As we get closer to the New Year, many people will make resolutions around losing weight and working out. These are great goals when they’re centred around changing an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy one. But when the decision to lose weight or go to the gym comes from hate or contempt for your body, you may be setting yourself up for failure.
When you start to connect, respect and love your body, changing your lifestyle becomes easier because there’s a more significant, more internal reason to change your lifestyle—resulting in BIG changes to your overall health.
Here are some small but powerful steps to help you on the path from hating your body to loving your body.
Loving your body is about so much more than just how it looks on the outside.
We don’t just wake up one morning and say, “OK, today is the day I love my body!” This change is a work in progress, a one-day at a time kind of thing.
An easier way to begin this journey is to be grateful.
Create a gratitude journal and start with one thing that you’re grateful for about your body. It may be your arms and their ability to hold your children and make them feel loved and safe. It could be your legs. After all, they allow you to easily get from one place to another in your busy life or your hips because they supported you through pregnancy. Maybe it’s your eyes because they allow you to see the world and all of its beauty.
Tip: Take a moment before you step in the shower and look at your naked body in the mirror. Try to really “see” yourself. Look with a sense of gratitude instead of a critical lens.
Living in the past doesn’t serve you. Loving and accepting your body now doesn’t mean that you can’t make it stronger or healthier- it just means that you will have a more self-compassionate journey.
Take this moment to let go of what you think you should look like or what you looked like in the past.
Do you have a pair of old jeans you’ve been hanging onto for the past ten years or more? It’s time to let them go. Those jeans no longer serve you. Today is you, and tomorrow is you, not yesterday. Stop waiting to feel good. Today is the day!
Practice Self Care
We all know about going for a spa day, manicures, pedicures, and getting our hair did!
These are all fantastic and you SHOULD treat yourself to these things, but what I’m talking about here is more internal self-care than external.
These are some examples of self-care:
Move your body every day- I know this can be daunting to people, so pick something fun that motivates you to get up and move like a dance class, a walk with your best playlist, a run with the girls, or a workout with my team and me. Whatever floats your boat to get moving- do it! Our bodies are meant to move. Moving helps us maintain good health and may even aid in preventing diseases like diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Exercise rewards us with a mood boost (and who doesn’t need a mood boost) by increasing dopamine, a.k.a the “happy” chemical.
Meditate- Meditation can help keep you calm, focused, and peaceful throughout your day. It can also help you to reduce stress and embrace your body as it is. Download an app like “Insight Timer” or “Headspace” and find a meditation or course that focuses on loving and accepting your body. Even if only a few minutes a day, getting still will help calm the voices that tell you that you’re not enough.
Limit social media Time- Social media has “upped” the comparison game. Perfection isn’t real. Stop comparing yourself to other people you think you should look like or live like. Limit social media time and use the rest of the time to begin strengthening your sense of self-worth.
Eat What You Love
Often, we go on restrictive diets to punish ourselves for eating too much or “letting ourselves go”. But we know that these “diets” are not real lifestyle changes and are simply NOT sustainable – meaning it likely won’t last simply because food is delicious!
Eating healthy doesn’t mean bland salads and hating your meals. Instead of restricting foods, try to seek out healthier options. Swap out margarine for ghee or sugar for monk fruit sweetener, dates or real maple syrup. Start to stock your pantry so you can cook more from scratch.
Eating healthier can seem overwhelming but start with a few simple recipes. Get good at them and go from there.
You can check out our healthy snack options HERE!
And remember, if you want to have a piece of birthday cake, by all means, have a piece of birthday cake! It’s a celebration- OK, maybe don’t eat the entire cake!
Tip: Try to recognize how you feel after eating cake when you’ve been eating healthier. After a while of eating well, you’ll find that you don’t like the things you used to think you couldn’t live without.
Love Your Body Fitness:
It’s easy to talk about getting in shape. Yet, many of us are taking an unplanned approach that keeps us from getting results. The right personal trainer can keep you motivated, reduce your risk of injury, and develop a personalized plan for your body.
Here at Love Your Body Fitness, we focus on a healthy lifestyle, mindset and strength. We are a supportive community that is interested in building you up, not tearing you down. We’re interested in empowering women to be who they are fully, no matter what size, shape or background. We show them that loving your body isn’t about weight loss and perfection- it’s about learning more about yourself, that you are far more than you give yourself credit for, that you can go higher and dream bigger than you ever thought you could.