Monte Nido & Affiliates Director of Nutrition Anna Sweeney, MS, RD, LDN, CEDRD is an expert in the treatment of individuals presenting with eating disorders, disordered eating, and emotional eating. In this week’s blog post, Anna begins her three part series sharing her unique perspective and personal experience on body acceptance.
I’d like to start this post by stating that in all the ways that matter, I am a sane person. I’ll circle back to this, but want you to feel comfortable knowing that I am sane. (This will come into question later.)
“But I don’t want to accept this body.”
How many times have you said those words? To yourself? About yourself? How many times have you heard someone else use these words about their body?
When I think about body acceptance, and all that it allows for, I am deeply relieved. And I haven’t always been. As I hear often from my clients, body acceptance gets confused with complacency. It gets confused with liking one’s body. And now, because it is a buzz-worthy expression, it has kind of moved to the cool kids table. If you’re not accepting, you’re not in the club.
When I think about body acceptance, I am thrilled to know that it is possible. I am thrilled because I know that it can happen after years of having complicated, tumultuous relationship with one’s body. I am thrilled to say confidently that body acceptance is one step to healing one of our most important relationships: that with our own bodies. For humans who feel at home in their own bodies, some degree of body acceptance is possible. This is not to suggest that body acceptance is simple, but for most, it is possible.
From this place of acceptance, we can be gentle. We can be kind. And we can be curious.
Over last 10 years, I have treated many hundreds of clients, at all levels of eating disorder care. I have heard my clients talk negatively about their bodies. I have observed how damaging body comparison can be. And I have encouraged my clients to speak kindly of their bodies. ‘Comparison is the Thief of Joy’ is one of my favorite expressions.
In that same time, I have also lived with multiple sclerosis. And over the last five years, I have become a disabled woman. Living the body with changing abilities is rather extraordinary…It’s a little bit like having the rug pulled out from under you when you least expect it. You continue to operate from a place of not expecting the rug to be pulled at all. And you know that it will.
I am not going to make any grand ovations that I have been consistently graceful in the acceptance of my body. That would be a lie. But I have learned a lot about body acceptance, and the good that can come from it.
We are exited to share the opening of Monte Nido Eating Disorder Center of Westchester, opening in early 2018. Learn more about the program by visiting our website or calling an Admissions Specialist at 888.228.1253.