Do you make plans to ‘eat really clean’, then blow it all to pieces as soon as the cheese tray hits the table?
Do you have trouble ‘just having one bite’ of chips or cake or chips dipped in icing (don’t knock it till you try it)?
Do you make promises with yourself that ‘tomorrow I’ll do so much better’ only to end up knee deep in a bowl of hot buttery popcorn at 9pm?
You curse yourself as a failure that’s doomed to never get your weight under control. You resign to the fact that you are an expert at diet-sucking and have zero willpower. Why can’t you just stick to your ‘diet’ or ‘lifestyle’?!?!
I’m here to tell you that your problem is not willpower or your unconditional love of cheesecake.
The reason you can’t-stop-eating-s’mores-OH-GAWD-WHHYYY is because you have waged a war against your body. Your overwhelming desire to fix your body with food and exercise only makes you a pro at broken commitments and guilt-fests. You are stuck nose-diving into failure and Doritos with every attempt you make to ‘get your act together’.
When you fight against your body, you are making choices from a place of ‘I hate my stomach’ (dislike) and ‘I need to avoid these foods because they make me fat’ (punishment/deprivation) that is full of ‘I suck’ (guilt). This is the broken piece of the puzzle.
When you shift your mindset to one of compassion and your intentions come from a place of self-love, you no longer have to suffer in this cycle.
But, you have to stop trying to ‘fix your body’. When there is nothing to fix, the cycle of diet-sabotage-repeat ends.
How the frigggg do you do that, Summer?!?! Does this mean I’m going to blow up like a manatee at a Chinese food buffet?!?! I’ll have to eat a tapeworm!!
These are common things I hear from my clients and the answer is no.
Accepting your body is a key piece to ending your career as a dieter.
And no, you will not blow up like a manatee (although they are really cute).
If you’ve been neglecting the body image side of the equation in favor of food tracking, fitbit points, recipe collecting and Sunday night redemption meal preps, then now is the time to try something different.
I know body image work doesn’t sound nearly as sexy as ‘getting a tighter ass in 10 days’, but I have faith that you are a smart woman who knows there is more to life than tuna, cucumber and bootcamps.
And if you’re ready for that, then stay tuned because I have a bunch of content and freebies coming your way that will help you to feel like a rockstar in your body so you can break up with dieting once and for all.
And I know it sounds scary, but isn’t it f*cking terrifying to think you might be a 70 year old woman still trying to get her ‘food and body under control’ instead of livin’ it up as the bocce ball queen in Boca Vista?!?! Holy hell. No thanks.
What’s the one thing that you struggle with the most when it comes to accepting your body? I want to know so that I can help you. Sound off in the comments below>>>
I struggle with my stomach. I’d like flat, firm abs….but instead I’ve got a layer of chub that makes me paranoid about muffin top!
Ain’t nothing wrong with muffins! Thanks for sharing Bianca. I’ve got some stuff coming up that will help you get over that feeling. The reality is that it’s in your head and you can change that!
This speaks to me so deeply Summer. I have been on the merry go round of negative self talk and body image forever, and I’m trying desperately to get off!
I’m finally in a place where I mentally know that a flat stomach wouldn’t be the end of it, it wouldn’t make me happy. I’d find something else “wrong” to fix. I’m learning to be happy just being healthy, and damn the rest. Great post and motivation to keep working toward sanity!
That’s the best attitude to have! It sounds like you’re on the right path and that’s awesome.
I struggle with a lot of self-image issues, but some of the biggest one’s are actually based on pure science, statistics and observation.
I know that, with the amount of weight I need to lose, I’ll never have the body that looks even remotely normal. Even if I manage to get down to a healthy size, there will always be the aftermath left behind – the stretch marks, the leftover “pockets” of un-losable fat, the emotional damage from a couple of decades of morbid obesity. On my very bad days, these thoughts lead straight down the dark alley of “why even bother?”.
I also know that the society sees people like me as less-than. I can’t tell you how many job interviews I’ve had, where I knew that the job went to a candidate who is less qualified, but younger, skinnier and perkier. And these are just numbers – a skinnier candidate is statistically more likely to get a job over a candidate who is significantly overweight.
It doesn’t help the situation, of course, that I happen to have one of those “quirky” personalities that some people have a hard time handling. I speak too freely and too honestly, unless I go to extraordinary effort to restrain myself, for which, sometimes ,I just don’t have the energy. But that’s just me, I know other heavy women whose personalities are much more easygoing, and they struggle with the same discrimination.
