You are already summer body ready!

I hear another heatwave is on its way... and for many instead of planning their next holiday, a new project or fun days out with loved ones the warmer weather brings anxiety over how to get “summer body ready” in a matter of weeks?

Every year (without fail) social media pushes this “body ideal” of a flat stomach, curves in the right place and perfect skin, a reminder of the infamous concept of “summer body ready”. Whilst we have come far in our societal understanding of body acceptance there is still this deep rotted notion that if we are to bear any extra skin as the weather gets warmer we should get our bodies into shape. I see it, I feel it… the need to chase the unrealistic impossible ideal body. I too am a woman living in this world where how we look determines our worth. But I also know, and all too regularly see, the unhealthy consequences of dieting.. Whilst diet culture might suggest restricting your food intake and increasing your exercise habits will lead to an improvement in health… in reality dieting actually likely leads to rebound overeating, food obsession, negative self-talk and weight regain. The pressure to weigh less can also increase anxiety and depression. We know of course the benefits of exercise are well recognised; however if it is driven from a need to shrink your body this can often lead to unhealthy excessive behaviours.
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Many clients know my practice is not a weight loss practice and their personal experience has shown them diets do not work long term; and yet when they come to me for support their desire to lose weight is still as strong as ever. Understandable right especially if they have spent half their life chasing weight loss?

 

We can sit with this desire AND still practice Intuitive Eating. In fact one of the first steps in intuitive eating is to challenge our beliefs and reflect on the reality of dieting i.e. has it actually achieved long term weight loss (likely no otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this) and what are the consequences of dieting?

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Clients have described numerous side effects of dieting including:

 

• Avoiding social events that do not have “safe” foods available
• Limited time for self care because of the time spent at the gym/cooking/meal planning/etc.
• Limited range of foods “allowed” whilst on a diet and therefore less enjoyment at mealtimes
• Not being able to enjoy holidays or social events because you’re stressing about food.
• Difficulty traveling because there’s no food that fits your diet.
• Mental energy wasted on calorie counting or reading about nutrition, latest diet fad and less headspace for things they enjoy
• Losing sleep to wake up early to exercise (or because you’re waking up hungry)
• Expense of choosing “health foods”, supplements etc
• Constant hunger throughout the day
• Adverse gut symptoms of wind, bloating and constipation
• Difficulty concentrating or increased levels of fatigue
• Changes in mood, increased irritability

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This list surely begs the question…. “is it worth it, what are the costs of trying to shrink your body”? If you are contemplating another “quick fix” to get summer body ready I hope you consider the sacrifices that dieting requires before committing to a new plan; and of course reflect how the last diet served you.. If your last diet worked you wouldn’t need to be starting another… And before you assume you did not have the motivation, before you tell yourself you are to blame for the diet failing please read my previous blog :Why dieting doesn’t work and why it is not your faultYou were never the problem! Summer beach ready is another marketing ploy by the dieting industry to make money on our insecurities.

 

Maybe this is the year to realise that you can have fun, you can be fun, you can laugh and make memories irrelevant of your body size.

more resources.

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Is weight loss possible whilst eating intuitively?

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