Choosing Self Care over Self Control



How well are you caring for your body? I don't mean waking up and brushing your teeth, taking a shower. I mean taking care of her based on what she needs, that day. Tuning in to her unique needs, respecting them and honoring them by responding to them.


So often we attempt to moderate, limit or maintain our bodies in an effort to care for them- but this isn't true self care; it's control, and control never leads to care.


One of the foundational aspects of uncomplicating eating and finding your beautiful balance is shifting your mindset around nutrition and nourishment from a mentality of self-control to self-care.


First, we need to DECIDE she is WORTH being cared for. Many of us get stuck in the mindset of, “I’ll care for my body when she is a different size.” If you haven’t listened to Episode 77 of the Healthy Balanced Mama Podcast on body respect-- this is a good one to come back to.


We need to remember, our body is not the enemy. Every day your body shows up for you is a gift, now is your opportunity to show up for her. Your body wants to be your friend- it’s hard to remain in friendship with a friend who never shows up for you, is constantly putting you down or making you feel bad. Your body shows up for you, even when you put her down, starve her of food, love or attention, but if you want her to show up for you WELL, you need to meet her in the middle and treat her well.


Your body shows up for you, even when you put her down, starve her of food, love or attention, but if you want her to show up for you WELL, you need to meet her in the middle and treat her well.

Let me ask you: what does your body need, right in this moment?


Maybe it’s a snack. Maybe it’s a warm drink. Maybe it’s a minute to breathe in the midst of a busy day. Maybe it’s a cozy sweater, a call with a friend or a walk in the crisp air.


How often are you checking in with her and asking her what she needs?


We often go through life with the idea that WE KNOW what our bodies need- or rely on an expert to tell us. But SHE KNOWS- we need to listen, and discover what feels good.


We can’t control our bodies into feeling good. We CAN lean into what she’s saying, and identify her needs.


We can’t control our bodies into feeling good. We CAN lean into what she’s saying, and identify her needs.

Each one of us has different needs for self care, when it comes to refreshing our bodies and brains after a busy week, or a stressful season, but self care is a daily practice and comes in many forms- and though food is a really important form of self care, it's not the ONLY form- and overall, full-body self care is essential for living our beautiful balance.


If we are not caring for our bodies well, our bodies will not show up for us well, for long.


This can lead us to feeling like we need to control our bodies more, to force them to do what we want them to-- lose weight, have more energy, wake up earlier when we’re not going to bed any earlier-- but when we force our bodies into a state that is unnatural and potentially even detrimental- through things like food restriction or excessive caffeine to push us through, our body will retaliate. Think of it like a rubber band. The further you pull it back with force, the harder it is going to snap back the other way (or maybe even snap entirely!). When we gently correct when we’ve gotten off track with doing the things our body needs to be cared for, we can care ourselves into a healthier, happier state, instead of controlling.


When we gently correct when we’ve gotten off track with doing the things our body needs to be cared for, we can care ourselves into a healthier, happier state, instead of controlling.

But we need to identify what it means to care for our bodies, well- first.


Here's what I want to encourage you to ask, today:

1. What does DAILY self care look like, for me? These are the things your body needs on a daily basis to be well. These are things like adequate sleep, adequate food, movement, breaks, connection time with family and friends, alone time, a shower. The list goes on-- this isn’t about bubblebaths and massages. It’s the DAILY things you need to do to care for your body.


2. Am I doing the things, on a regular basis, my body needs to be cared for?


3. Are there areas I’m trying to control myself into being/looking/living how I want to?


4. How can I show myself compassion, through this, in the areas that might not be working? The key here is coming at changes from a place of CALM and CARE over despair. This is not an emergency- you have your whole life to care for yourself well. If you are feeling desperate in creating change, try using a technique I learned from my coach, Paige, and LOVE: practice turning down the knob on your emotions, knowing you have a choice to come at everything with calm.


5. Consider: how can I gently correct the areas I’ve gotten off track with taking care of myself, instead of controlling?


Once you begin to shift your mindset from a space of self-control, to self-care, you can begin to lean into YOUR body's unique needs and discover your beautiful balance- where eating well and living well comes without force, but with grace and abundance in living your healthiest, happiest life.


Uncomplicated Eating™, my self-paced 8-week online food freedom course is open for enrollment! Learn to:

✨ Stop seeing food as an enemy and learn to make it your ally

✨ Tune in and trust your unique body

✨ Simplify nutrition

✨ Choose self care, over self control ✨ Stress less about food so you can enjoy life more





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© 2020 Kristin Rugg Dovbniak for Healthy Mama Kris. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use

Headshots Marie Guagliardo Photography & Sarah Zollo Portraits