Updated: Jul 4, 2019
This subject is one that is near and dear to my heart and one of the reasons I started to study nutrition in the first place. I have struggled with disordered eating and body image issues since I was a teenager. I've tried diets, I've overexercised, I've binged and restricted... I've done it all. I knew that I couldn't fight that battle for the rest of my life and realized what a waste of time it was to constantly be thinking about food and obsessing over what I looked like. There is so much more to life than that!
I had met Esther Kane and read her book called It's Not About the Food, and knew we had to collaborate. I am so passionate about the mind, body connection and truly believe that the thoughts and relationships we have with ourselves manifest through our eating habits. So have a read below about Ester's background and a few of her top tips on how to love your body!
Top 10 Tips for How to Love Your Body by Esther Kane
I have been an Eating Disorders Therapist for over twenty years and specialize in empowering women to make peace with food and their bodies or as I put it: helping women to learn to love 'the skin they're in'... So in this article, I'd like to share my tips for doing just that which come from my book, It’s Not About the Food: A Woman’s Guide to Making Peace with Food and Our Bodies. If you find this helpful, please forward it on to someone else who could use it and start supporting your sisters out there by becoming ‘Body Image Warriors’. It makes a huge difference!
1. Focus on what magnificent things your body allows you to DO, rather than how it LOOKS.
2. Keep an index card in your wallet or day timer with a list of 10 positive things about yourself, excluding physical attributes. Read it over when you get “fat head”.
3. Wear clothes you like that feel comfortable, especially materials that feel luxurious against your skin.
4. Throw out your “thin clothes”! Only keep clothes that fit you really nicely NOW and get rid of “the ones I’ll wear when I’m ____ size again.”
5. Do the activities you love to do regardless of your shape and size- don’t stop doing what you love because of what you look like on the outside!
6. Hang out with others who aren’t obsessed with their size and shape and what they eat; but those who focus more on enjoying the fabulous gift that is called life instead.
7. Remind yourself that you are beautiful exactly as you are because you are a child of the Creator/God/The Universe/__________(fill in the blank!)
8. Move your body in ways that leave you feeling strong, exhilarated, flexible, and centered and do it regularly.
9. Learn to tune into your body: Eat when you are hungry. Rest when you are tired. Get out and move when your body needs it.
10. Stop reading fashion magazines and following movie stars, thinking they’ve got perfect lives. They don’t- most of them have full-blown eating disorders. Find alternative publications that celebrate and honour women for all aspects of their being. Learn to Love ‘the Skin You’re In’
Exercise: Write a list of ten positive things about yourself, excluding physical attributes.
Copy this page out onto an index card and keep it in your wallet or day timer or somewhere else where you will notice it daily. Write about what clothes you like that feel comfortable, especially materials that feel luxurious against your skin.
Homework: Start wearing them regularly and notice how you feel in them. Make a list of the clothes you own that make you feel bad about your body when you look at them or wear them. Homework: give them to your favourite charity and for each item you get rid of, replace it with a piece of clothing that you wrote about in the previous question. Write a list of all of the physical activities you enjoy doing but avoid because of how you look. Homework: Do one of them!
Esther Kane, MSW, is a Canadian women's psychotherapist based in Victoria, BC with over twenty years’ experience and author of three self-help books. Sign up for her free bi-weekly newsletter to uplift and inspire at: https://www.estherkane.com.