As little girls, we watch the women in our lives. How they walk and talk. How they dress. How they treat themselves. What you may not learn observing these behaviours is how to love yourself.
Most of how we treat ourselves in adulthood is already laid out for us before we know it. Subconsciously, we are programmed to never feel “good enough”. We learn from our role models that negative self talk is a well known form of currency.
It makes me sad to see so many beautiful women detest their appearance. It limits women from achieving their dreams due to the deep seeded hate for their body.
They punish themselves with unhealthy eating habits. Holding messed up behaviors around getting the “ideal body type”.
My earliest memories are of the mean kids in school. The popular girls were skinny and pretty (of course they were, they were 10). Then there was me, a voluptuous curly haired little girl with coke bottle bifocals. I struggled with trying to “fit in”.
Through my teenage years, I got stuck on all the fad diets. I didn’t need to lose weight. I was athletic but I wasn’t skinny like the girls in the magazines I read. I looked nothing like them. No one I knew did. But still that was the gold standard back then.
In this current day, as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, I am stoked to be on the other side. To understand that I am as unique as a snowflake. And embrace all the traits that make me different. Everything in my life is special to my individual needs. My food. My sleep. My exercise habits and life choices. I have said goodbye to trying to be like everyone else. Now I celebrate who I am and what my body has done for me.
I want to empower you to just be you in your skin.
Take These 5 Steps To Learn How To Love Yourself
1. Reflect on your first memory of body image and fad diets.
Take a minute to mull over that first memory. Do you remember what it felt like? Who was there?
Good or bad, it is the beginning of your relationship with your body and it’s image.
Check in with yourself. How do you feel about your body right now? Do you often go on crash diets to try to lose weight? Has that worked for you?
2. Cut the crap when it comes to dieting and deprivation.
Early on we learn that this is the way to lose weight to achieve that “ideal body type”.
But eating just salads and calorie restricted diets will not get you there.
Stop eliminating full food groups. By limiting the variety in what you eat, your body is being starved of nutrients, therefore causing it to constantly be in heal mode versus lose weight mode. It holds onto fat like it’s a last hope.
This is not healthy and you know that. Fad diets are out! There are so many terrible repercussions to this behavior. This is punishment in the strongest form.
What have you done to deserve this?
Quit eliminating food groups and focus on complete well balanced meals. Protein, healthy fats, carbohydrates, produce.
3. Be aware of the messages that you take in.
To make a long term change, you need to pick and choose what you will accept into your head space.
If you are consistently watching America’s Next Top Model, I can guarantee that you will continue to believe that being model thin is the only way to be beautiful. I can tell you that is unrealistic and cruel, especially if you are not built that way.
The same goes for what you are seeing on a daily basis on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and magazines or on television, The perfect body-image as defined by the masses.
Try and take a media break, stop obsessing with the “perfect body image’ you are sold every day.
Focus on bringing more positive influences into your life. Follow people like Doshafit, Nisha Moodley and Geneen Roth. You may alos wish to check out the “Breaking Free” Online Program which teaches healthy eating and body-image and encourages you to stop dieting and get healthy instead!
4. Get to know your body and quit comparing yourself.
Our bodies are amazing. Without having to tell it, it heals us, digests for us, breathes and metabolizes to keep us moving.
What amazing feats has your body accomplished?
Have you created life?
Are you an athlete?
Be damn proud of what you are capable of.
5. Positive Self-Talk
If a stranger was to tell you that you were “fat and ugly”, “too chubby” or “not pretty enough” you would tell them to shut their mouth.
Why is it okay for you to say those things to yourself?
One of the biggest changes I made to amp up my body love was to write love notes to myself and leave them around my house.
Funny enough, my fiancee would see them and also remind me that I have sexy, strong legs from soccer.
Take pride in the vessel that has held you up for however many years.
If you struggle with a poor relationship with your body, then I encourage you to take these steps.
What was the first memory that created your poor body image? I would love to hear your experience, share below.