In the past body image issues were often ignored, or dismissed as unimportant and frivolous. At the CEDRIC Centre, we know firsthand that how you feel about your body affects you in every area of your life. We believe everyone deserves to love their body. Not the body you want, or hope for, but the body you have. Whether your body image issues are accompanied by an eating disorder or sub-clinical disordered eating concerns, or other issues, the CEDRIC Centre can help you love your body, as it is today. Often when we are supporting a client at the centre to heal from their use of food as a coping strategy, and we begin to speak of loving your body now, we meet with great resistance. That is because that individual hears us saying “accept and settle for your body as it is now.” That’s not what we are saying at all. If you weigh more than you are naturally meant to, you shouldn’t just accept where you are now and give up ever being a natural weight for your body. And if you weigh less than you are naturally meant to and it is a struggle to maintain that low weight you must be ready to challenge the part of yourself that is telling you that you have to be whatever size and shape you feel driven to be. If there is fear in you about letting go of your goal shape or size for your body, I encourage you to ask yourself “What am I telling myself will happen if I let that go?” “And, what am I telling myself will happen if I keep shooting for that elusive size or number?” Then ask yourself: Is there any all-or-nothing thinking in those thoughts. Am I telling myself that something is always, never or absolutely going to be a certain way? If so, just ask yourself if you could just allow for the possibility that those thoughts might not be true; that there might be another possibility that you hadn’t considered. Your weight and your body, when you eat naturally, cease to be a concern. They naturally stabilize. If you have been using food to cope and having bad body thoughts for quite some time you may have no idea what your body looks like naturally. If you have been overeating, restricting or purging since your teen years your body has never had a chance to show you what it can naturally be. Barring any medical concerns, if you have had a difficult time maintaining a desired weight it would be because of two things: 1. your desired weight is too low and your body is trying desperately to add weight to get to a healthy place and sustain your life; or 2. you are overeating. Whether you binge or just eat more than you need to at meals, you are preventing your body from finding it’s natural weight. There is difference between your weight and your body image. Weight is a physically measurable criteria and really only tells you whether you fit into a certain range or not. It doesn’t tell you what a natural healthy weight for your body is. How you feel in your body and how much energy you have to put out to maintain a certain size and weight are the two indicators of whether you are at a natural weight for you. At a natural weight you will feel light, energetic, alive and free. You will want to move your body and feel excitedly drawn to physical activities more frequently than when you are not at your natural weight. When we speak with clients about loving your body we are talking about appreciating the gift of life; appreciating the gift of health and your ability to enhance and optimize your health. We are speaking of having compassion and understanding for how your body came to be as it is. It didn’t get there on its own. It got there because of your need to use food to cope, not the other way around. If you are ready to acknowledge that there might be some truth in that statement, and you are ready to begin to see your body and food in a different light we are here to support you to heal. Healing looks like taking some time to identify the underlying triggers that have led you to use food and body image focus as a coping strategy. Heal those and come to a natural weight for you body: Free from anxiety and distress about food and body image. Imagine a life without limits, and total comfort with who you are, inside and out. This is our goal for you. I hope you’ve enjoyed this free offering. The CEDRIC Centre is committed to ensuring that everyone who wants information and support to heal from harmful coping strategies and their own stressful relationship with food, themselves or others, can access this support regardless of their financial situation or geographic location. If you feel you benefited from this offering please take a moment to pass it on to others. Share the link with friends and family; like our YouTube page; pass it along to teachers and educators, fitness instructors, doctors, dieticians etc. so everyone can benefit from these tools and we can enhance our community and the lives of more men and women every day.