It took me 40 years to feel good about my body. I spent most of my life hating it and desperately wanting to be slim… or slimmer, because I was never thin enough.
I put so much time in my teens, 20s and 30s, so much effort and money into trying to lose weight and exercise my body into shape.
Nothing ever worked. Or it never worked for long.
Eventually any weight I lost would come back on. With a little more. Each time leaving me a bit fatter than I’d been before I started. The harder I tried, the harder it became. The rebound eating in between each weight loss attempt got longer. And more intense. The more I tried, the fatter I got. The fatter I got, the more I hated my body.
Nowadays I can honestly say that I like my body. And I enjoy being in it. It used to be just an inconvenient brain taxi that I had to lug around and which always let me down. These days, I own my body, I treat it with kindness and respect. I no longer want to be the impossibly perfect me I could never have been. One of those lithe, toned, smooth, thin models in the magazines. I stopped being disappointed with my body and learned to cherish it instead. I am strong, supple and healthy. That is perfect enough.
Here are three things you can do right now to start feeling better in your body.
Give your wardrobe a makeover
The first thing you can do is to get rid of any clothes that didn’t fit you and that you don’t really feel good in. I can’t even begin to describe how good it felt when I stopped spending hours every morning battling with myself about what to wear, seeing reminders of how fat and disgusting I was in every item of clothing I didn’t fit into which hung there accusingly. Cleansing my wardrobe and keeping only clothes that fit me and I felt comfortable in was amazing. I stopped berating myself and pining for my ‘thin’ clothes and just got dressed. It’s true I didn’t have a great deal of clothes for a while. But getting dressed in the morning didn’t feel like an assault course anymore and I didn’t care.
Stop weighing yourself
Give your bathroom scales away or put them away where you can’t see them. I put mine in a suitcase in the attic! Daily weigh-ins are crazy making. If the number goes down you’re likely to celebrate and treat yourself to chocolate. If the number goes up you drown your sorrows in ice cream, feeling like a failure and a bit hopeless. For most of us weighing daily results in overeating. It doesn’t seem to matter what the little numbers say, food is always the answer.
Focus on your relationship with food
How about going on a weight-loss holiday? I took three months off trying to lose weight and I focused all my efforts on thinking about how I wanted my relationship with food to be and finding the right kind of support to do that. The opposite of dieting isn’t giving up and eating whatever. I didn’t give myself a licence to binge like I used to when I was between diets.
When getting to your target weight isn’t the goal, it’s amazing how it changes the choices you make. By focusing on what you want a healthy relationship with food to look like you will be re-evaluating all your food choices. When you’re not thinking in terms of calories, or Syns, or points or carb content, you have to work out how much you’re hungry for and how much is enough.
I didn’t wait to have my dream body to do any of these things. I just did them. I felt better within days and I hadn’t lost a single pound.
If you’re fed up of dieting and want to stop the obsession with food and your weight, try Beyond Chocolate, The UK’s Largest No Diet Community.