Updated: 4 days ago
Dieting is so entrenched in our culture. It stems from unrealistic beauty standards and leaves many women (and men) struggling with disordered eating and having less regard for promoting genuine health than fitting a body image ideal. Given this societal context known as “diet culture”, it can be difficult to overcome yo-yo dieting and food restriction, both of which can disrupt your metabolism and create gut & hormone imbalances in your body, leaving us feeling mentally and physically sick and exhausted.
Giving yourself grace is about forgiveness, knowing that it’s okay to be imperfect, and that perfect is impossible for anyone to achieve. Self-criticism and shame, both around food and in other areas of your life, can be detrimental to your mental and physical health; whereas being kind and gentle with yourself can actually be extremely helpful in getting back to your natural cycles of eating and restoring your overall health! While it can be difficult to let go of an all-or-nothing mindset, especially for us perfectionists out there, it feels freeing to be rid of the stress and anxiety around food.
Ways to Practice Giving Grace:
1. Set small goals to start, and build from there
It can be daunting to overhaul your diet (and lifestyle) overnight, so setting small, manageable goals can be a good way to make sustainable progress. When picking your first few goals, try to define them within a time frame and keep them manageable for best chances of sticking to it!
2. Be real with yourself, no one is perfect and making a large shift in your life can and probably will be difficult
Letting yourself accept where you are will lead to less stress and ultimately help you to your goals in a more sustainable way.
3. Know that it’s okay to eat the things you enjoy!
Diet culture is a belief system that many of us have succumbed to, although to no fault of ours. It’s the ideals that we as a society place on body size and shape, prioritizing thinness over genuine health. Try not to let [this] diet culture influence you and make your diet overly restrictive, instead focus on filling your plate with nutrients to make you feel satisfied. Remember that nutrients can come from lots of different foods, including the slice of cake at your friend’s birthday party!
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