hair done, or just walk down the street. It’s easy to judge a person based on how they look because we live in a weight-obsessed diet culture that has taught us a big myth:appearance = health. That’s simply not true. In fact, research has indicated that dieting to lose weight doesn’t lead to lasting habits or better health and can even lead to weight gain as your body adapts to not having enough food to eat.
Let’s be real. Diets are joyless. It’s not fun being hungry. It’s not fun sitting on the sidelines while everyone else enjoys delicious food. It’s not fun feeling like you aren’t a good enough person unless you take up less space. I believe you can be more confident, happier, and healthier when you stop dieting in favor of taking better care of yourself in ways that feel good to you.
Body confidence doesn’t come with a certain weight or shape. It comes when you like yourself more! Confidence grows when you treat yourself the same way you would treat friends and family. Confidence grows when you make choices that suit you best.
Here are three ways you can grow your body confidence.
- “I love me some ME!” There’s no point in trying to look like a celeb on a magazine cover. Did you know that those celebs don’t even look like that? Over 95 percent of media images are altered (not real). We can rock our different sizes and unique shapes right now, even if you’re working on changing your habits. You can do it: Share what you value about your body and why – with yourself, a good friend, or on social media.
- “My Life Is Meaningful Now” We often think if we choose to be content, we’ve become complacent. That’s simply not the case. Try to let go of the “When/Then” attitude. When I lose weight then I can _______. Count your blessings now and watch your mood shift. When you’re happier, you’re more optimistic and nicer to yourself. You can do it: reflect on what you are grateful for today and why. Can you share three things?
- “You Inspire Me” Humans are like sponges. We become more like the people around us. Who inspires you? Do you need to divorce diet culture? Cut some magazine subscriptions. Clean up your social media feed. Read books and blogs by body positive advocates. Find interests and hobbies outside of health. You can do it: make a list of 5 people who inspire you. Put their quotes, books, and articles all around you and live like the kind of person you’re trying to be.
About: Dietitians for Body Confidence was created to establish a dialogue about the valuable role dietitians can play in helping to improve body image. It’s free for RDNs and dietetic interns. Learn more at www.RD4BC.com
What are some of your ideas for promoting body positivity? I put sticky notes on my kids mirror (and my own too) that say, “Has anyone told you how amazing you are?” or “You are already perfect.” I also canceled a few magazines that promoted “health” but were making me feel worse about my own body by only picturing thin models.