The magic of being kind to yourself.
How often do you connect to your “inner caregiver” — your true self? No judgments, no shame, just open-hearted presence. Most everyone has lost consistent, loving connection to their “inner caregiver” through life experiences — everything you experience today in the outer world shapes the inner world — not just the obvious dieting and body image struggles, but go deeper.
Your experiences with race, class, education and all the messages from society as long as you have been alive have some level of influence. It’s really hard to care for yourself in a world who doesn’t want you to be accepted just as you are — a human being. We are beautiful in our difference, but since long before we were born, we’ve been told to all strive to be the same, thin, White (the lighter skin the better), young, and beautiful.
While Body Kindness® can’t change culture, it can help people change, families change, communities change, and it can be part of what brings you peace and comfort today. I hope my contribution to helping you break free is to help you find yourself again.
You have choice options.
Choice by self-care choice, your mood and energy spiral up. When you make a mistake (like we all do) it doesn’t have to become a downward spiral. Your next choice can make all the difference. Say “it’s OK, what matters now?” and follow that path back up.
There is no set of rules to follow for Body Kindness® because rules don’t create habits – choices do.
With Body Kindness® you will learn how to make the best choices for you, consistently, until they become habits you love.
This philosophy is the foundation of the Body Kindness® book and my approach to well-being enhancement.
Make choices from a place of love. (What creates a better life?)
Check in with your body and respond to your needs. (sleep, food, a deep breath, a good laugh, or maybe a good orgasm?!)
Fully commit to your self-care (no matter what).
When you practice within these three pillars of Body Kindness®, you bring self-acceptance, self-compassion, and positive motivation to follow your deepest desires for a healthy mind and body.
Most important, your weight or shape has nothing to do with your ability to practice body kindness nor do they define your success. They simply are. These “numbers” may change over time for a myriad of reasons. The more you let go of an attachment to controlling them, the more free you become.
If all this sounds great to you, I invite you to join me in trading in body shame for body kindness.
Why I “Smashed” My Scale (and why I think you should too…)
In this short video, I explain why I ended my “relationship” with the scale and the judgements that came with it. The scale is not neutral in terms of well-being and health. It was created as a marketing tool for women to obsess over. The scale, BMI… they just don’t accurately measure your well-being and they don’t take into account your life experiences (more on that below).
Body Autonomy and Lived Experience
The most important health value I live by is respecting everyone’s body autonomy. This means that no one should tell you what to do with your body (including wanting to lose weight and actively pursuing weight loss or any wanted body change).
While I hope that you’re showing up at the “never diet again” mentality, many people are just not there yet… a part of you may feel one way and a part may feel differently. I think all these parts are welcome to help you figure out what Body Kindness means to you. To be clear, I don’t recommend diets or restriction, but who am I to judge how you’re showing up and what you need? My goal is to listen to your lived experience, respect your values, and meet you at the place where you’re feeling emotionally wounded.
You’re not a mess, culture is.
The way we think of health is completely broken. Health, as defined by White males (“the patriarchy”), made it individual “personal responsibility” instead of community-oriented. We have made it classist (it’s so expensive to participate in “clean living” – looking at you, Goop) exclusive (you have to be thin, young, able-bodied), and racist. For more on that you must read Sabrina Strings’ book – Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fatphobia.
If you feel confused and frustrated, it’s not you. Look at all the confusing experiences you have had.
What about guidelines for “the best” food choices?
I believe it’s unhelpful to label individual foods as healthy or not. We pursue health through the way we live our lives. Health isn’t just given to us because we ate something pure and it’s not taken away when we eat something “less than perfect” or even — gasp! something “bad”.
Just like everything else in life, when it comes to food choices, there is a feel-good balance. And the “sweet spot” is where taste, pleasure, and nutrition combine.
I make plenty of recommendations in my Body Kindness® book and podcast. I prefer to give tailored advice, like when I counsel clients, because we are all different and our needs are different. Also, one person may have a medical concern that someone else does not share. Flat nutrition advice does not fit everyone.
Nevertheless, there are general guidelines that tend to benefit most people and I lay it out there for you in the Body Kindness® book. For example, there’s pretty reliable evidence that eating attuned to your body’s needs, enjoying fruits and vegetables you love helps your body work optimally from great poops to a strong immune system. But you’re not going to hear things like “it’s body kindness if you cut out sugar and flour”. (You can get that from diet books.) Instead, Body Kindness® teaches you how to think for yourself more effortlessly so you can get on with enjoying your life instead of constantly working on your health.
I share my best evidence-based guidance for eating, exercise, sleep and other good habits in the book along with the best strategies for putting my advice into practice and I make it memorable with real-life stories from people I’ve worked with over the years.