My top 8 ways to make peace with your body while healing your gut fit in perfectly with the body positivity movement.
Whether or not you like the body positivity movement, chances are you’re embracing it in one way or another. According to an article from Psychology Today, body positivity is,
Accepting the body you have as well as the changes in shape, size, and ability it may undergo due to nature, age, or your own personal choices throughout your lifetime.
As women, we are constantly told that we should both look a certain way and also be confident in the body we have.
This is next-to-impossible for the normal woman, much less the Gutsy woman.
It’s Hard to Make Peace
Remember, what qualifies as hard is unique only to you. Your version of hard does not need to be validated. And yet, though I’m constantly teaching and preaching this, it’s still far from easy to practice.
Here are some actual things that were said to me as I was healing my gut:
- “You’re already skinny. You don’t need to be on a diet.”
- “You think you’re bloated? Well, then I must be just huge.”
- “It hurts other people’s feelings when you say you’re bloated.”
- “I wish I was as “big” as you.”
And those comments are not individualized for me. You hear them, too. If not those, there are other things you hear.
So when I hear about all the body positivity talk these days, I can’t help but think how applicable it is for Gutsy women, too.
While I do believe it’s important to be as positive as possible while healing, I also realize you won’t be 24/7. After all, how positive can one be when you’re constantly being criticized for something that is seemingly out of your control and that you don’t necessarily enjoy (i.e. being bloated and needing to avoid certain foods)?
But I do have some ideas for making as much peace with your body as possible.
Top 8 Ways to Make Peace with Your Body While Healing Your Gut
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Unbutton those pants
Way back when (in 2005-ish), I had far too much pride to unbutton my pants due to the bloat. Refusing to unbutton them was a sort of punishment I put myself through. In the process, I became far removed from making peace with my body. Read the full post HERE.
Sweatpants and over-sized shirts are life
To this day I wear a lot of sweatpants and sweatshirts. This is for no other reason than the fact that they are comfortable and the fact that I still have some PTSD. Yes. It’s true. When my bloat was so bad, I lived in sweats and over-sized shirts and sweatshirts. It didn’t matter if it was 100 degrees outside. I felt far more confident and comfortable when I could breathe. See above for more context. Who even cares what you look like? Please don’t make the mistake that many women will make, “I have to look xyz way in public in order to be accepted.”
It’s very important that you use your gut healing journey journal to record your mental and emotional state as it relates to your gut on any given day at any particular moment. You’ll learn a lot about how the mind is very powerful in the healing process. You’re also likely to find patterns around symptoms and thoughts.
Helping is healing
I know you feel miserable, but one way to make peace with the journey, healing, and your body is by jumping outside it all for awhile. When we help others, far less time is spent focusing inwards. Read more about this HERE.
Bloat and fat are not the same things
Listen to your body because deep down you know your mind has lead you astray. You are not fat. Fat and bloat are not the same things, but even if they were, perhaps part of the problem is that you have consistently told yourself, “Shame on you – you’re fat.” And that vicious cycle is damaging and stressful.
Focus on your own reflection
This is a real therapy that many have done over the years for various conditions. According to Psychology Today, “The mirror can be used to critique ourselves. But it also offers perspective on just how unkindly we’re treating ourselves. Our preliminary research shows that looking with the intention to be kind to yourself can reduce anxiety and self-criticism (Well, et al., 2016). So, looking with kind intention can reduce anxiety, whereas looking without kind intention can allow the inner critic to run amok.”
Believe that it won’t last forever
When I’m talking about making peace with your body while healing your gut, it’s not only because you think you have weight to lose. Please don’t misunderstand all of this. I’m talking about making peace with all the things about your body that coincide with the illness: embarrassing gas, hair loss, weight gain/loss, bloated stomach, dark circles under eyes, acne, burping, and more. One way to make peace with all of this is to know that when you heal your gut, all of those miscellaneous things begin to heal as well. And you must believe that in order to find the peace you’re looking for.
Just heal it
This one sounds simple, but it’s obviously super complicated. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it. While I do believe we need to accept our body as-is while on the gut-healing journey, I do not believe that we should stay sick and not heal because…..body positivity. Laughing about the symptoms to cover up your pain is not making peace with your body. It’s simply delaying the inevitable, which is another breakdown (mentally and physically). I promise that it will continue to be a very vicious cycle until you choose to heal.
If all else fails, know that there is a whole community right here that knows how you feel, accepts you as you are, and loves you unconditionally.
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You will heal. I will help.