APPRECIATING YOUR BODY AND BREAKING FREE FROM DIET CULTURE BELIEFS

When was the last time you took a good long look at your body and thought “Yes girl! You are fabulous!”

For many of you, having positive thoughts and feelings about your body is difficult.

And believing the negative messages that are marketed to you is all too easy.

But what if I told you that the negative thoughts are actually hindering your progress towards your health and wellness goals?

Today’s post and videos introduce you to:

  • The sneaky tricks of marketing and diet culture
  • How beliefs hinder your progress
  • A journaling exercise to help you break free from negative beliefs

Interested in taking this practice further with an art-based activity? Join the Soulful Creatives on Facebook for access to the full video on this topic.

MARKETING AND DIET CULTURE

There’s an interesting aspect of marketing that most people don’t know about.

And that is that pointing out people’s fears, concerns, and negative feelings tend to draw them in MORE than discussing their dreams and the potential solutions.

Marketers didn’t create this negativity bias, but they are trained to exploit it.

In and of itself, calling attention to what you don’t want isn’t bad, wrong, or evil (otherwise…how the heck would anyone get your attention)…

But over time, the messages you hear from marketers tend to become part of your own belief system simply by lack of awareness of them and repetition.

“I’ll be happier when you’re thin.”

“I would have better relationships if I looked like her.”

“THAT diet, special shake, or miracle powder will help me lose weight, stop overeating, and burn ALL THE FAT.”

So it’s no wonder you don’t have very positive opinions about your body.

And what do these negative thoughts and feelings lead to?

Often, they lead to negative and self-defeating behaviors that actually hinder your progress towards your health and wellness goals.

HOW BELIEFS HINDER YOUR PROGRESS

Our subconscious beliefs tend to influence our feelings and behaviors.

For example, if you believe that you MUST only eat a certain number of calories each day and you eat more calories than intended, you may think that all of your efforts are lost.

And because you think all of your efforts are lost, this may lead to feelings of disappointment, shame, or guilt. 

The result? You may stop following healthy eating habits altogether.

On the other hand, if you believe that your body knows best and you trust your body’s signals, you are not shocked to find that some days you eat more and some days you eat less.

Because you think variation in your body’s needs is normal, you do not feel bad, ashamed, or guilty, and you are more likely to continue building healthy eating habits.

With that in mind, how can we work to overcome the subconscious beliefs delivered to us from diet culture?

OVERCOMING SUBCONSCIOUS BELIEFS FROM DIET CULTURE

The first step to overcoming the subconscious beliefs is to become aware of what they are.

This process is both uncomfortable and empowering, but I would encourage you not to shy away from discomforting feelings. 

Why? Because feeling icky means you’re close to the very beliefs you are trying to change.

To rewrite those beliefs try the following exercises for uncovering beliefs.

External Beliefs

  1. List the TV channels, podcasts, social media sites, music or etc that you are exposed to on a daily basis.
  2. List friends, family members, or leaders that influence your thoughts or who you go to for advice.
  3. What messages are being delivered to you through these platforms or people?
  4. What feelings come up when you tune into these messages?
  5. Ask yourself “Is this a belief or feeling that I choose to adopt?”
  6. For each belief or feeling ask yourself “Is that true?” or “What else might be true instead?”
  7. Going forward, practice awareness of the external messaging that is being delivered to you and actively choose what beliefs you will allow into your psyche.

Internal Beliefs

To understand what influence the above external messaging has on your own beliefs, feelings, and behaviors try the following journaling practice:

  1. Sit down in front of a mirror and begin to observe your body from head to toe.
  2. What beliefs do you notice about your appearance, shape, clothing choices, etc? Write these down.
  3. What feelings do these beliefs create?
  4. What actions have you taken or not taken because of these beliefs?
  5. Just ask you did above, ask yourself “Is this a belief or feeling I choose to adopt?”
  6. If not, what compassionate message might be more useful for you to hear instead?

Interested in taking this practice further with an art-based activity? Join the Soulful Creatives on Facebook for access to the full video on this topic.

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