Back to Blog

How Do I Feel Ok In My Bigger Body While Enjoying Food Freedom?

May 17, 2022
woman in underwear fat folds on belly

 

 One of my past 1:1 clients asked me this recently. We finished working together formally over a year ago. She’s now binge-free and loving food freedom but she’s struggling with her body image a little bit.

 

She came from an anorexic past where she’d oscillate between extreme restriction during the week and massive binges on Sundays. In recovery, her body needed to gain weight. We know it ‘needed’ to happen because it happened quite quickly. She wasn’t over-eating - just eating a normal amount yet she gained significant weight. She actually told me that once a month during recovery, out of curiosity, she’d do a quick calorie count. She reported that she actually wasn’t eating tons. So the fact she was gaining this much weight pointed to the fact her body was rebounding from prolonged restriction. Her metabolism had been shocked from years of practical starvation - her metabolism had adapted to her low calorie intake. 

 

Now her weight has plateaued eating that same amount of food that made her gain lots of weight. I’m saying this to reassure you that the recovery weight gain does stop!

 

She’s been at this new weight for almost a year now and she’s really struggling to feel ok at this higher weight. She’s struggling with both the mental aspect of looking different but also physically she report feeling sluggish and just that it’s harder to move and keep up with her kids. 

 

If this resonates with you...

 

What can you do to feel more accepting at your higher weight?



Here are 7 tips to help with body acceptance:

 

1. It's OK To Not Feel OK

Let’s start by acknowledging that it’s ok to feel not ok with a body that changed a lot. It’s change, and change can be scary. Especially something that you see and feel everyday. No one HAS to love their body immediately or even be ok with it. It’s ok to mourn your body from before - even if that slimmer body was only maintained by restricting like crazy to keep it. It’s ok to mourn that lighter body even though you weren’t even healthy.

 

2. Feel The Feelings

It’s also ok if you feel angry that you gained lots of weight in recovery. Maybe you feel that it’s almost a cruel joke as probably for years your goal was to be slim, and that to get food freedom your body turned the tables. Allow yourself to feel these feelings without shame or judgment.

 

3. Stop 'Should'ing' All Over Yourself

Something I find myself doing with body insecurities is telling myself ‘Oh you should be able to feel fine about this by now! You should be able to let go of such a trivial thing as your looks. There’s more important things about you than this’ etc. But I find those comments are shaming me for feeling this way and invalidating why I’m feeling this way. It’s ok if you feel worse about yourself in a different body shape - it’s not ridiculous. Most likely your environment played a big role in shaping your body beliefs so no wonder you feel this way!

 

4. Don't Withhold Anything From Your Bigger Body

More practically, make sure there are no activities you’re skipping out on in this bigger body, nothing that you’re withholding because you’re in a bigger body. Try to keep living the life you want. There may even be feelings you’re not letting yourself feel like confidence! We often so deeply believe that we can’t be confident in a bigger body that we just don’t let ourselves even feel it. It’s not about being in a bigger body, it’s about what you believe being in a bigger body means.

 

5. Surround Yourself With Similar Stories

Find more examples of people who’ve had a journey like yours. Even finding others who have a body like yours, who know how you feel, who sometimes feel ok in their body, sometimes great, but also sometimes frustrated.

 

6. What Do You NEED Right Now?

There may also be room for some problem-solving here. What aspects of your bigger body do you not enjoy? Maybe it’s the way it looks - can you dress for your body? Splurge on some nicer clothes? Maybe you feel heavier getting up off the floor? Can you prioritize more strength exercise? Do you feel you have less energy? Can you give your body more rest or recovery? Maybe it needs more gentle movement for now?

 

7. Trust Your Body!!!

Lastly and really importantly - trust your body! As mentioned earlier, it may feel like your body has betrayed you. It hasn’t. It is always working to keep you safe and healthy. Now if you stick with intuitive eating, listening to your fullness and hunger cues, keep the bingeing at bay, apply gentle nutrition and movement - your body will slowly find the weight it wants to be at. It might release some of this recovery weight over time (your metabolism and hormones take time to recover!). Maybe it won’t. Your job is to focus on physical and emotional health first and foremost. Your body knows exactly what it’s doing regarding your weight.



Now if you feel like there’s still more work for you to do in terms of recovery - I recommend looking at my 30 Day Reboot where we stop binge eating for good and learn how to create a healthy and relaxed relationship with food. 

 

If you feel like your focus for now is on body acceptance - take a look at Body Love Academy!



With Love,

 

Bríd

Start your food and body healing journey with the FREE masterclass

"Why You're Still Binge-Eating & How To Stop"

GET INSTANT ACCESS

FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM @FREEWITHBRID