One of my favorite TV shows is “The Big Bang Theory”. An ongoing subject of jokes on that show is Howard’s morbidly obese mother. In a society, where the subject of political correctness is always front and center, apparently, fat jokes are the only type of humor to which nobody objects. In a society, where the list of things, words and subjects that will get a TV anchor booted from a job, is longer than the list of acceptable words and subjects, making fun of fat people in ways that are often shockingly crass and cruel, seems to be ok with everyone. You tell me how am I supposed to have a positive self-image when I’m acutely aware of these injustices?
I am happily married to an extraordinarily good man. He is smart, handsome, kind, and has been putting up with my quirks for almost twenty years. But, when I look around, I see that women like me – morbidly obese – typically end up alone, or settling for a relationship that is far from healthy. They end up with men who are abusive, sometimes even violent, and the women take it, because they think “I’ll never find anyone else”. This knowledge is not theoretical, this is what I have seen with my own eyes. It breaks my heart because I know how great these women are, how smart, loving, funny and kind they can be and how it doesn’t seem to matter, because they are not skinny.
Anyway, I know that this was a very long tirade and I went off the trail there a little bit, but this tends to happen when I think of my negative self-image, so there you go.
Hey Nataliya – I’m so glad you shared this. And you are totally right. There is absolutely discrimination against obese people and it is just as bad as any other form of discrimination. Fortunately there are a lot of fat activists that are taking a stand and starting to spread that word on health and happiness at every size. Check out episode 10 of my podcast (Fearless Rebelle Radio) to hear Isabel Foxen Duke speak about this… http://summerinnanen.com/frr-10
Will this go away? Probably not in the short-term. I realize it sucks to accept the fact that society is going to be prejudice against size – but that is the world we live in. However, that should not preclude you from cultivating self-love (which comes from within and not from other’s judgments) and being a part of the movement to change societies’ standards and stereotypes. I hope that some of the content I share with you can help to shift your perceptions and start to look inward for validation.
I agree that cultivating self-love and acceptance regardless of what society thinks of you is important and I try the best I can to do just that. And yes, people like yourself are very helpful in that endeavor.
Thank you for doing what you do, and I love the podcast :)
Summer, I just adore you! Thank you for this posts and all of your posts! :-)
I believe I struggle most with is control. Feeling like I have to be in control of everything to be able to be happy with myself! Control of food, working out, eating clean, not drinking, being good everyday, beating myself up when I do bad….it’s completely made me hate myself and not want to love who I am.
Thanks for sharing that Val! Our need for control is one of the biggest reasons why we end up having a crappy relationship with food and our bodies. It seems really scary to give up that control, but when you can adopt a ‘F-it’ attitude, you’ll find that your stresses diminish and you no longer obsess over whether you did or didn’t workout etc etc. I’ll definitely be including some content on this coming up…xo
Thank you so much, Summer! I am so ready to be able to say F IT and lose some of that constant control!!! Looking forward to your next post and for your help with this constant thing I battle with. XO
I just started listening to your podcast, so I am playing catch-up and this is my first time reading your blog. I think that my poor bad body image stems from an over-all terrible self image. I have a general feeling that I’m just not good enough to love. So the one thing I struggle with most? Self love.
Hey Jen – Thanks for sharing that and know that you are not alone. So many other women feel this way too. Self-love is a practice that takes time and patience and you have to dedicate time to it everyday. Hopefully, I can provide you with some tactics to help you cultivate self-love. Definitely check out my free e-book because it also comes with the 10 Day Body Confidence Makeover. I’ve also got some other things coming up that I know will help you.
I’ve been trying to work on positive thinking about myself, but it’s been really hard. I’ll do pretty good with it for a while, but then I’m having a rough day & hubby will make the same old comment about my weight, which will send me spiraling for days.
Aw man, I’m sorry to hear your husband says things like that… that will certainly make it more difficult to shift your own thoughts. It is a process and it does take time, but as long as your husband says those things, it’s going to be rougher for you. Could you talk to him and tell him you do not want him to make any comments about weight or food or dieting anymore? Tell him it’s really hurtful and that you need him to stop. Sometimes writing a letter is a good way to communicate this if speaking about it doesn’t seem to work. Sending hugs beautiful.
Mine is if I eat wrong, it makes me tired. That’s my biggest fear almost, dealing with the emotional feelings that come up if I get tired/no energy, due to eating wrong foods. Or if I’m detoxing feeling so scared I just want to die! I sometimes hit it right and feel great tho – when I do hit the right combination of foods. I know you say stop the search for this, but it does work! It’s getting the balance between detoxing and eating enough of the right foods – the emotional effects of food – the body chemistry…. :O)