Question from a reader: “How do I learn to accept the weight my body naturally wants to be? I’m eating healthy, listening to my body, and doing yoga, but I weigh more than what my head wants. I struggle with this.”
Great question and so relatable.
This question went on to also ask how to stop comparing yourself to others on Instagram who have your “ideal body weight” and seem to have a similar lifestyle to you (they eat similar food, do similar workouts, etc).
The short answer is that it all comes down to self-compassion, our mindset, and the way we’re talking to ourselves.
We talked about self-compassion a little bit in the workshop we just ran in Columbus (which was so great by the way – photo from the event below!), so I’ll share the example we used here.
We worked through a couple of scenarios that are common trigger points for many of us. One being when you realize a pair of old jeans don’t fit and what it sounds like to have self-compassion in that moment.
Self-compassion: “How about we go and buy bigger pants, these ones aren’t comfortable.”
Self-criticism: “I can’t believe you don’t fit into these pants anymore. What’s wrong with you?”
So often we leap straight to: What’s wrong with me? What do I need to change? Which sends us the message of something is wrong with you, you’re out of control.
Our natural weight will never require us to do unnatural or unsustainable (aka, highly restrictive) things to get there.
Personally, anytime I’ve manipulated my weight by dieting, I’m so exhausted once I’ve lost the weight I can hardly wait to be off my diet.
Even if I’m in that “I can keep going” place, my body can’t. My body naturally starts to crave more food, more calories, more anything I can get my hands on.
And thank you for that, body. Thank you for letting me know that you need more nourishment, more care, and less control. Thank you for asking me to trust you more. I want to, and I am willing to.
When we release control of our weight and leave it up to our bodies to decide what we weigh, we’re freed up to focus on what really matters to us (our relationships, physical nourishment, self-care, etc) and our well-being as a whole improves from here.
The next piece is accepting this place. Which looks like having loads of self-compassion and loads of turning the light back to ourselves vs. shining it on others and comparing ourselves to them (we want to turn that light inward and come back to ourselves).
Back to the jeans example that I started with…
In my own life, when I practice self-compassion in a moment of jeans not fitting, my mind can hop around from self-compassion to self-criticism and back to self-compassion again.
If you can relate and feel that your mind can do the same thing (hop back and forth from positive/encouraging to negative/discouraging) know that this is normal. The great thing is that you’re paying attention.
The voice in your mind might go something like this: “Ah, my jeans don’t fit.”
Self-compassion: “That’s okay, they’re just jeans. Just a number. You’re exactly where you need to be.”
Self-criticism: “But, that other girl has been able to keep her weight low. Maybe this is your fault.”
OUCH. Comparison really is the theif of joy, isn’t it?
Self-compassion (shoving it’s way back through to push against that self-critical bully): “Hey, you’re doing great. You’re calm, you’re improving each area of your life, you’re happy, you’re eating intuitively as best you can. You’re on a journey. And you deserve clothing that feels good, now. Your body is your body. Not anyone else’s. It doesn’t make sense to compare.”
In a nutshell, it comes down to self-compassion. If you’re actively practicing self-compassion, listening to your body, and embracing body kindness… if you’re actively working to not compare your body to others, self-compassion is the way to go.
Remember that your body is not the same as anyone else’s and it doesn’t need to be. One body shape/size is not better than another. What really matters is our internal health and well-being, which, along with our physical health, includes our mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
Other posts you might enjoy that expand on this topic:
- How I Knew When I Was at My Natural Weight
- Finding Your Natural Body Weight
- If You Want to Shut Down Your Negative Self Talk
I hope this helps!
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