Someone asked me a few days ago if I truly didn’t think about the kilojoules in the food I eat, how much exercise I have done, or how to manage my weight. The answer is that in spite of being a dietitian I have never believed that this is a necessary or desirable way to live with yourself and your body.
In my experience it is all part of an obsessive culture of external food and body control that denies my right to respect my own internal body and knowledge about myself and my health. I know that genetically I am quite lucky but that the women in my family tend to become a bit curvier as they grow older – with no health issues from this. I know that if I wasn’t as busy and did a bit more physical activity I would be stronger and fitter – this is my ongoing life balancing challenge but it has nothing to do with my weight. I know that there never has been and never will be a perfect food prescription and that there really is no such thing as good and bad or healthy and unhealthy food, but I take responsibility for my overall food choices.
Reminding myself to slow down, observe and be a bit more mindful is most useful. My body has changed with my life experiences and continues to change but it doesn’t worry me, I still enjoy living in it. I am lucky to have never dieted or been vulnerable to that culture and this is what I hope for the people that I listen to every day who struggle in some way with these issues.
Living well with the body doesn’t mean your body will not have its own issues that you may have to manage, or that you will love everything about it – but it does mean respecting yourself and your best efforts towards overall health as being good enough.