Accepting that your body will change is really good for your mental health. There is so much pressure on us to stay young and thin forever, but that’s just not the way life goes and that’s okay! Today, I’m going to tell you what to do when your body changes because change is inevitable and who wants to hate themselves anyway?
When my body changed
In late September, I had an operation on my leg. I was in bed for 3 weeks with little movement and it was 5 weeks before I could properly walk the dogs. Any thoughts of exercise were not possible and even walking to the back garden to let my puppy pee would give me back ache.
I’ve always had a fear of having surgery. I wasn’t scared of the procedure itself, I was scared of the recovery period. I was convinced my metabolism would slow itself down and I would gain weight incredibly quickly. Thankfully, I was already engaging in food freedom and self-acceptance when I was referred to the surgeon. If I had been in this situation even just one year ago, the experience would have been much more stressful.
In reality, during my weeks of limited mobility, I probably did gain some weight. I couldn’t say how much because I don’t weigh myself any more, but my clothes are definitely a bit tighter. The biggest change I’ve noticed, is my change in fitness. My muscles are much tighter when I try to do yoga (I need to start my yoga challenge again!) and I become breathless much quicker when I try to run. This is normal. Of course I’ve had a decline in fitness – I spent 6 weeks in bed!
What happened to my mental health
Engaging in food freedom and self-acceptance has been the foundation that has kept me calm throughout this process. Without it, I would have restricted my food intake and I would have probably forced my leg to start exercising sooner than it was ready. Both of these would have prolonged my recovery even longer. What’s more, the effect on my mental health would have been intense. My body satisfaction would have plummeted. The anxiety from the thought of gaining weight would have triggered comfort eating which would have resulted in a greater weight gain.
When do our bodies change?
There are lots of events that happen in our lives that can cause our body to change shape:
- a lifestyle change such moving to work in an office environment
- a natural change in eating habits
What to do when your body changes
Allowing your body to change without shame or judgement will be more beneficial for your mental health than trying to change yourself. It’s helpful to acknowledge why these changes are happening which can help with acceptance.
- post-pregnancy body: rather than feeling sad at the body that you’ve ‘lost’, celebrate the body which has created and carried life.
- injury: acknowledge that allowing your body time to heal is paramount to a successful recovery and take your time to build your fitness back to a level that you are comfortable with.
With diet culture and societal ideals thrust upon us from a young age, it can be difficult to accept ourselves for who we are. However, the more we practise self-acceptance, the more we can reject diet culture and work towards better mental health.
What to do next:
Tell me in the comments below when you went through a change in your body. How did you react?
Then Pin this post as a reminder for when you next have body worries! You’ll always know what to do when your body changes and I’m always here to remind you that you’re wonderful exactly as you are!