Food and Body Freedom #59 4 Tools for your Body Acceptance Journey


Do you relate to being concerned about how your body is perceived? Feeling fed up with not liking your body? Wishing you weren't so triggered by your own reflection? You're not alone. How could you not feel this way? And do you want out?

This episode explores:

  • the harm you've faced in your body
  • how the way you've likely navigated this discomfort has kept you stuck
  • the collective story of bodies and how we got here
  • what can you start to dismantle and resist?
  • how can you redefine acceptance?

Resources mentioned

Okay welcome to the episode, I cannot believe it. This podcast is almost very close to 40,000 downloads. And I completely acknowledge that is peanuts for the stars of this communication style and it is everything to me and for one reason that I really want to share with you. That is 40,000 steps closer to dismantling all of the crap that harms us diet culture and its oppressive cousins. So let's keep that going. And I'm going to ask and invite you to share this podcast share this episode. If this is the one that really connects with you. Review My podcast on Apple podcasts rated all of the things let's keep that going my name is Nadia Felsch. I'm an anti diet nutritionist and certified Intuitive Eating counsellor. In this podcast we explore the practical aspects of leaving the diet mentality behind and finding your own food and body freedom. So I have a question. Do you relate to the following experiences I'm fed up not liking what I look like. I couldn't face myself in the mirror. I hated how everything fit. I became obsessed with how people must be perceiving my body and like I couldn't measure up. Does any of that resonate? Does any of that land in how you see yourself in how you talk to yourself? So one you are not alone? They are actually direct quotes from my clients. So you are certainly not alone. Number two, how could you not have thoughts like this? And number three, exploring this is the purpose of this episode, including four practical steps, tools, if you like for you to use on your body acceptance journey. So you didn't get here alone. You didn't get here to fit up to can't face it to hate it on your own and nor did you get here from any one experience or any one reason. Your first step your first tool is exploring your own story of harm. So some things for you to explore. I want to give you some direction here you might want to take note of the time might want to write this down probably in your phone. How do you recall your body was discussed? When you grew up in your home in school? Maybe medically maybe all the way from childhood up to now you know how was your body spoken about? And how did others around you speak about bodies just generally was there a lot of focus on bodies? And is it possible and very possible that your physical appearance what you look like your body was very much linked to your value and belonging. And a way that this can happen is so freaking just implicit in a lot of ways right? I mean, it's explicit and implicit. If every time like Auntie, I don't know. GLORIA saw you. Did she talk about how beautiful you were? Every damn time. And every time you saw Uncle John. Did he say oh, you've grown so much and you look so lovely. Or maybe it was none of those things, but there was commentary on your appearance, and did that impact how you felt that you belonged your value? So this acknowledgement of this harm that has happened to you of your story? It has to include and I really encourage you to do this, to consider a check in of what you do. So those experiences that I said a quote from my clients, you know, I feel like I don't measure up. And that's because of these narratives that you've internalised right so if that's where you're at, you don't you don't measure up, I don't look good enough. This is not acceptable. What do you do? You try to change your body to escape that discomfort. And very likely, that's the only thing you actually have ever tried or know how to do. And I want to honour that that might actually give you some short term relief, maybe because you're doing something and you're distracted, but also because it might so called work, but it's never lasting, right? It's flimsy at best. We'll come back to that. So that's step one, looking at your own story of harm. Now step two is pondering how we collectively got here we are in community with each other. The way that we collectively think and operate as humans reflects all of the systems that we live within. In fact, these are the systems that we live within. So for example, then being the best being the default body being equal to happy apparently too healthy, too beautiful to be acceptable. This is actually I was just talking about this with a client. Hope she hears this. We were having a discussion around how this is a relatively new concept in human history. Little like a little tad bit under 500 years ago, with its origins in justification of enslavement of brown and black people from all around the globe. And yet we have fiercely and fast adopted this Haven't we as thin is everything or thinner or smaller. It is a system of oppression that benefits some and harms everyone on a spectrum of harm. So you know if I put this another way anti fatness isn't good for anyone because that's what that is. Then this is best is anti feminists. And I hope you can hear the intersection the intersecting