That's right I said it. Ditch body love for now.
Instead, I want you to practice body kindness. When you’re in recovery mode, loving your body feels completely inauthentic. Everyone can tell you to love your body and be confident but during the height of your struggles, doing this is a lot like jumping across a rapid river with no stepping stones- you’re likely to drown.
Body kindness is your stepping stone. It’s more realistic than body love and it’s more digestible (pun intended). Seriously though. Body kindness is the middle ground we’re all looking for when it comes to recovery.
Here’s the deal. Instead of focusing on what you did right or wrong with your diet today, think of one or two ways you were kind to your body. It can be something little. For instance, I drank a ton of water at work today and I’m hydrated AF. That was really kind of me to do for my body. Nice job, self.
Body kindness is more accessible than body love. Maybe you decided to bike to work instead of take the train. Maybe you flossed. Maybe you exfoliated and moisturized. Maybe you went to Zumba class. The cool part is, being kind to your body isn’t difficult to do. When you’re in recovery, just noticing the small acts of body kindness you do each day can bring you back to feeling normal.
Choosing body kindness might be useful if you’ve been militantly meal-prepping (as many of us do). In this situation, an act of body kindness would be to have that dark chocolate peanut butter cup from Trader Joe’s you've been thinking about. Having that peanut butter cup isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of body kindness. Proceed with caution, though. Don’t go "off the hinge" and eat 25 more. That would NOT be body kindness. Here’s the catch: If you feel sick after eating, it’s a sign you haven’t been kind to your body. In this case it’s important to keep in mind that kindness and forgiveness go hand-in-hand. One act of body kindness might be forgiving yourself when you overeat. Another act of body kindness would be choosing not to throw up, or to flush the laxatives down the toilet.
Finally, body kindness doesn’t have to be focused on food. If you’re struggling with eating, there are so many other ways to be kind to your body. My theory behind this is, when you practice body kindness in whichever form feels the most natural, your body will energetically feel that goodness. Eventually, the kind energy will carry into your recovery and make a lasting change.