Are your parent’s opinions about food and body image affecting your self-esteem and well-being?
Many of us have experienced the burdensome comments and expectations from our parents regarding what we should eat, how we should look, or how we should relate to our bodies.
This is a challenge intimately understood by eating disorder survivor and popular content creator Amir Yass.
Growing up in Orange County, California with his parents who immigrated from Iran, he experienced many outside food and body comments from his mom, dad, and extended family. He knows the impact that this can have, especially when coming from strong opinions based in different cultures.
In this episode of Recover Strong, an audio series on The Recovery Warriors Show podcast channel, host Andrea Wells brings in Amir to offer advice and practical tips for handling outside opinions from your parents.
Keep reading to discover 5 insights and practical steps he shared on rising above outside noise around body and food from parents, peers, and the world at large.
1. Educate Yourself
Education is an essential step in understanding the impact parents can have on shaping your relationship with food and our bodies.
By educating yourself about societal pressures, cultural expectations, and distorted beauty standards, you can develop a broader perspective.
This knowledge empowers you to challenge harmful beliefs and foster a healthier mindset for yourself.
Open and honest communication is key when addressing these sensitive issues with parents.
While it may feel uncomfortable or daunting, having respectful conversations can lead to understanding and growth.
Have these conversations. It’s not easy, and you might have to have them multiple times.Amir Yass
Amir exemplifies this by confronting his father about weight-related comments, which led to positive changes.
Expressing how such comments make you feel unsafe, hurt, or triggered can help parents gain insight into their behavior.
3. Set Boundaries
Establishing and maintaining personal boundaries is crucial for self-preservation.
It is essential to communicate your needs, even if parents may not fully comprehend or respect them.
Amir’s experiences highlight the challenging task of setting boundaries within Middle Eastern culture.
Although it may be met with resistance, staying firm and consistent in nurturing your mental and emotional well-being is paramount.
4. Seek Support From Others
Recovery can be an arduous journey, but seeking support from others can provide a lifeline.
There’s no right or wrong amount of people to have on your team to support you.Andrea Wells
Whether it’s through therapy, support groups, or online communities, connecting with like-minded individuals who understand our struggles can provide invaluable guidance, encouragement, and validation.
No one should face these challenges alone.
5. Engage in Self-Care
Self-care goes beyond surface-level activities; it encompasses nurturing the mind, body, and soul.
Amir emphasizes the importance of engaging in activities that bring joy and a sense of connection.
Exploring hobbies, spending time in nature, and pursuing self-exploration through therapy and introspection can aid in healing and recovery.
Sometimes when you sit and just enjoy people walking by, you feel less alone and more a part of something.Amir Yass
Remember, self-care also involves setting boundaries and permitting yourself to disengage from triggering conversations and situations.
Dealing with outside opinions about food and body image, especially from your parents, is a tricky journey.
Your background and culture shape how you see these things.
The things your parents say and expect from you can make you feel a certain way about yourself and your eating habits.
In the end, it’s important to remember that this journey isn’t easy and it may take time.
Be patient with yourself and the people around you.
Take a listen to the full episode and with the practical steps discussed, you can transform your relationship with food and your body.
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