5 Tips on How to Respect Your Body 

by Dawid Furman
Respect your Body

Respecting Your Body is the eighth principle of Intuitive Eating outlined by Tribole & Resch in the Intuitive Eating Workbook.

The modern world has made people feel ashamed about their bodies due to many factors such as social media and quick-fix diets. 

Instead of treating their body with honour and respect, people tend to build up unrealistic and critical ideas about their bodies.

It is important to understand that mother nature made everyone in different shapes and sizes, which is why it is important to treat your body with dignity and respect and take good care of it.

Remember, you will have your body for the rest of your life, and it will serve you hugely through your life in factors such as getting you from place to place or even carrying a baby.

Follow on reading for 5 tips on how to Respect Your Body:

Understand That You Can’t Fool Mother Nature

Every human is born with a genetic blueprint that determines your different genetic characteristics including your weight.

Due to the high cultural pressures on being thin in the modern world, along with the widely portrayed health implications of obesity, body dissatisfaction is at an all-time high.

Although dieting may work in the short term, as soon as you break the diet, you will return to your so-called genetic blueprint, hence you can’t fool mother nature.

By stopping trying to fool mother nature, you will be able to feel free and focus on your other, more realistic life goals.

Reflect on what negative views you have about your body and now think how free you would be if you dropped these negative views and what feelings emerge as you do so.

Learn Ways to Show Your Body Respect

Even if you don’t think you are ready yet to accept your body, you can at least build up kind and respectful habits towards it.

Show gratitude to your body by finding something in it that you can appreciate, such as the ability to walk or the ability to carry a baby.

Show self-care to your body in numerous ways, such as by showering regularly or getting enough sleep which you can practice and improve on each week to improve consistency.

Stop weighing yourself and body-checking. Doing these things can keep you in the delusion that you can permanently change your size and will stop you from focusing on your real-life goals.

Throw out old clothes that remind you of dieting and no longer fit you and buy new clothes you feel comfortable and happy in.

Lastly, stop comparing yourself and focus on your personal qualities. Feeling envy of what we don’t have is normal, however, if you choose to accept it, your desire to act out against it will diminish.

Stop Body Bashing & Negative Self Talk

Negative self-body talk and body bashing are one of the most hurtful things you can think or say to yourself if struggling with body image.

It often arises from criticism from other close ones, and it is important to recognize and put a stop to these self-abusive comments.

Recognize your critical body thoughts at times when you are likely to be examining your body such as when looking in the mirror and next acknowledge how these thoughts make you feel. 

The next time you find yourself in this situation try describing what you see or hear to take your mind off the body bashing. For example, focus on the objects around you or the noise of cars outside. 

When the body-bashing thoughts creep in again, try in a non-judgemental manner to steer your thoughts back to less critical thoughts. You can practice narrating your thoughts in your present environment while acknowledging and moving on if negative thoughts creep in.

React to Negative Body Talk

As our society is obsessed with these types of discussions, when out in public the conversation may often turn to fat talk and dieting talk.

These conversations can often be harmful, as they often are associated with body shame and stigma.

These conversations can be navigated depending on how comfortable you feel, ranging from not engaging in the conversation or changing the subject to standing up and giving your stance.

When in the situation, at minimum don’t start negative body talk (yes, that’s including your own body!) You can also shift the conversation by talking about for example the sunset instead of how you felt bad about wearing a bathing suit when talking about the beach.

If you feel comfortable enough, you can also speak up to raise people’s awareness politely for example saying “I hate it when people shame themselves based on their size.”

You can practice this by reviewing some possible responses you may have when you will be with people that you may have in mind.

Asses Your Positive Body Image

There are many benefits of appreciating your body.  

Accepting your body regardless of size, respecting your body by engaging in health-promoting behaviours as well as protecting your body by not turning to unrealistic beauty standards set by the media are key traits of body appreciation.

Body appreciation can be measured using the body appreciation scale. Answer yes or no after assessing each question found here, and the more, you answered yes to the questions the more progress you made with body appreciation.

Remember it’s okay if you scored low as this is not a fast process. Just ask yourself what you can do to love your current body more. 

If you found this blog post interesting please continue reading our 10 principle series on Intuitive Eating. Intuitive Eating is challenging but with the help of a Registered Dietitian, it is common that clients will break through and get off their diet rollercoaster for the long haul and open up space in their life to feel more freedom.

If you are interested to learn more about Intuitive Eating, continue reading:

  1. Ditch The Diet Mentality
  2. Honor Your Hunger
  3. Make Peace With Food
  4. Challenge The Food Police
  5. Feel Your Fullness
  6. Discover The Satisfaction Factor
  7. Cope with Your Feelings Without Using Food
  8. Respect Your Body
  9. Exercise: Feel the Difference
  10. Honour Your Health: Feel the Difference

Find Your Registered Dietitian here

On Dietitian Directory you can find all sorts of Dietitians including Intuitive Eating DietitiansWeight Inclusive DietitiansMindful Eating Dietitians, and Emotional Eating Dietitians


About the Author: Dawid Furman is a nutrition and exercise science student studying at the South East Technological University in Ireland and hopes to pursue a career as a dietitian in the future.

Reviewed by: Lindsey McGregor, RD

Images from: Unsplash and Pexels


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