One of the first things I like to discuss with clients is their motivation behind dieting. Most the time, the answer is somewhere between diet culture mindsets and body image issues. For me, it was a little bit of both. I was not happy with the way my body looked, so I followed the rules put forth by diet culture in order to change it. Thanks to all of the diet trends out there, I thought certain foods would make me fat and I tried to avoid these “bad” foods at all costs. I restricted my food intake and over-exercised my body because I thought I would find true happiness in being a certain size.
That true happiness never happened.
I wish my twenty year old self would have known that self-acceptance was what made her beautiful. I wish my twenty year old self would have known this because she would have gained back so much life and experiences. Instead, my twenty year old self was influenced by diet culture and all of the images on social media that reflected “perfect” bodies. Instead of putting more time and energy into her career, relationships, personal goals, and traveling, my twenty year old self worried about calorie counting, macronutrient portions, meal timing, and what workout would work best for her body.
I am not ashamed of my history with disordered eating or my body image issues because I know that experience has led me to this coaching practice and has allowed me to meet so many amazing women along the way. I share my experience and what my twenty year old self went through so that you can realize the life you can live if only you would start working on finding your own food freedom and body acceptance. Girl, my true happiness never happened because I reached my goal weight or because I (used to) have a flat stomach.
My true happiness came when I finally let go of those ridiculous beauty standards and focused on things that brought me pure joy.
What is making you stay in a diet mentality? What is making you feel unworthy and ashamed of your own body? What step are you going to take to address these issues? When?
If you’re simply looking for inspiration, I encourage you to follow me on Instagram, @JessMalingowski. If you want to educate yourself on the topics of intuitive eating and body love, take advantage of the free resources I have available on my website. If you’re ready to discuss these issues with someone just to get your head clear on where you need to go next, sign up for a free 1-1 session here.
Here’s to food freedom and confidence in who you are!