It’s the most difficult thing we do: leaving one way of being behind and accepting/ learning another. This is true whether we are: trying to learn a new skill; growing up and growing older; grieving the loss of a beloved; or living in the midst of a global pandemic.
Shifting away from the damaging paradigm of Diet Culture that tells us thinness is synonymous with health is also difficult. Learning to truly know, listen to, trust and respect your unique body’s desire for nourishment and movement and rest and other self-care is extremely difficult when you are steeped in a culture that has told you from the day you were born that bodies are problems.
Shifting into a new life where the EXTERNAL meal plans and trackers and programs and exercise regimens and beliefs about your body (that you have relied on for so long to keep you safe and “healthy” and lovable) become irrelevant, can be downright terrifying. Learning to know and trust the INTERNAL dialogue your body wants so much to have with you every moment of every day takes guts.
In order to make such a shift, we have to want to survive and adapt. We have to want more than what the old paradigm is able to give us.
If you are trying to learn a new skill, the old paradigm in which you did NOT have that skill is no longer able to help you. If you are growing up, the old paradigm in which you relied on parents or other caregivers to give you and teach you everything is no longer able to help you. If someone you love dearly has died, the old paradigm in which you could rely on them always just being around is no longer able to help you. If you are navigating a global pandemic that requires distancing yourself from others, the old paradigm in which you could go wherever you pleased whenever you pleased with whomever you pleased is not going to increase your chances of remaining safe and alive.
If you are trying to love yourself, accept your body, and make peace with food and movement, the old paradigm of Diet Culture (in which your body was a problem and not to be trusted) will not get you there. It just won’t.
The great thing about shifting though, is that it usually doesn’t require you to jump in all at once. It’s usually a slow process of transformation that moves you, bit by bit, away from the place you once were and into a whole new way of being.
Freedom — from chronic dieting, body-hatred, restrictive and disordered approaches to eating and exercise — IS possible. Body Liberation IS possible. But you have to have the DESIRE, the courage and the tenacity to begin to make the shift.
If you think you are ready to begin to make the shift out of Diet Culture and toward Body Liberation, check out Fitness For Mortals.
is an NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer; an ACE-Certified Group Fitness Instructor; a certified Yoga Teacher; a Certified Intuitive Eating Professional; and a degree-holding Health, Fitness Specialist. She lives in Frankfort, Michigan and owns Every. Body. Fitness and Yoga Studio.