Rebecca Scritchfield just wants you to be happy… about your body. In her new book Body Kindness, this registered dietitian nutritionist sets out to free you from ridiculous food rules and crazy diets. She advocates a new way of thinking that teaches how to accept your body and treat it with the love and respect it deserves. I asked her to elaborate on this wonderful book’s key principles and the benefits of approaching life with nurturing self-kindness.

Ellie Krieger (EK): You know I think dieting is a 4 letter word. How is Body Kindness your antidote to dieting?

Rebecca Scritchfield (RS): Diets are all about following someone else’s rules with a goal of weight loss, and they are notoriously ineffective at improving health. Body Kindness is about harnessing your own power to create a healthier life, one choice at a time. The end goal is a set of enjoyable habits that fit your personal interests and desires. Through the Body Kindness practice, you realize that dieting isn’t what you need. Instead of “fixing” your body, you learn to be good to it.

EK: Can you explain the Body Kindness pillars and the term “spiral up”?

RS: Yes, the three pillars –Love, Connect, Care– and the “spiral up” concept provide a structure to guide your motivation for decision-making.

Love: When you make choices from a place of love, you’re able to pause and think about the best choice for your long-term well-being. It’s not always the easiest choice. Instead of mindlessly going through the motions, you put effort into taking actions that support the love you have for yourself. For example, a loving choice may be to spend a few hours meal planning and food prepping every week, even though you want to nap, watch a movie, or spend time with your family.

Connect: Your body is a great communicator and it’s up to you to listen. Maybe you need sleep, food, or a good cry. Quite often, lack of connection to our bodies blinds our decision-making abilities. Your choices are more likely to be irrational, compulsive, and unsatisfying in the long run. But when you can read your own needs, you become the expert. You feel how much food or wine is too much. You feel when you need to put the work away and go to sleep. You know when exercise feels good and when it doesn’t.

Care: This is about taking action in the direction of your goals. If you want to create lasting habits, you need to be consistent. This can be very challenging (and tiring) in the beginning. When you stay fully committed to taking good care of yourself, you can make mistakes, recover, and get back on track until your new habits stick.

Spiral Up is a way of envisioning your life in a way that is more open and connected to yourself and the world. The opposite of a downward spiral, which closes you off, upward spirals boost your energy and your mood. Your choices can create upward spiral when you use the three Body Kindness pillars.

EK: I think everyone should go out and buy Body Kindness. What are some body kindness activities that people can put into practice right now?

RS: There are many easy things you can do and the book is packed with ideas, like these:

  • Put a motivational note on your bathroom mirror to prevent negative self-talk about your body.
  • Make a food freedom list to free yourself from healthful eating ‘rules’. Choose one food that you will eat each week in a calm and pleasurable way.
  • Start a sleep diary. Track the times you go to bed and wake up every day for a week, and use that information to set a sleep schedule.

Ellie’s readers can save 25% off Body Kindness through 2/28 with the code: KIND at Workman Publishing.

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