Respect Your Body (Principle #8)

To respect your body means …

  • Accept your unique genetic blueprint.
  • Stop criticizing your body’s size, shape, proportions, etc.
  • Show compassion toward yourself and the changes that occur to all of our bodies throughout our lives.
  • Don’t hold yourself to unrealistic cultural standards of the “ideal” body size or shape

It doesn’t mean that you have to be completely happy or satisfied with where your body is today.

Do you get winded or feel weak going up the stairs or during other physical activities? Do you have digestive issues or other health concerns due to your current eating habits and food choices? You can improve this without intentionally trying to change the size or shape of your body.

This is a tough one.

None of us are exactly alike, and yet so many of us strive to reach some “ideal” defined by society.

However, there is so much diversity from one person to another. What you see in the media is not typical and in many cases, it’s not healthy at all.

Different ethnicities have different genetic tendencies as far as body fat distribution and accumulation, muscle mass, torso:leg ratios, and the size of different body parts like chest, arms, legs, midsection, nose, ears, etc. And this is just one of the many factors that we can’t change.

Respect means rejecting society’s ideals of size, muscularity, and proportions and embracing the qualities that make us unique.

Does this mean that we’re destined to be the size and shape that we are today? Not necessarily.

Disruptions in our eating, relationship with food, activity levels, etc. can contribute to a size that is actually not right for us, whether that’s larger or smaller.

However, what I love about Intuitive Eating is how it shifts the focus off size and shape and instead helps you address any underlying disruptions and how you care for your body. Addressing the disruptions will help you achieve the body that is right for YOU (whether that’s smaller, larger, or the same size you are today).

Next, let’s talk about moving our bodies.