Intuitive Eating principle #8:
Respect Your Body
I don’t mean in the same way as I’ve discussed in the previous principles—such as eating when you’re hungry or stopping when you’re full. This principle goes a little deeper than that.
Feeling good in the body you were genetically meant to have is required to be able to reject the diet mentality and honor your needs. We’re not all meant to have the same body, and yours is worthy of respect just as it is, in this very moment.
Body respect isn’t the same thing as “body love” or “self love” either. You don’t have to love every single part of your body in order to start respecting it, but if you don’t believe that your body is worthy of respect now, it doesn’t matter how much you try to (successfully or unsuccessfully) change it… you never will.
Respecting your body means treating it with dignity and meeting its needs. It’s difficult to respect your body when you’re constantly bashing yourself or your looks with unrealistic ideals or expectations. Instead of thoughts that bring you down, stop and replace them with positive or respectful statements.
You can respect your body by:
Appreciating what it does for you each and every day
Realizing that you deserve to eat and you NEED to eat
Wearing clothes that fit you comfortably
Moving in a way that you enjoy and that makes you feel good
Accept what you’ve been given and feel confident about who you are.
Research has proven that we each have a certain “set point” weight at which is our body is genetically programmed to fall. Trying to force yourself into a smaller or bigger body than you’re meant to have is like trying to squeeze into a pair of shoes that’s three sizes too small; it’s uncomfortable and ineffective.
When you are truly listening to your hunger and fullness cues and eating the foods that you crave, your body will find its set point all by itself… really! It wants to be at that weight no matter what you’re doing.
Respect your body, and you will feel better about who you are. Your body is unique, but your personality, relationships, and values are so much more important than your physical appearance.