Learn to Take Up Space for Yourself

Taking up space can feel impossible and can often be a reason why you might feel stuck in your life or in your recovery.

Hi! It’s Christine, one of the dietitians with the Marci RD team, still covering for her while she’s on Mat leave with the family!

For those of you who might not know, I’m in the second cycle of my group for folks living in larger bodies. We had our first meeting last week, and we spent a lot of time talking about “taking up space.”

The idea of “taking up space” is something I am immensely passionate about. I think it is a valuable reminder for both clients and providers.

learn to take up space for yourself and be proud of your body imageTaking up space can feel impossible and can often be a reason why you might feel stuck in your life or in your recovery.

We are taught from a young age to be as small as possible, both figuratively and literally. I can’t help but think about how these messages keep us in hiding. When we are focused on being small, we miss out on opportunities, and we lose our voice.

Some examples of not taking up space:

  1. Wearing clothing that you hide under, out of fear of what others might think.
  2. Not packing your favorite lunch for work because you’re afraid of how it might smell in the office.
  3. Avoiding asking a friend to come to your recovery support group with you because “they have a lot going on.”
  4. Not taking a sick day because a client or coworker is depending on you.
  5. Minimizing getting a promotion at work (i.e., thinking “I’m not deserving of this”).

While on the surface, some of these examples might not seem like that big of a deal, we have to think about the short-term and long-term outcomes – the impact this can have on our body image, how this might perpetuate eating disorder behaviors, and for providers, how it could lead to burnout.

I’m not a fan of resolutions, so my intention for this year….

I deserve to ask for my needs to be met and to maybe not show up 100% sometimes – as do all of you. My hope is that if we can all take up a little bit more space, we can show up for ourselves and others more authentically and meaningfully.

Here are a few ways to take action and take up some space:

  1. Sit on the floor, chair, couch, or anywhere that feels comfortable and literally make yourself take up as much space as possible – release the tension in your stomach, spread out your arms, stretch your toes, and breathe.
  2. Take a random day off work – lean into the fact that this might impact other people.
  3. Instead of saying “it’s ok” or “that’s ok” when someone is apologizing, say “thank you.”
  4. Look in the mirror and say out loud, “I deserve to take up space” – repeat 3 times.
  5. Tell a friend about something you accomplished today or something you are proud of yourself for doing.

A few things to think about if this is a challenge for you:

  1. What are the barriers to me taking up more space?
  2. What are my fears about taking up space?
  3. How can I take up space in my relationships?
  4. What is a way I can take up space today?
  5. If I continue to take up more space, what would the short-term and long-term outcomes of doing so be?

These are some of the exercises and activities we do with clients every day as we work to help them on their recovery journey. If you feel like you aren’t able to handle your recovery on your own and want to explore if working with a dietitian can help, please feel free to  get in touch , and we can book a call and discuss what is the next best step for you to take to help you heal.

But I Hate My Body: Cracking the Code on Body Acceptance

But I Hate My Body: Cracking the Code on Body AcceptanceAre you thinking about the notion of body acceptance?

Or perhaps someone in your life is urging you to consider body acceptance. Maybe you have heard the word body acceptance and thought to yourself, “Why in the world would I accept THIS body?”

I want to help you get started on a journey to discover the world of body acceptance. I have created a guidebook, “But I Hate My Body: Crack the Code on Body Acceptance, One Teeny Tiny Step at a Time,” with all sorts of resources for you to explore on your journey. It is a list of what to watch, read and listen to on your Journey to Body Acceptance. Click here to download.

~ Christine Laker
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with Marci RD Nutrition