relationship there with the social construct that we call race. And therefore what's also on display here and I've talked about this before is that colonialism is benefiting right so that that was that was really where we started. How do we get to this anti fatness? Well, we had to justify subjugating other humans. We had to make it about something because some people didn't like that, you know, how dare they. So we can also talk about other things. Patriarchy centres, women as objects of consumption for the male gaze. These are systems these are systems Say it with me, but he's our systems. So I invite you to ponder this to learn more. And to see the collective harm. There is a lot of power to be taken from the collective harm. So for you know, let's say you think you're fat and you've therefore learn fat is bad. So objectively fat or not, that's that's that's your take. So maybe you shrink away. Maybe you judge others for fitness. Maybe you spend a lifetime trying not to be fat, trying to be less. And meanwhile, what is the benefit of that to you or to be honest to anyone? There are there are some benefits, right? The people who win from oppression right that the power late as they might be referred to hate that terminology. If you've listened to the last episode, you know about so this is all to be done. This this step to pondering how we collectively got here is to invite you once you get to step three, so now you can start dismantling where this is mostly showing up for you as an individual. So for instance, I'm just going to kind of give you some some examples for you to reflect on. Is it that you are very used to anti fat language being all around you and you don't challenge it? And yeah, that's hard, but just just noticing, just noticing is that just so normal for you? Because then we aren't directly participating in upholding these ideas. So we are oppressing ourselves is what I'm saying. So we might and this is a very big one for a lot of a lot of my clients. Our social media feed and our entertainment that we choose to watch might be very likely centering the Eurocentric anti fat beauty ideals and there's nothing you and I can directly on our own do anything about that. But are we consuming all this without any critical analysis? You know? Are we another area that this might be possible for you to start dismantling is are you constantly focused on other people's appearance? Are you constantly focused and kind of stuck in that loop? So I want to give you an example of how I dismantle this how I actively do this right if you have followed me for any period of time, this podcast might Instagram my email list maybe or my client you know, I love problematic television and without a hint of guilt, because there is nothing to feel guilty for right. What is important and how I relate to these shows is i i use critical analysis the entire time that might sound tedious or boring to me. It's fascinating to see a representation particularly because of the work that I do and the interest that I have in how these ideas show up so subtly sometimes, but so problematically so can we name it? Can we just name that what we saw on that Real Housewives of blah blah or Married at First Sight, which we're going to come back to that. Can we name that what we just heard was problematic and anti fat or patriarchal male gaze objectification, name it, name it in your head and clock it and and I asked you to consider your you know, for yourself, Does this align with your values? Because this is how we we have to navigate reality. We can accept we live in this world and this is the entertainment in front of you. And you can resist in your own way. Right that those are possible and so let's let's shift into the final tool here, which is talk for step number four. And these are all intersecting. This is redefining acceptance, body acceptance as inner work. So I encourage you to consider like what does body acceptance feel like for you? Is it as I've often heard this magical place, this magical place where we like our body all the time, maybe we love it. Maybe it's peaceful, there's no bumps, and I got to be real. That is not a place. I'm happy to be wrong. I'm happy for someone to tell me they've I'd love that for someone not trying to be a killjoy. I'm trying. I'm intentionally letting you know that in the world we live in. And that's the criticism of something like body positivity. There's a few but that's one of them. That place is just not a place. There isn't necessarily a destination to get to. And I think actually, it's far more than about our body. I think we as humans understandably need and want to avoid discomfort. And I kind of talked about that in step one of how we use fixing our body to avoid the discomfort of feeling not good enough. So this is especially going to be relevant. If you live in a body with marginalised identities and I want to be clear, I hold a great deal of privilege. If you've not come across me in my work before. I do hold a great number of body identity privileges. So if you don't, how realistic does this magical place where there's no bumps in the road feel? It might it might be amazing to imagine it and I wish it was the case. It shouldn't be the case. It's awful that it's not. And I want to come I said I'd come back to maths Married at First Sight or maths for my fellow Aziz. There was a scene a few weeks ago between one of the couples Shannon and Caitlin if you know what I'm