We live in a world surrounded by people telling you what’s best or right for you.
We’re told how we should look, how much we should weigh, what food we should eat. We’re judged by people and we also judge others based on appearance, the food in their grocery carts, whether or not they allow their kids to eat McDonald’s. We’re all guilty of it.
As a mother, but also as a woman, I am trying really hard to get away from these judgments and ideas of what I should and shouldn’t be doing, eating, looking like, weighing, etc. I have learned through living life, having different relationships with different kinds of people and those relationships shaping me into who I am, that first and foremost, we need to live for ourselves. We need to do ourselves that justice and put ourselves first in order to be the best people we can be. And I don’t mean neglecting our children, spouses, friends, or jobs in order to cater to our every self-indulgent whim. I just mean we need to find peace with ourselves first in order to be the best parents, employees, spouses, and friends.
One of the biggest things I’m trying to shake is “diet culture”. It’s a very in-depth topic that I am just now discovering. It’s basically the idea that we must eat certain food and look a certain way to be ultimately accepted. Even “lifestyle changes” such “clean” eating, Keto or Whole30 are diets disguised as if they aren’t. They mask themselves and give off the impression that you aren’t restricting or dieting at all, but instead indulging with “the best of the best”. At the end of the day, they’re still diets though, right? They’re designed to make you feel as if eating other types of food are “bad” and those foods are “good” or “whole” or “clean” and you are working toward a way you “should” look or feel.
I think it’s all bull crap.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with making peace with food. Eat what makes you feel right and whole. Indulge. Or don’t. Listening to your body and what it’s telling you is what matters most. If you had a hard day at work and the kids were awfully behaved and at the end of the day you’re exhausted and you just want a glass of wine and a bowl of ice cream, have those things. Listen to your body and its needs. I whole-heartedly believe that once a person makes total peace with food, they will fall into a place of what they look like naturally. Just like babies know when they’re hungry based on instinct and body cues, in turn, naturally gaining and losing weight and shifting through the curves of life, that is where we, as adults, are affected by diet culture. We begin to lose sight of that natural instinct and start to hold back or overdo things by force and let our instinct to just accept what we innately know go out the window.
I have always been very tall for a female and also on the curvier side. I have gone most of my life feeling like I’m less than because I’m in a larger body than most women. I’ve gone through my fair share of dieting and also shed many tears over how I look, feeling like I’m “fat” or “ugly” because I don’t look a certain way. I am extremely over this mentality and view of myself and others. I have been trying to actively incorporate a positive mindset in my everyday thoughts, reminding myself that I am full of worth at any size.
I am healthy even though I may live in a larger body. I am beautiful even though I have imperfections. It’s okay to look in the mirror and think I look pretty and it’s okay to eat a salad if that sounds good or drink a milkshake if that’s what tickles my fancy.
I want to teach this to my girls and continue trying to live it out as an example. It’s freaking hard to be a woman on this earth. If implementing this type of mentality means my daughters could somehow suffer less as females, I want to do all that’s in my power to make that happen. Sometimes it’s really hard and super easy to fall back into diet culture mentality, but it’s my goal to reel myself back in when I start having those thoughts and remember that I’m doing just fine as long as I’m listening to my body and my heart.