55. 5 Ways To Deal with A Changing Body
If you listened to last week’s episode then you heard how I am currently learning to love my body while also knowing that it’s going through some changes right now. Robyn Nohling who was on the podcast a few weeks ago said it perfectly “you never arrive” when it comes to your body. As you grow, change, twist and turn so does your body – and with that means that our relationship with our bodies will travel down that same path.
Yet and still, it’s a fact that I have gained a few pounds lately. You may be wondering how I know that I’ve gained weight and it’s from a few places. One way is that a physician told me my weight a few weeks ago at a doctor’s appointment. I used to never think about whether they told me my weight or not but then always became fixed upon the number they told me earlier in the session.
Recently I’ve asked them to not tell me my weight or I simply don’t look down at the scale to see it because I don’t want to go down that slippery slope. But, this physician told my weight before I could ask her not to. So now, I know it based off of what I used to weigh however long ago.
I also know that I’ve gained a few pounds because of how I’m feeling in my clothes. This isn’t to say that where I currently am isn’t where my body SHOULD be or that I’m expecting my body to be at a smaller set point. But, based on the size of clothes I had before, they tend to feel a bit tighter or more snug than they used to feel.
Now again, where I currently am may be where my body is most comfortable. I may always this size, and that’s a realization I’m learning and trying to accept and is a completely different story. But as I continue to navigate my own Intuitive Eating journey I am also learning to navigate my relationship with my body when it ebbs and flows.
For the last month or so I’ve been taking this pretty hard to be honest. If you were a fly on the wall during a few phone conversations with Albert you’d hear how tough it is to accept that your body is a bit larger but then also tell yourself that that’s not a bad thing despite what media has taught you all your life.
It can truly be a big mind fuck, honestly. You’re sad because you’re still using your old thoughts about your body and you’re upset that you’re not at a certain weight or size. And in the same breath you’re angry because there are more important things you could be worried about than your body and it being 5-10lbs larger but you don’t know how to stop thinking about it.
If you’ve ever struggled with your relationship with your body, whether you lost, gained or maintained weight – then you may understand the up & down struggle I’m talking about here.
But, at the end of the day, while this may not be the body I’ve asked for, it is the body I have. And that means I must continue to improve my relationship with my body and care for it throughout it’s changing ways. So here are a few ways I’m looking to do this.
1. I’m not thinking about it so much: I know this might be like a “well, duh” moment. But again, if you’re working on improving your relationship with your body you know that the thoughts about your body and its size can be all consuming. So when I catch myself down a deep rabbit hole of really nasty & negative thoughts about my body, I turn my thoughts to something else – ANYTHING else! I start to think about my day job, about the really sweet comment Albert gave me, about the last funny thing I read, heard or saw, any upcoming plans I have or something I’ve yet to cross off on my to-do list.
2. I’m not going through it alone: One thing I can do very well is suffer alone. I am very good at cancelling everything, turning my phone on Do Not Disturb mode and isolating myself. People won’t hear from me for days, weeks, months and they’ll have no idea why. This time, I’m trying to raise the tiniest of red flags to say “I’m struggling and need to talk.” This is really hard for me. I am always there for the people in my life but I rarely lean on them when I need help. So while a tiny motion, it’s personally a huge one.
3. I’m not wearing clothes that don’t fit well: I’ve been there before, trying to fit into those pants or that shirt that used to fit so well but don’t anymore. How does that make us feel? Terrible, right? Why when we know our bodies have changed do continue to try and make it do something it can’t do. If your foot has grown are you going to be mad that you can’t wear a size 7 anymore? How about flopping around In a size 12? No! You’d go out and buy the right pair of shoes for your feet size. Why can’t we do this with our bodies? I’ll tell you when I figure that out – but for now, I’m just accepting that those pants don’t fit but these do and they look good and I feel great.
4. I’m redefining what healthy means to me: Have you stopped to ask yourself what healthy even means to you? I sure haven’t up until now. In the past, healthy always meant a smaller body even if that meant restriction or deprivation – which, we all know sucks! It sucks to be on a diet and feel as though you can’t eat freely, so it’s interesting that that’s what our definition of health is for many of us. But even in this body that I’m learning to accept, I’m redefining what healthy means to me. And so far I’ve come up with healthy means getting 8 hours of sleep every night, taking breaks away from all screens, moving my body in a way that feels fun, mixing up my plate with veggies, carbs, protein, fats & chocolate and drinking a lot of water.
5. I’m recognizing that I’m a student in this class: There are a lot of blogs out there that talk about how to love your body when it’s changing. Those are the types of blogs I’m reading these days as it helps me feel like I’m not alone. I recognize that I don’t have all the answers and while your relationship with your body is a personal one, maybe someone else has been in your shoes and can shed more light on the journey. Some of my favorite blogs or Instagram accounts are in the show notes and are worth checking out for sure.
No matter how you’re coming to this conversation – whether you’re looking to improve your relationship with your body or you already feel pretty good, I think these are steps anyone can use.
I want to take a second and thank you for creating space for me last week on the podcast to share that tiny piece of my story with you. Like I said, sometimes I can isolate and so sharing it on the podcast and letting you in a bit was a bit therapeutic.