Back to Blog

Body Neutrality & Body Grief

Nov 20, 2022

In our blog this week we're thinking about and focusing on ✨BODY NEUTRALITY✨ and more specifically how hard it can be when you are recovering into a society that wants you to stay small. 

 

Body neutrality is a good place to aim for when healing your relationship with your body. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not all about 🚫body positivity🚫. You don’t have to love your body to heal your relationship with it. Our approach is about accepting the body you have, focusing on what your body can do (rather than what it looks like) and giving it some long overdue respect ✅

 

This is a great place to aim for and it makes sense and all BUT it’s much easier said than done when our culture continues to tie our worth to our weight and persistently glorifies the beauty ideals 😑

 

So before you jump to trying to ‘find peace’ with you body, there’s a whole other stage that needs to come before that ⬇︎ 

In order to think about body grief, let’s first of all consider a broader definition of the term ‘GRIEF’: 

 

➡︎It’s the psychological and physiological anguish that a person endures after experiencing a loss. This can be a loss of a person, a place, an experience or a way of living…. It often includes a yearning for the past and an apprehension about the future⬅︎

 

So let’s now take that broader definition of grief and apply it to how you feel about your body right now - your body that isn’t controlled by the dieting cycle? 

 

Does any of it 🔔ring🔔true to you? When you consider taking the anti-diet and body neutrality road are you filled with psychological and physiological anguish? 😖 Do you have a yearning for a past body of yours or angry that diets don’t work? Maybe you know that diet’s aren’t good for your physical or mental health, maybe you no longer want to comply and be submissive to the unrealistic beauty standards anymore BUT you’re but you're scared about how you are going to accept your body? 😥

 

When I am working therapeutically with clients who are grieving their old bodies or the sense of control that dieting gave them - doing grief work is a good place to start 💫

 

Here’s the universal stages of grief (as outlined by Kübler-Ross in their famous book - 'On Death & Dying') that are relevant to all concepts of loss - the loss of a person, an experience or even the loss of a past version of your body. Alongside the stages we’ve given you an idea of some of things people think and feel when experiencing body grief ⬇︎

 

 

Any type of grief work is messy 🌪, it’s long and it can be hard with so many feelings attached to it 💔.

Recovering from diet culture and the loss of the body type that society tells you that you ‘should’ have alongside the loss of the ➡︎sense of control⬅︎ that diets gave you is no different.

Just being here and contemplating taking your first steps is huge. We’re honestly so proud of you ✨

There is life beyond diet culture and body neutrality is possible ✅ We’re here to support you if you need us. Our support options, including our course and 1:1 therapy can be found on our website here.

 

Sending you strength for your body neutrality journey ahead 💫

 

Sara & Bekah 💛