Last month was ALL about self-care at Idem Spark, and a big part of taking care of yourself is being in tune with your body. From eating what you need and not restricting yourself to getting in movement that feels good, self-care isn’t just spa days and facials.
Start feeling more connected by tuning into the natural wisdom that your body is already offering you! We chatted with nutritional therapy practitioner & intuitive eating counselor Steph Gaudreau about how to say goodbye to diet culture and instead listen to your body’s natural cues.
Ditch the All or Nothing Approach
Diet culture has taught us to be restrictive. Counting calories, eliminating “bad” foods, and shrinking yourself to fit a particular societal standard of beauty is an impossible mission that a lot of women hold themselves to because that’s what they’ve been taught is “right.”
But there’s a more holistic way! Instead, by introducing wisdom, strength, and flow you can learn the mindfulness, mindset flexibility, and resilience you need to be more in touch with your body and listen to what it’s telling you. Instead of feeling like you can’t trust your body and using diets as a form of control, reconnect to your natural instincts.
Sense Your Body’s Signals
We’ve all been conditioned by diet culture to ignore the signals that our body sends us naturally. That’s why “hunger” and “fullness” have become loaded topics that are challenging for many people to get in tune with. But just like your body tells you when you’re tired or when you need to use the bathroom, your body is sending your cues about when it’s time to eat or when you’re already full.
To take the first step towards relearning to communicate with yourself, try doing some deep breathing exercises. Lay still and try to feel your heart rate or sense your body’s core temperatures. Especially during the pandemic, it can be easy to get stuck in a fight or flight mode. But slowing down with deep, conscious breathing will help you move into a calmer state. Taking time to connect with your body’s natural behaviors will help you begin to heal that trust and strive for synchronicity.
Move Into Your Strength
Physical strength is important, and not about just lifting weights or hitting the gym. When you think of physical health, ask yourself “Am I nourished enough to get the energy I need to thrive?”
Diet culture has caused people to chronically undernourish themselves in pursuit of a certain size, and overachievers can be caught in a vicious cycle of living on a stress response that deprives their bodies—but there’s only so long you can keep that up.
Instead, take care of yourself so you can take care of other people. Look to mindful eating to help feel more empowered in your own skin and enjoy your food as fuel. Be more present and add back in any foods you’ve removed, so you leave that endless state of restriction. This will help you maintain steady energy levels and avoid a vicious cycle of over-restricting and binging that is detrimental to your overall physical and mental wellness.
Set Clear Boundaries
Boundary setting is important because it lets you choose where you spend your energy. Think of boundaries like a chain link fence—you can keep things out, but also still have holes to let through the things you want to. Don’t focus on being perfect or pleasing everyone, and instead focus on where you’re spending your time and what’s important to you right now. It takes courage to say “no,” but it’s an important step to take to protect your mindset, your time, and your wellbeing.
Looking for more ways to be in tune with your body’s wisdom? Watch our IGTV with Steph for even more insights!