talking about, you know what's coming. If you're not a fan or a viewer of the show, it doesn't matter. In this scene, I'm just going to kind of like just just kind of an outline here is this man has kind of really been blaming their lack of connection as this new couple thrown together on this reality show on his his kind of undying love for his ex partner. Now what he did in the scene that I'm that I'm thinking of, is he essentially through Kaitlyn, his his wife on the shows, appearance, or at least his perception of how good or not good her appearance was, in his view, back at her. In other words, if you were hotter, or if you were more appealing to me, I would never have thought of my ex so it's all her and even that even the response that I saw when I talked about this on Tik Tok when I've seen it discussed online, it's really interesting if we bring that critical awareness and we are redefining acceptance. This is this is the topic this is the tool. Even the criticism the criticism rather of this still showed the short term Band Aid, it still showed what's called body positivity. Right? So the arguments often were but he's so ugly and she's so beautiful. What that's just not that's not the conversation we need to be having. We need to critique the systems that got those two people into that situation where he thought that was ever going to be an acceptable kind of comment. And we still need to hold individuals accountable for their actions, right. So he was a jerky he did absolutely had problematic behaviour, but he also is operating how he's been taught to operate right? Men judge women's appearance and if you want to be with a man, you've got to look like he expects you to look so in that example, that I've just given you her worth. You know about someone really like essentially a man seeing her a toxic man as he is seeing her as beautiful is what people's argument was. Well, she's beautiful. So why does he say that? But that's still a flimsy. Really, I guess protection, it's not protection. Instead, what if she can accept that hurt and that challenge and that bumps will happen? Because again, that's part of the world we live in, and that's part of being human and know her value is inherent to being alive to being here. So I define body acceptance as a place. No, I'm going to scratch that her value is inherent to being alive to being here. So I defined body acceptance where you can manage the expectations of your body image, the way you move through the world, the way you perceive yourself, the way you feel in your body. That's your body image. So you can manage the expectations of that with compassion, with curiosity with neutrality, and you can also meet your dynamic human needs. The thing is, we can't skip to this experience. And it's also not a destination. It's not a place. It's not this again, it's certainly not magical and illusion and where everything is love and light and rainbows No, but it's also not fixed. Some days are harder than others because bodies change life changes. Being a human is hard. And there is rich in a work to be done to get to a experience of acceptance. Again, my definition as I shared, where we can, for instance, be thrust upon someone's toxic views like I shared about Married at First Sight. And we still know that we're enough and that this is a system problem and an individual problem, but it still isn't reflective of our value. So that is that is the rich inner work to be done. You know these four steps this is deeply valuable work. And you know, just this past week, to kind of offer some hope about what what it might look like what it might feel like if you can't kind of get a sense of it. It's not tangible. Just this past week, a client said to me, even with the bumps of her body image, she said I no longer feel that my appearance is my worth. Those two things are now not the same to her. But they're still bumps. Another another client said to me that you know in the past she had real fear, very valid fear of not looking good enough on her wedding. Now that's that's not there because she knows she is enough. And that's not contingent on her appearance. Again, appearance is not worth and being able to meet those needs. And I wonder Do you wish that you could stop feeling so triggered by your own reflection by looking at yourself in a photo? Do you wish that you could stop comparing your body to others or thinking so much about what they must think? It maybe you are fed up you are craving your long awaited body acceptance breakthrough I don't blame you I welcome it. So my top tools to do justice the exact ones that I teach my one on one clients, or what I'll be teaching inside my body acceptance breakthrough masterclass. So this is expanding on the tools in this episode, and digging into the implementation to accept your here and now buddy. Everyone who registers will receive a replay with ongoing access and that is perfect that is ideal, so that you can revisit the tools but also you can watch it if you're not able to join us live. The class will be happening on March 2 at 7pm. This class is your highest value option to learn my best body acceptance tools and strategies for under $40. So register via the link in your player so the podcast player you're currently listening on or via my website which is Nadia forward slash podcast. Thank you for joining me in this episode. I'll see you next time.

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