We live in a culture that floods our brains with unrealistic images of how we should look. Normally those images are emphasizing youth, thinness, athleticism, whiteness, and flawless skin. For me it all started with my Barbie dolls and how I wished I looked like them. I was probably 10 years old when that began. Yes I did play with Barbies at 10! Like many tween girls I was gaining weight in preparation for puberty and menstruation. Unfortunately, I received consistent messages that being in a larger body is bad. Therefore, I began dieting at the age of 10 and that became a lifelong struggle. Now at the age of 40 I can say that my relationship with my body is not perfect but it is healing. I have developed so much compassion for myself and others who struggle.
We begin to heal when we truly take a look at the errors in the messaging we have received. We begin to heal when we actually see what other real bodies look like. We begin to heal when we appreciate our bodies beyond how they appear. We begin to heal when we embrace the idea that beauty comes in many shapes and sizes. Part of the healing process is the acknowledgment that we live in a capitalist culture that has profited off our insecurity and dislike of our bodies. The diet and "wellness" industry is invested in keeping us obsessed with thinness and weight loss. The diet industry is toxic in so many ways. You deserve freedom and healing!
Books I suggest checking out are Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole, Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon, and Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff. In addition, the book Anti-Diet by Christy Harrison as well as her Podcast Food Psych.