Learn to love the body that loves you.
1: Focus on How You Want Your Body To Feel
When in a diet or weight loss mind frame, we generally focus all of our attention on how we want our body to look – but is that really leaving you feeling fulfilled, worthy or good enough. What happens when you reach your target weight but your body does not match the image in your head?
So often when we think about our “perfect body”, we conjure up this image which is normally a mix of the body we used to have, an airbrushed magazine model or a celebrity. But these bodies are not your body. Your body has its own beauty, its own quirks and its own glow but because you are spending so much time in comparison land you are not paying attention to these amazing parts of you.
Focus on how you want to FEEL instead.
When I started my transformational journey, I chose glowing and vibrant for how I want my body to feel. I chose to have a body that glows and feels vibrant. The great thing about choosing feeling over looks is that I could make the choice to have those feelings whenever I wanted to. I learnt to talk to my body in a way that meant I could recognise what made me feel how I want to feel and what left me feeling sluggish and tired.
Take some time now to think about how you want your body to feel. Make a list in your journal, on your phone or wherever feels good to you, of all the words you want to feel…..I guarantee you can be all of them.
2: Believe You Are Enough
People generally want to make changes to themselves because of inspiration or desperation. When somebody has an Eating Disorder or even in the stages leading up to the development of one, the person is generally starting to feel like they are not good enough as they are – leading to a change through desperation; desperation to look like, act like or be like another person….because they truly believe they are not good enough as they are.
Often the thoughts of a person who believes they are not good enough are negative and they spend a lot of time either comparing themselves to others (with them being less than) or believing that others are judging them (without realising that the only person judging them is themselves). This critter voice in a persons head can be quite clever and manipulative so being able to challenge that voice, and being able to tell it that it is wrong, is a rather big challenge….but it’s definitely worth it.
Believing you are enough means that you are prepared to challenge the voices in your head that try to make you believe anything different. It means being able to look in a mirror and smile. It means going out to the shops and buying yourself one amazing bunch of flowers because you are absolutely worth it.
3: Appreciate the Magnificence of Your Body
So often we forget how amazing our body actually is, because we are so focused on its flaws.
Ever find yourself standing in front of a mirror and in your head thinking “spots on chin, arms are saggy, rolls on stomach, skin uneven” etc etc? We seem to have been conditioned to scrutinise our bodies and focus on our flaws rather than appreciating them for what they are. This isn’t even about turning everything negative into a positive…its about realising the truth of the matter and being able to challenge yourself in your thinking patterns so that you can start recognising the bits of you that are amazing.
What does your body do for you? It provides a place for you to live. It keeps you well. Is your body diseased and constantly ill or does it actually do a pretty amazing job of keeping you healthy?
In 2012, when I weighed about 20 stone, I ran the Great North Run. For those of you who don’t know the GNR is a 13.1 mile run in the north of England.
I was 20 stone. The most I’d managed to run before this was 5k. I’d been training for about 9 months for this run and had only managed to get to a 5k. People around me advised me not to complete it (but I knew better than them of course!) and I did the run anyway. My 20 stone, unfit and out of shape body supported me through 13.1 miles of jogging. The body that I had spent years telling it that it wasn’t good enough, that it didn’t look right, that it held onto the weight in all the wrong places….that body carried me through 13.1 miles – it stayed with me the whole way, it kept pushing on through and it worked with me to complete the run I had chosen to do. When I finished that run, I was amazed. Amazed that my body was capable of achieving this, amazed that my body hadn’t given up or let me down. That day, I realised how frickin amazing my body is!
I invite you now to reflect on your body, on everything that it does for you and all the ways it continues to meet your needs.
And when you get to that point, where you realise just how incredible it is, I want you to start feeding it loving thoughts and telling it thank you. Resolve to work with your body and become friends with the one thing that has always been there for you.