One of the basic tenets of “The Diet Rebellion” is that you have to first start with love and respect so that you’ll take care of yourself. So many of the non-dieting movements are just a big rebellion against the rules and social norms. I’m fully on board with fighting back against very unrealistic messages that the diet and fitness industry promote. However, if the fight doesn’t start with developing your own confidence and acceptance and love for yourself, that abandonment of rules and fight against the system can actually end up doing harm to you.
I am trying to help people understand that you can be healthy just the way you are. The only way that health is going to happen, is if you respect yourself. If you only come from a place of rebellion against the diet industry and the only way to manifest that is by abandoning the food rules, you won’t move yourself closer to health and you will end up harming yourself instead. This is what happens for so many people when they start this process. They just say “eff the rules” and eat with reckless abandon. Nutrition and health are forgotten. What I would like to see, is people finding their natural rhythms; their own natural weight; their own natural hunger. The only way that happens is through self-respect, because as I have said over and over again, you won’t hurt something that you respect. You won’t binge out, but on the other side you won’t militantly feed yourself strictly nutritious food day in and day out, if you respect your body. Yes, you should enjoy special occasions and you should enjoy eating your birthday cake! Your natural state may be more weight or it could be less weight and either is fine as long as the goal is health and respect.
The idea that the process must start with self-respect is reinforced by The Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report where researchers discovered that 6 out of 10 women and girls who have low body esteem, identify self-care as a chore and feel more social pressure when they don’t feel good about themselves. They feel that taking care of themselves is merely another thing that they’re supposed to do and it’s not done very well. On the flipside of that, 9 out of 10 women with high body self-esteem frequently engage in self-care routines such as mindfulness and they also look after their personal care. Self-care could be getting a massage or that could be moving your body, stretching, meditating or anything else that feels good for your body. We know that women who have high self-esteem and high body esteem naturally engage in self-care routines. As a result, their esteem continues to rise and be reinforced when they do these things for themselves. It seems to be a simple solution. We should all engage in self-care, and as a result our esteem will rise. Unfortunately, it’s really difficult to take care of something that you don’t love.
Let’s start by loving and respecting our body. That begins by accepting today’s body for all that it does. It starts with gratitude and appreciation. Gratitude is the beginning of everything. Our bodies do so much for us day in and day out. Let’s say ‘Thank you’ and fight back with love.
Yours in health,
Dr. Kerri Fullerton ND
Live Live. Love Food. Be Free.