No matter where you are in your stage of life or in your journey with food and nutrition… we all need to be kinder to ourselves!

One way to shift your thinking about your body image mindset is by learning to challenge your automatic negative thoughts about how you’re “supposed to” look, particularly compared to others.

By practicing the skills of self-compassion, intuition, creativity, and social connection, we can learn how to reclaim our inner beauty, purpose, and the joy of living in OUR unique bodies.

These skills can help you turn how you view yourself and your body and reprogram your mind towards self‐acceptance and contentment rather than habitual self‐criticism. I am a firm believer in using positive affirmations to help with this!

They have helped me as I’ve been trying to prepare for a day of love, family, and celebration at my son’s wedding! Many of these affirmations align with the principles of Intuitive Eating and can help you be kinder and gentler with yourself regarding both body image and food. (You can read about my dress shopping experience in this article, Shopping for a dress in a plus-size body…)

Here are 4 Positive Body Affirmations that can help you learn to be kinder to your body!

  1. Instead of “I must change this body,” how about thinking, “How best can I support my body today with kindness?” Supportive activities might include movement or might be rest.
  2. Feed yourself regularly because this is one of the best acts of self-care for your body. Remind yourself that getting too hungry (by restricting your intake) almost always leads to overeating when you finally get their hands on some food! “A hungry body is not happy, nor is an overstuffed one.”
  3. Wear comfortable clothes that make you feel good about yourself. Persist and find stores (in person or online) with sizes that fit you! You deserve to feel good in your body regardless of shape or size.
  4. Shut down those negative voices that say your body is not “right.” Work to overcome those negative thoughts with positive ones by making a list of affirmations:
  • I honor and respect myself.
  • I choose health and healing over diets and punishing workouts.
  • There is more to life than losing weight. I’m ready to experience it.
  • I am perfect, whole, and complete, just as I am.
  • Life is too short and precious to waste time obsessing about my body.
  • Or, add your own affirmation:________________________________________.

I love working with the women in our group programs like Embrace and Eat, Live, Nourish because we are stronger together as we stand up to diet culture.

We learn to advocate for ourselves and others. Understanding that “we are enough” and our bodies are perfect just the way they are is a heady feeling.

These programs – along with our nutrition counseling services for folks with eating disorders and in recovery – are based on Intuitive Eating, a gentle approach to improving health by becoming the expert over your body and its many sensations. It is a self-care eating framework that integrates instinct, emotion, and rational thought.

I feel there is a movement shifting how the world views people in larger bodies, and I am proud to be part of it! We are not all the way there yet, but we are getting closer.

The Health at Every Size® and Body Positivity movements are examples of this. We are seeing more representation of people in larger bodies without shame (Thank you, Lizzo and The Big Grrrls.) We are seeing more clinicians and practitioners understand the value of working with clients of all sizes with compassion and care.

We are seeing more challenges to diet culture in fashion, music, television, and movies.

Together we can challenge diet culture and help everyone find peace with food and their body image.

Eat Live Nourish Intuitive Eating Support Group for women 40 50 60

One of the ways we help our clients do this is with some of the programs we offer at Erica Leon Nutrition & Associates, including our free Facebook community, Eat.Live.Nourish, for women over 40.

Rebecca Rikon, LMSW, the Intuitive Eating Counselor and Social Worker in our practice, leads this support group. She identifies as a woman in a larger body and loves working with others who are learning to incorporate Intuitive Eating into their lives.

Click here for more details on the Eat.Live.Nourish group