Too many of us were raised to think that in order to lose weight, look great and be accepted, we needed to deprive ourselves of food and happiness. Being on a diet is miserable but, hey, as I remember being told as a young girl many times, “Beauty hurts.”
But that was wrong. That was the kind of wrong that isn’t like, “Oops, I forgot to feed the dog today” wrong. That is toxic, life altering, traumatic wrong.
Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their body image and resort to dieting to try to achieve their ideal body type (Palmer, 2014)
58% of college-aged girls feel pressured to be a certain weight (NAANAD, 2014)
More than 1/3 of the people who admit to “normal dieting,” will merge into pathological dieting. Roughly 1/4 of those will suffer from a partial or full-on eating disorder (Geary, 2014)
95% of people with eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25 (NAANAD, 2014)
I was one of those girls. One of those with an eating disorder based on how I was taught, through the behaviors I observed in the adults in my life and it almost broke me.
We have to stop the narrative of needing to look a certain way in order to be valued and while as parents, we may not explicitly say those words to our kids, our actions teach it. When we ask if an outfit makes us look fat, if you eat a different, unsatisfying meal than your family does, if you look at yourself in the mirror and mumble less than positive words about how you look, if you tell your daughter she can’t wear a bikini….you are saying to your children that their value comes through their weight and to be valuable, you have to look a certain way and deprive yourself.
You are essentially teaching that “beauty hurts”
Instead, we HAVE to shift our mindsets about the fact that food is fuel. Our bodies were designed to NEED food and whether we trust it or not, it KNOWS how to use food to keep us strong, lean and healthy.
The problem is we don’t do right by our bodies and we use food to hurt it, not help it.
So how do we use food as fuel so it not only allows us to reach our optimal goals, but so that we model positive, empowering language about body image, self worth and how loving food and being lean isn’t an “either/or” scenario???
1.) Learn what foods are truly healthy, not just because they say so on the package. So many things that we THINK are healthy are actually sabotaging our goals. Check out Mark Hyman's book, “Food, What the Heck Should I Eat?” by clicking here,
2.) Don’t ever count calories or points. Calories in vs calories out is a totally antiquated way of looking at nutrition and its mind boggling to me that it’s still a common practice. Instead, you can figure out your macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbs) and determine what the right balance is that you should be eating. Want to know more about how to do that? Click here for an awesome free guide with tons of info and ideas!
3.) Eat frequently, small meals of the right combinations of proteins, fats and carbs. Our bodies respond to eating proteins, fats and carbs extremely well when we eat relatively small meals every 3-4 hours. We will actually train our bodies to feel hungry and thus boost our metabolism.
4.) Keep your blood sugar balanced. Keep from added sugars, especially from processed foods and dense carbs like white bread and white potatoes. Add foods with more fiber to your routine. The more we eat sugars, the more we crave and when our blood sugar is out of whack we lose energy and gain unhealthy weight. Also, when we eat the right combination of protein, fats and carbs, at the right time in the right amount, our blood sugar naturally balances itself and we automatically gain energy as well as lean muscle.
5.) Eat clean. When we eat garbage, our body treats us like garbage, by producing fat cells to try to protect if from the toxins. Eating clean involves eating whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible while keeping in mind the balance of eating proteins, fats and the RIGHT carbs at each meal.
6.) Be mindful of what you are saying to your kids. Not everything we communicate is through words. Your actions, your mindsets your language all send very powerful messages to your children about food, their body and their self worth. I communicate that food is meant to fuel us, that strength wins over skinny. That working towards optimal health will naturally get us to our optimal weight, which is in line with exactly how God designed each of us according to His perfect plan.
Understand that science has thrown all need for diet and deprivation out the window. Remind yourself that food is fuel and just because you have always thought a certain way, doesn’t mean you can’t shift your mindset!
Beauty shouldn’t hurt. And if it does, you are doing it wrong.
Beauty is being educated on how to be strong, confident and healthy. Beauty comes from the inside and shines on the outside, regardless of the number on the scale.
Interested in disrupting everything you THINK you know about nutrition? Join me for our next 4 Weeks 2 Wellness Lifestyle Launch!! Click here to learn all about it!
Geary, Kevin. “What Girls Are Taught About Health and Fitness (Roundtable).” The Rebooted Body. Accessed February 24, 2014, http://rebootedbody.com/038/
Palmer, Mario. “5 Facts About Body Image.” Amplify. Accessed February 24, 2014, http://amplifyyourvoice.org/u/marioapalmer/2013/05/21/byob-be-your-own-beautiful .
National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. “Eating Disorders Statistics.” ANAD. Accessed February 24, 2014, http://www.anad.org/get-information/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/.
National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. “Eating Disorders Statistics.” ANAD. Accessed February 24, 2014, http://www.anad.org/get-information/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/ .