How to be Kind to Your Body with The Mindful Cook

How to Be Kind To Your Body

Want to develop a better relationship with food and your body? Self kindness is key and, the good news is, you can learn it.

I spent many years of my life feeling uncomfortable in my skin. I picked holes in myself in the mirror, cringed when people took my photo and beat myself up for not being a size 10 – a lot.

When you feel that way, it’s quite difficult to be nice to yourself.

It took me while to realise that one of the most important skills to learn when you want to develop a better relationship your body and to feel at ease around food, is to start being kinder to yourself. I think it takes a while to understand this because there are so many industries profiting from women feeling bad about themselves. Self-compassion isn’t a trait that’s encouraged or that organisations can make money from.

Just think about the derogatory words that diet culture encourage us to use about our bodies; flab, bloat, bulge; and the hostile terms that are used to suggest how we should deal with it; fight, beat, battle. All of this sets us up against our own flesh and often becomes part of our internal dialogue.

The truth is, feeling shit about yourself is never going to inspire positive action.

Here’s the thing: you deserve to feel comfortable in your own skin. Your worth, relationships and human experience amount to so much more than your appearance.

The change needs to start with us. Here are some of the techniques I used to begin to be a little kinder to myself and to re-connect with my body….

  • Try writing a letter or journal notes to your body thanking it for the good things it’s done for you. “Dear Body, thank you for…
  • Avoid conversations with friends that get you drawn in to talking about how much weight you’ve gained – particularly in lock down!
  • Practice getting better at looking at yourself in the mirror and saying nice things, or if you can’t stretch to nice, then just neutralise them. For example, from: ‘I hate my thighs’, to: ‘I’ve got thighs’.
  • Pay attention to your inner voice and question where the negative stuff is coming from. Practice talking back to it and challenging it.
  • Follow body positive people online

How do you feel about saying nice things to yourself? Do you feel comfortable about it? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

This article is part of a series of articles on things that can help you to escape diet culture and improve your relationship with food and your body, you can read the first article, “How to Quit Dieting Without Gaining Weight” here. The next installment will be about nourishing your cells and balancing blood sugars.

4 thoughts on “How to Be Kind To Your Body

  1. Mrs Linden Bruce

    Hi JOSIE I still enjoy eating the food that I learnt how to cook from your course although with my freezer is getting a bit low now Christmas and New Year really set me of course and I have a good stone to lose. Being kind to myself probably is not the way right now for me as I know I really overindulged and I need to take a bit of self-control back. Keep in touch please

    1. Josie Buck Post author

      Hi Linden,

      So lovely to hear from you. I’d like to gently challenge you on your stance. Often, when we take a strict of controlling approach towards our efforts at weight control – as many of us have been taught through our upbringing or other influences – it can create an antagonistic and uncomfortable feeling towards our bodies. The truth is, we can only sustain that discomfort for so long before eventually we cease being ‘strict’ and let go, sabotaging our efforts at self-care.

      Learning to develop a kinder, more encouraging way of being with ourselves creates a better relationship with our body over the long term. One in which perhaps we can re-position eating well, moving and looking after our emotional health as acts of kindness. It creates a more sustainable way of being, that is far happier and actually helps us to stick to our health goals. Importantly, it can help us to end any cyclical patterns of behaviour we might be experiencing with food. Sending you love x

  2. GiGi Szucs

    HI Josie
    You are such an inspiration with such positive energy, I feel it when just reading your newletter.

    Thank you, you are so right feeling comfortable in your skin creates a positive attitude.

    Thanks for all the love you share and making us feel better about ourselves.


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