Have you ever thought about how we talk about food? And our bodies? What if we, as women, realized it’s time to change our dialogue?
What would it be like if when we got together – we didn’t talk about hating our bodies?
Rather than sharing low calorie recipes and workout routines, we could start sharing our fears and hopes.
I wonder how different our gatherings would be if the women I know were at peace with their bodies.
What if our feelings of self worth weren’t tied to the number on the scale or the size of our pants. Can you imagine the possibilities of our conversations?
What if we weren’t distracted by judging ourselves and each other by the food we put in our mouths? We could instead focus on so much more. How much additional time would we have to be truly present with each other if we didn’t waste time criticizing our bodies, food choices, and exercise patterns? Or those of others?
Imagine the change…
What if instead, we filled our precious time with conversations about what’s really going on in our lives?
What would it feel like to share ideas? To be seen, heard and to be understood? And to be connected on a level deeper than the surface?
Can you imagine how our conversations would shift if we never wasted any of our breath or our precious time putting ourselves down for choosing cake? If we never felt we had to explain how we “earned” our food by exercising. Or proudly boast about our workouts, steps on our watch, or the ways we denied our body when she asked for food?
Rather than labeling ourselves and others as “good” or “bad” based on the food on our plate. We could see past the outside and recognize that worth comes from the inside. What would that be like?
What a change it would be
What if instead of preaching to our children not to ”judge a book by it’s cover” we stopped judging others and ourselves by the size and shapes of bodies?
And what if instead of offering teenagers a free membership to Weight Watchers, a company offered them a free course in developing their talents, using their voices, sharing their gifts, and knowing their value as human beings?
What if we taught our daughters and sons they have value because of who they are on the inside. Not because of what they look like.
What if we stopped sending them the messages that fat equals “bad, ugly, unhealthy, and lazy” ? And instead looked at the actual scientific research that shows diets don’t work. That we were never meant to control or shrink our bodies in the first place.
And what if we stopped teaching teens to deny hunger cues and physiological needs. Instead we educated ourselves and them on Health At Every Size.
What if we led by example? And we showed our kids just how freeing and empowering it can be to step off of the diet roller coaster?
What if the next time a doctor recommends we lose weight to “improve our health” we ask them to cite a method for losing weight (and keeping it off for more than five years) that has research showing it was successful?
Well, they won’t be able to. It isn’t out there.
The change I dream of when we talk about food and bodies
What if our doctors saw us as whole people and included our mental health into the equation? Did you know that research that suggests weight stigma is actually more damaging to health than the actual weight is?
Wouldn’t it be great if we stopped giving our money to the diet industry and instead invested in ourselves?
What if when we sit down to eat together, instead of labeling the food as “good or bad” or “right or wrong” we actually allowed ourselves to enjoy it? Guilt free.
What if we believed we deserve to feed ourselves until we feel satisfied? And were thankful for our bodies because they are resilient?
Our bodies can overcome sickness, grow human beings, and are the perfect combination of strength and softness.
So what if we saw all bodies as okay just the way they are? What if we decided to accept the fact that our body shape is largely determined by genetics?
Imagine if we recognized our bodies are constantly changing from the moment we’re conceived until the moment we die.
Wouldn’t it be liberating to realize that our purpose on earth is NOT to shrink or control our bodies?
What if we realized our purpose is so much greater?
And what if instead of focusing our energy, time, and money on shrinking our bodies, we aimed to leave this world a better place?
And what if, when we gathered for a meal, we focused on the light within us all instead of how to take up less space?
Imagine if we changed our dialogue. And the way we talk about food and our bodies. I think it would be a welcome change.
This article was originally posted on Recovery Warriors.
P.S. If your gatherings with other women are already like this:
- Consider yourself extremely blessed and 2. Please invite me to your next gathering