Want a Healthy Body Image? Food and Exercise are NOT the Solution

body Mar 07, 2018


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A recent Weight Watchers study revealed that as many as 75% of women dislike their bodies. This research also revealed that body shame was a prevalent theme, and greatly impacted the quality of their relationships with their partner. This percentage is truly staggering!!   How did this happen that we live in a culture that is rampant with body loathing and shame, eating disorders, and issues with anxiety and depression that are weight and body related?


So many women treat their bodies with harshness, shame and disrespect.  They relate to food as though there is “good” food and “bad” food, and then feel shame every time they eat something that’s on the bad list. There are women who eat while on auto pilot, and are numbing their shame, fear, sadness and loneliness with food.  There are women who push themselves to the limits with exercise, spending hours and hours training for triathlons and ultra marathons.


 We have yet to meet a woman who cherishes her body and treats it with love and kindness. And yet what continues to be pervasive in our culture, is that the way out of this mess is just to “eat healthier” and “exercise”.


 Don’t get us wrong. We are in favor of eating nourishing food and moving your body to stay strong, healthy and flexible. But there needs to be a cultural shift in the way that we are addressing our relationships to food, our bodies, exercise and health.  The way it exists now, we are putting the cart before the horse.


The diet industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, because people are convinced that the key to feeling good about yourself is to lose weight, get that body you’ve always dreamed of, or fit into your skinny jeans. And to be clear, we have both fallen into this trap ourselves.


 What very few recognize, is that the key to having a healthy body begins with having a healthy relationship with yourself. And the key to having a healthy relationship with yourself begins with learning to separate yourself from the voice in your mind that speaks to you all day long.  It is this voice that is responsible for most of your suffering, especially when it comes to your body and food.


 Here’s the bottom line: When you learn how to transform your relationship with yourself, you start to treat yourself differently in every area of your life, including the way you treat your body.  You start to pay attention to whether your thoughts and actions in your life are in line with someone who loves, honors and values him or herself.  This includes when you eat, what you eat, and how you choose to move your body.


 It is no longer acceptable for us to continue to believe that the key to a healthy body lies only in food and exercise. We have proven repeatedly that solely focusing on food and exercise is not the solution. After all, we have an abundance of knowledge about health and nutrition, yet as a nation, we are fatter and sicker than ever before.


 Instead, what needs to be mainstream conversation in our culture, is how our Inner Critics continue to design the thoughts, feelings and actions that make us feel more and more dissatisfied, unhappy and disconnected in our lives.


 Feeling good about yourself begins with examining the false story that your Inner Critic has convinced you is the truth. It is only when we learn the tools to distinguish the messages of our Inner Critic that we have been seduced into believing, that we can really start to see the shifts we want our lives.


What’s your Inner Critic’s story about your body? Take a few minutes to look inside, investigate and perhaps journal what you see.

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