I never bought into the need to be skinny by societal standards of skinny. That wasn’t born out of self-love though. I always loved my curves but I wanted to change my body shape in ways that I eventually realized were impossible without the aid of a surgeon. My goal had nothing to do with health either, which was a shame. Self-love was not on my radar and people whose opinions I shouldn’t have paid any attention to, planted negative perceptions of me in my fertile mind. Eventually I had a warped, unloving view of my body. That’s why I find the new trend of focusing on healthiness over skinniness to be so wonderful! I love the idea of giving up the ridiculous need to be skinny.
Weight is not the determinant of health. It’s impossible to determine someone’s overall health just by looking at them. Stop and reread that last sentence. Think about that if you’re tempted to express concern about a curvy girl’s weight or when someone takes a jab at you with their “concern” about your health. Skinny fat is real. That’s when someone is thin but lives a completely unhealthy lifestyle. We all need to eat well and move our bodies so that we feel good, energetic and are at peak health rather than to project an image to ourselves and to the world. Self love naturally leads to high quality self-care. No way around it.
Your body is absolutely not a reflection of your true self. Please know this. It can be a reflection of how much you self-love you have inside though. A workout junkie is not more worthy of love than a couch potato. Your value is not reflected by your clothing size or dietary choices. It took me many years to reach the point where my fitness and dietary choices are motivated by my love for my body instead of trying to achieve an unachievable look. I know I’m not alone with being challenged to love myself regardless of my body size.
“Today I’m perfectly happy because I do things that make me feel perfectly happy.“
Here’s my health and wellness coaching client, Joan’s story.
Joan’s story: “I think back on the time I was in my teens, twenties, thirties, forties and now my fifties. In my teens I think I thought my body was perfect. I had a tiny waist and curvy hips and butt. I didn’t go on diets, I didn’t exercise profusely and I thought I was great the way I was. It was because I was just me. It was what was inside. I did my hair, dressed nicely and was stylish and enjoyed the attention I received as a pretty young girl.
When I left home things changed. Maybe it was because I wasn’t didn’t have mom cooking healthy meals or simply because I didn’t know how to pick healthy foods. It was also the dawn of fast foods and the fact that I was old enough to drink. I packed on the weight. Thankfully my friends all had quick weight loss plans so the weight left and came back and left again. It was the beginning of my yoyo dieting.
I took diet pills for a long time.
I fasted for 30 days. After 3 days I was in a state of euphoria and I loved that. At the end of the 30 days I was really hot! I also had really bad breath and gained weight back just by looking at food.
Through my 20′s all I had to do was gain a pound and I felt like I was ready to go over the edge into obesity. I was actually a very healthy weight but I never felt that way. I wanted to look like the girls in the magazines I read.
In my 30′s I went through what most women wait until their 50′s for. It was a surgical menopause and from then on it was a major struggle to keep weight off. I took diet pills for a long time. I found the doctor who advertised phen fen and that stuff really worked. I think I am probably pretty lucky that I didn’t develop heart trouble like everyone else. My supply got cut off and phentermine did not work in the same way.
The truth is, if we quit eating foods that add to our health, we quit being healthy.
In my 40′s I went back to school and was investing so much time in my studies and business that I forgot to eat and I lost weight again. This time I gained it all back as F-A-T.
Which takes me into my 50′s, I began my 50′s with that f-a-t. I was not obese but I was so inflamed from medication that I looked like I carried around an extra 20 lbs. I began eating more (yes more healthy foods) and moving more and I got to where I wanted to be slim and healthy. I no longer eat to be skinny, I eat to be healthy. The truth is, if we quit eating foods that add to our health, we quit being healthy. Finally, in my 50′s I figured out that the two are connected.
If I give my body the gift of health, it gives me back what I am meant to be. Good health and a happy life is where it’s at.
At the beginning I was perfectly happy and it was because my body was deemed perfect by other people. Today I’m perfectly happy because I do things that make me feel perfectly happy.”
Self-love has to be a daily thing.
You cannot do intermittent self care. Loving yourself can’t be a once in a while activity. Well you can do it that way, but you’ll always be playing catch up, continuously trying to feel better after getting rundown. Self love has to be a daily thing. (Start with this free self care guide.) Nourish yourself with foods that feel good to you. Diets are NOT one size fits all. Explore different ways of eating and see which one has you feeling clear headed, energized and satisfied. Oddly, our society has made food intake a social and pleasure thing instead of a way to fuel our bodies. It’s also become a moral issue. People are exceedingly self righteous about what they put in their mouths. You don’t have to take on any of that baggage! Eat what’s best for you and let others do the same.
Choose workouts mindfully. Yes, choosing a grueling workout may get you to a specific weight goal but is it sustainable? Choose your movement with the intention to keep it going long-term. Even if you choose the high intensity workout to reach a goal, have a plan for maintaining your fitness level that makes you feel good, not stressed. You don’t stress people you love.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel sexy and beautiful.
Choose your thoughts carefully. Speak kindly to yourself. A daily meditation practice will help bring awareness to negative thoughts that poison the way your feel about yourself. (Download my free meditation guide for help getting started. Meditation will allow you to reprogram your self-talk and subconscious beliefs. When you get your mind right, the rest will follow.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel sexy and beautiful. Know that that feeling starts from within. Your consistent self love practice is the foundation for all the other behaviors that lead to other people finding you sexy and beautiful too. Love yourself for who you are on the inside but also love the potential you have; both inner and outer and always strive to live up to it. If you’d like support designing your new healthy lifestyle and meditation practice schedule a free 15 minute consultation with me. I’m here to support you!