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Self-compassion, the initial step to food freedom

If you have an interest in nutrition, or are a health professional practicing in the nutrition field, you may have noticed the movement that is the non-diet approach to nutrition counselling. The first step to taking a non-diet approach to nutrition is self-compassion, so this June non-diet health professionals are celebrating Judgement Free June, a month when you are free to eat without passing judgement and with the aim to nurture your body not change your body.

Self-compassion is the foundation to finding freedom with food and to making health changes that honour your body. Helping clients to discover or revive self-compassion is the focus of our initial consultations with Nutrition & Life clients. It can be incredibly motivating, powerful and also sometimes emotional or painful for some people. It is important for health professionals to show empathy and understanding when engaging in self-compassion discussions.

If you are struggling with self-compassion, here are some questions and activities to get you thinking, and to hopefully plant the seed of self-love that your body so deserves!

1)     Complete the following sentences:

I am ____(insert postive word here)_

I deserve ___(insert postive word here)__

2)     Self-compassion journaling

Keeping a daily journal to help process your day or learn to make sense of thoughts and feelings is a great way to begin to learn about self-compassion. As your self-love grows, you can look back through your journal and reflect on events or feelings that were difficult, but with a self-compassion lens.

3)     Love for those around us

Who do you love and value most in your life? It may be your children, mother, father, friend or partner. What do you wish for them? How do you show them love? Now think about how you can apply this to yourself. For example, many mothers we work with make beautiful nourishing lunches for their children to take to school, or make sure they have breakfast before they leave the home. Why? Because they care about their health and want their bodies to be fuelled. Imagine if they took the time to do the same for themselves.

Self-compassion takes time to grow, not every day is perfect, but give the exercises a go and notice your shoulders lifting and your heart opening.

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