In today’s world of Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and Pinterest, photos of near-perfect bodies and flawless faces flood the social media scene. While many celebs and citizens alike are promoting a new approach to beauty known as the body positive movement, it’s easy to fall into the toxic trap of comparing ourselves to others. The good news is we’re making progress toward positivity and a healthy lifestyle. Rachel Reid, RD, a dietitian at Sierra Tucson, offers insight for men and women who are struggling with disordered eating patterns and poor body image.
Q: What are some ways in which individuals can celebrate their bodies?
RR: Daily positive affirmations are key. Give yourself compliments daily. Create a list of all the wonderful activities your body is capable of doing, and then read this list on a daily basis and add to it often. Those struggling with disordered eating can celebrate their bodies simply by giving themselves permission to eat foods they love and add a dose of fun to each day.
Q: How can we shift our focus from body hatred to being grateful for a healthy body?
RR: Give up the scales and the calorie-counting apps. You can honor your hunger by choosing foods that make you feel good. Focus on the flavors, textures, colors, and aromas of your food to promote a mindful eating experience. Celebrate your body by choosing exercises that bring you joy and pleasure. Remind yourself daily that your body is much more than its physical appearance, but an instrument to experience life’s adventures and a shell to your soul.
Q: How does Sierra Tucson promote body acceptance while staying mindful of a healthy meal plan and lifestyle?
RR: At Sierra Tucson, we do our best to avoid focusing on weight and numbers. We encourage our residents to focus on how their body feels, how much energy they have, and how well they are able to accomplish their daily tasks with adequate nutrition. We have a number of opportunities for residents to use their bodies in new and challenging ways such as our ropes course, rock climbing wall, equine therapy, yoga, and other practices that support body acceptance. Mindful movement is a therapeutic way to maintain a healthy lifestyle as well as improve mood and body image.
Q: What changes do you hope will transpire from the body positive movement?
RR: I hope the body positive movement will begin to counter the notion that our bodies are not good enough. I hope people begin to realize how beautiful and extraordinary their bodies really are. I hope we can disconnect our focus on appearance and turn our attention to health.
About Our Eating Recovery Services
Sierra Tucson’s Eating Recovery Services provide comprehensive treatment for individuals (18 years and over) struggling with disordered eating as a co-occurring condition. Residents benefit from our wide range of medical and clinical services that address disordered eating and simultaneously treat primary diagnoses such as depression, anxiety, trauma, chronic pain, or substance use disorder. For information, call our Admissions Coordinators at (800) 842-4487.