The Best Kind of Self-Care

The decision to take steps to recover from disordered eating and body shame is a difficult one. It’s a decision that many people make because they really have no clue what else to do.

Diets? Tried them. ALL.

Clothing sizes? Got them. ALL.

Self-judgement? Done it. ALL.

Realizing that you’ve been caught in a seemingly endless trap of restriction, binging, judgement, shame and blame can leave you feeling helpless and hopeless.

Whether you’re just starting on this journey, or you’ve been at it for sometime, struggle is a normal and necessary phenomenon.

Yes, normal AND necessary. 

Because struggle helps you learn about your fears. Struggle helps you gain perspective about your self-beliefs. Struggle helps you see how you’re coping and if that coping is supportive of the life you truly want to lead.

In moments of struggle with food and your body, no matter where you are in your healing journey, I want to encourage you to ask yourself this question:

If I had no fear of gaining weight, how would I take care of body and my mind? Right here, right now, how would I care for myself that would meet my authentic needs?

Here’s why.

Because when efforts of food and body-control (ie compensatory exercise, starting the new "curative" diet, etc) are masked by the label “self-care” (or motivational) we only stay caught in diet and self-judgement cycles 

When we engage in self-care without expectation of body or weight change, we gain insight into what it is that we actually need. What feelings are asking to be felt and soothed. And, we prove to ourselves that it is possible to be cared for in the here and now, even if it is only for a hot second.

We call this weight-neutral self-care. Taking care of yourself to the best of your ability, in your body now, without expectation. Despite how you feel about it. 

I truly believe that it’s the best kind of self-care because it pushes against the notion that something needs to be changed before you’re worthy of being cared for.

In a culture that’s invested in keeping you buying in, weight-neutral self-care is a radical way to reconnect to yourself and your actual needs. 

Not your inner shit-talker, not diet-culture, not the learned messages about worthiness and caring for yourself that you’ve picked up along the way.

In moments when you feel stuck staring in the mirror, picking your body apart, ask yourself how that narrative would shift if weight and appearance beliefs had nothing to do with it. How would you speak to yourself then? Give it a try.

When you’re tempted to dive into your next diet, ask yourself how you would care for your body and your health if you weren't grasping for weight change. Give it a try.

When you feel the urge to binge building and you hear yourself saying, “screw it, I’ll never change, it’s hopeless” consider how you would take care of yourself if you believed that your body isn't a problem to be solved. Give it a try.

If you can't give yourself permission to give it a try, acknowledge your resistance. Where is is coming from? Whose voice does it sound like? How is giving this resistance power keeping you steeped in pain?

Weight neutral self-care

It’s flexible. It honors your mind and your body in the here and now. It makes space for a new belief system to root in that you are, in fact, worthy of authentic physical, emotional, relational and spiritual health. Right here. Right now.

Tell me, what's one way you can implement weight-neutral self-care into your life? I'd love to hear and cheer you on!