Updated: Apr 30
Many of us have been led to believe that the relationship we have with our bodies are dangerous unless we control them. We have been taught to believe that our bodies are untrustworthy;. We cannot be trusted around food, and we MUST stick to a regular workout routine or we won't fit into anything in our closet.
But here is the thing, the control you seek is only leading to you feeling more obsessed and crazed around your appearance and your body. The illusion of control is the problem, not you or your body.
Confused? Skeptical? Here are 3 reasons why controlling your body is not working.
Dieting or greatly restricting your food intake leads to binge eating. When our bodies do not meet its basic caloric needs our bodies go into survival mode, sending signals to our brain that it needs more food. You may be able to “hold out” for days, or even weeks, but eventually you will end up in a binge state for one meal...or many. This is your body's natural response to dieting. That is why when you are a dieter it can feel like it is “all or nothing”. It can feel like you are either following “the plan”, or you are literally eating everything. You might think that food makes you feel crazy, but guess what, the control and restriction is fueling the fire.
Focusing on having to look perfect and love what you see in the mirror will only bring more attention to what you have to “fix”. Look, our bodies are meant to change. We can focus on “fixing” certain parts of the appearance of our body only to wake up the next morning and find another “problem area”. The diet industry will always tell you there is something else you need to “fix”. When we are on a quest to achieve perfection, there is a large it will never be enough.
Life happens. Trying to control our bodies often requires a serious time commitment. Usually it means that you need to spend some serious time meal prepping, and spending X amount of time on your trail run. This usually takes up a lot of time, and when other things are thrown into the mix, maintaining these routines is usually unrealistic. Maybe you start a new job, you get into a new relationship, there is a death in the family, you have an injury, or there is a global pandemic. When life happens and you lose control over your workout and food prep it is easy to fall back into the “all or nothing feeling”. For example, “welp, there is a global pandemic. I might as well drink a bottle of wine each night and live off of take out food and baked goods.”
Let me just say that letting go of control does not mean that you are going to only eat donuts and french fries everyday and rewatching all 18 seasons of the Kardashians. Letting go of control means that you are going to start LISTENING to what your body wants and needs. Sometimes your body will want movement, sometimes it will want rest. Sometimes your body will want a delicious salad, and sometimes you will want nachos. This is about working with your body, rather than trying to control it.
I know that loosening the grip of control is scary, I have been there. However it is the only way to create a sustainable relationship with your body that feels kind, compassionate and easy going. The extra time and energy you will save by letting go of this control will help you achieve goals and dreams--making you happier all around.
If this makes sense, and you would like to build a less controlling relationship with your body, check out my signature course. You will receive curriculum and prompts to help you take these first steps and weekly support from myself and a cohort of women who are on the same journey.