Yes, the person advocating that you accept your body, stop bullying it with diets and overexercise and start eating and moving as you please, is telling you that food and body freedom will not make you happy.
I used to think it would. I thought that the source of all of my unhappiness was the jail cell I had put myself in for years with restrictive eating and regimented exercise, but it wasn’t. It was a coping mechanism for numbing away all of the shit that was really going on inside of me, and removing that coping mechanism meant I had to deal with a lot worse things.
I didn’t know this at the time. I didn’t know why recovering was so hard and why I wasn’t feeling so much better. I remember thinking that this was all pointless and I was just going to be miserable no matter what so, why even bother recovering? But I kept trying anyway, and I learned what would make me happy.
Having food and body freedom will not make you happy, but it will free up your brain space to first deal with the uncomfortable things and then it will give you the time to figure out what will make you happy.
It likely won’t happen right away. Maybe it will. Maybe you already know what your passions outside of food and body are. You are lucky. A lot of the time our food and body preoccupation consumes us far too much to have any room for anything else.
You might think your passion is cooking/baking/health. It might be, but it probably isn’t. You might say,
“But you have a food blog!”
Yes, I do. I started it when I still had food and body preoccupations and cooking/baking was my ‘passion.’ I still like cooking and baking, mostly baking. I started liking it as a child, when I would bake with my mom or ‘cook’ spaghetti and meat sauce for my family for dinner. I always had an interest in culinary things. It’s in my blood. But it doesn’t consume me.
I cook and bake when I want, and I can go weeks without making a single thing from scratch. Or, I can make things solely because it’s what I’m craving and not take photos of it to post it, eat it and forget about it entirely. Some weeks I’m just cooking things so that I’m being an adult and making sure my husband and I are fed without spending a ton of money on take-out. That’s the difference.
I also have an interest in psychology, quantum physics and the arts. The arts started when I was probably 10, psychology and quantum physics when I was 15. Those are things I had long forgotten about, and have only returned this year. I’ve also become fairly passionate about human rights, because I’m sick of the way we behave toward one another.
This takes time. It isn’t helpful to put unrealistic expectations on yourself to just fix your food and body issues and then everything will be bright and shiny. It won’t be. Life is hard. Really crappy things happen to everyone, but learning how to deal with it without resorting to blaming your body is how you move through life, not completely consumed with misery, and find what does bring you joy.
You won’t be happy all of the time. You will spill coffee down your shirt, you will fail an exam, your kid will make incredible messes and scream about cleaning it up, you will experience loss and grief, you will get a few nights in a row of crappy sleep. It isn’t your body’s fault.
Choosing to base your happiness and worth off of your body size will always lead to an empty, unfulfilled and disappointing life.
Choose something else.
Disclaimer: I am not a therapist or medical professional. This is not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any illnesses and should not be seen as a substitute for professional help or delay you in seeking treatment. I share my experiences here in hopes of helping others, but I absolutely encourage you to seek professional help for your struggles.