I want to admit something that I’m truly ashamed of. When I was at my lowest weight, I honestly thought that the body-positivity movement was simply a celebration of obesity. To me, it was a dangerous movement and an excuse for women to be unhealthy.
In my mind, loving your body meant that women could pat themselves on the back for eating allll the sugar, allll the takeout foods, and never working out.
I believed that loving your body should really only happen after you’ve achieved your goal weight
I used to think that hating your body is beneficial because it will give you the motivation to actually lose weight.
When I think about my narrow views on body image and weight loss, I shudder. It was all so shallow
Then something happened – despite my shallow thoughts, I gained weight anyways. It wasn’t sudden, and at first it wasn’t a lot, but it was enough to make me really upset about it. Over the years, it continued to pile on, and I couldn’t understand why my HATE for my body wasn’t fuelling the need to actually do anything about it. And I certainly didn’t want to celebrate it. I felt confused, depressed, and absolutely ashamed.
Surprise, surprise, those feelings didn’t help with weight loss either!
Then one day, I decided to flip the switch. I really didn’t want to feel this way anymore, so I decided to take a big breath, and change some of my core beliefs. I mean, if hating my body wasn’t doing anything, what’s the worst thing that could happen if I attempted to love it instead?
I can’t even begin to tell you how uplifting it felt. It was as if the universe gave me a big hug and gave me the green light to finally start the healing process.
THAT is when the magic happened. It seemingly came out of nowhere. The positive energy radiated throughout my body, and that energy was the one that naturally fuelled the:
- desire for healthy foods again
- passion for cooking
- enthusiasm for playing with my kids again
- motivation for working out
- need for self care
Oh my gosh, I actually started taking care of myself again!
Loving myself and making peace with my body was a monumental step on my path to greater health, so I wanted to share some helpful tips for making peace with your body (that, believe it or not, may actually be the missing link for weight loss)
#1: Be Kind to Yourself
Stop being mean to yourself about what your body looks like. No negative self-talk, and please please please cut down on the name-calling. Note, this doesn’t happen overnight, and it take a lot of practice, but the goal is to get to a point where negativity doesn’t stick around like it used to.
Look in the mirror and say something nice to yourself everyday.
#2: Make Peace with the Fact that You May Never Get Into Your Pre-Baby Body Again
This is a tough one. It’s kind of like I’m telling you to not have goals right? Most of us want to look a certain way we did in the past, but I’ve got some news for you. You will NEVER look like that again. The past is the past. You’ve gotten older. Your body has changed. Those are actual facts. It sounds really harsh, but hear me out for a second. I want you to pursue the best and healthiest YOU from this point forward. I’m not saying that you can never be fit, or healthy. In fact, you can be fitter, healthier, stronger, and look even younger than you did in the past. But don’t make that your main focus. Stop looking in the past for motivation, and look in the future instead. This little mindset shift can be a huge game changer!
#3: Eat for Your Health
Forget the quick-fix gimmicky fad diets and eat to nourish your body instead. Think about how every morsel is going to feed your wonderful body – your strong muscles, your smart noggin, your glowing skin, your beautiful hair… all of it! You’re eating healthy food because you’re worth it. You’re eating healthy because you love yourself, not because you hate yourself.
Don’t forget about eating for mental health as well. The pressure is off – it’s okay to eat delicious food. It’s okay to have that slice of cake once in a while. It’s okay if you don’t keep track of it all, or don’t count the calories, or measure portions. No really, it’s okay.
#4: Trust your Body more than Numbers
“There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
When September rolled around, and for the first time, both of my children were off to school, I decided to take a break from my business at the time, and take advantage of this rare opportunity. I told myself I would simply listen, and trust that my body will guide me to recovery and better health. It was the most eye opening experience, and one that I’ll never forget. I didn’t go crazy with weight loss pursuits like I had in the past (and like so many of us do after summer is over).
My body told me to slow down, and rest, so I did.
After a week, my body told me it was time to be active again, and I listened. I distinctly remember the day that I was walking my dog, and all of a sudden, felt a burst of energy, like my body was telling me to MOVE. I felt silly, but I started running (she gave me this “are we really doing this?” look, but happily ran with me). I knew from this point forward that my body was ready for exercise again.
Learn to reconnect with the wisdom in your body and trust that you know what is right for you. We spend so much time and energy focusing on the numbers on the scale and how many calories we’re consuming, often never finding our own sense of balance. Beautiful things can happen when you trust in the fact that our bodies’ internal wisdom will bring us into balance over time.
#5: Social Media Detox!
You don’t have to necessarily give it up entirely, but you can change the way you use it. Do you feel good about your body or inspired to live a healthy life when you’re on Facebook or Instagram? If not, it’s time to start unfollowing. Only follow people that make you feel good, and provide you with real inspiration. Start searching for people and accounts that feel real and authentic and promote body positivity and wellness that you feel you align with.
I’ve personally unfollowed numerous health and wellness accounts because of toxic messages, harmful diet advice, self-righteous attitudes, and cringe-worthy fakeness. I felt lighter immediately! It was an instant stress reliever, a huge part of my recovery, and completely changed how I felt about my body and health goals. You’ve gotta try it!
While being kind to yourself, trusting your body, and eating for your health are just some of the ways you can make peace with your body, know that there are countless others, and I encourage you to explore them all.
You have one body in the life you were given. Why waste your time hating it?