Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

Musings on body image

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I’ve been thinking about body image lately. A few things I’ve seen on social media lately have led to me wondering if, when helping clients with weight management, we (i.e. dietitians, personal trainers, doctors) should be giving clients a bit of a disclaimer.

Someone I know posted a letter from a girl complaining about how every time she goes to a hairstylist, she’s informed that they can’t do what she wants with her hair. She brings stacks of photos and is frustrated that they continue to tell her that it won’t work with her hair. Honestly, that’s the mark of a good stylist that they’ll be honest and upfront and not tell you that you can have big bouncy blonde curls if your hair is naturally black and stick straight.

Perhaps, as weight management professionals, we should be doing something similar with our clients. There needs to be a discussion of expectations and an acceptance of the facts. How many of us are (or have worked with) people who aspire to possess the body of some celebrity or other? Sure, such aspiration can provide motivation at the gym or resolve at the grocery store. But we need to realise that we all have different body types and for many of us no matter how much we workout, no matter how many cookies we eschew for broccoli, we’re just not going to look like *insert latest uber hot celeb name here*. And that’s not a bad thing. We need to learn to accept and love ourselves (and our clients) no matter what our size or shape. So maybe you don’t have a thigh-gap or a bikini-bridge or whatever the mythical physical trait of the day is. Who cares? Embrace not just the features you like about yourself but the ones you don’t because they’re what make you, you.

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Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food.

4 thoughts on “Musings on body image

  1. Part of the problem is that there are few images of alternate body type, though. Lots of different hairstyles, but only one idealized body type. I’d have some images of different body types so clients could see realistic images. (Follow Indy Ink on Pinterest to see how much photoshop is used)

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    • Good point that there are not enough diverse images of body types portrayed in the media. Something else that needs to change. However, I was referring to ideals that clients come to us with (wanting to look like X celeb or model in a magazine) and the need for us to help clients to develop realistic expectations and love for the bodies they have.

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  2. love this Di! I totally agree. Acceptance of your own body and realistic expectation are an essential part of success i think. :)

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