Nine Ways To Make Peace With Your Body

Nine Ways To Make Peace With Your Body

There was a time when I was at a really low weight that was harming my health.  I had overtrained and dieted for years and it had caught up with me.  At the same time, I began to notice that I had to work harder and harder to “stay thin”.  I was trapped in a diet and exercise prison and my body was breaking down.  I decided to make a change and focus on self care instead of what the scale reads or what size clothes I own.

Part of my new “self care” plan was to allow myself to gain weight and accept my natural body type.  It turns out I’m naturally curvy and much healthier with additional pounds on my body.

If you are someone that has tried every diet under the sun and nothing has worked, I want you to know that you did not fail.  Dieting failed you.   Science continues to prove that dieting does not work, and it can do you more harm than good.

Instead of blaming yourself, feeling guilty, or searching for yet another diet, I recommend doing something completely different.

Quit dieting for good.  Make peace with your body.  Switch your focus to taking care of yourself and enjoying your life.  Life is too short to waste it on restrictive dieting that doesn’t work and can harm your health.

Making peace with your body may be one of the most challenging and liberating things you will ever do for yourself.  It rarely happens overnight, and it is an ongoing process.  However, the more you focus on self care and less on what the diet industry sells, the more comfortable in your own skin you will become.  I promise.

Here are nine tips to help you say no to dieting and yes to making peace with your body:

  1. Ditch the guilt.  Please don’t blame yourself for the diet industry’s failures and misguided approach to health and fitness.  You are not a failure.  Science is on your side.
  2. Avoid comparison to others.  Just because the latest fad diet or high intensity work out is working for your friend does not mean it is right for you.  We all have different needs and abilities.  No two bodies are alike which is why a canned approach to health and fitness does not work.
  3. Ditch your scale.  If you feel depressed the majority of the time you weigh yourself, the scale IS NOT helping you.  I suggest tossing it in the recycle bin or locking it in a closet.  Taking a sledgehammer to it is another option. 🙂
  4. Listen to your body and your cravings.  Ever crave a salad after eating decadent food for three days?  That’s your body’s way of telling you what you need.  When you let go of guilt and shame and focus on getting your body what it needs, you will seek out eating balanced meals.
  5. Have fun.  Restrictive behavior causes stress and creates a scarcity mentality which can lead to binging.  Allow yourself to enjoy food without worrying about calories.  Being happy and joyful serves your mind and body well.
  6. Healthy bodies come in all sizes.  Over the years I’ve trained people of all sizes and I’ve learned that you should not judge someone’s health by their size.  I’ve had the opportunity to perform numerous health assessments and review enough doctor’s reports to learn that good health really does come in different shapes and sizes.
  7. Take the focus off of weight loss.  A “natural” body weight is normally a weight that you can maintain without restricting yourself from the things you enjoy, or beating yourself to a pulp at the gym.  We all have our own natural weight where our body is most comfortable and can maintain itself.  We also  know when we are overdoing it any area of our lives and if there are things we should cut back on like sugar, alcohol, etc.  Practicing moderation should be about your health, not about numbers on the scale.  When you focus on truly being healthy instead of skinny, weight loss is often times a natural byproduct.
  8. Give yourself room to grow.  Just because we make peace with our bodies does not mean we will always like everything about them and that’s normal.  Being at peace with your body is making the choice to love it and take care of it rather than harm it or manipulate it in pursuit of happiness or acceptance.  I’m way happier at the weight I am now because I am free from the pressures of dieting.
  9. Wear what you like.  You do not have to change your body to wear a swimsuit, tank top, skinny jeans, or any other type of clothing that may seem off limits based on society’s shallow opinions.  Wear what you want and enjoy yourself.

A healthy lifestyle is a total package that has very little to do with what a scale reports.  Healthy living includes things like having healthy relationships, working with purpose, exercising or participating in physical activity you enjoy, having enough energy, eating well and dining with the ones you love, having fun, loving yourself and the people around you, eliminating unnecessary stress, getting good rest, drinking lots of water, getting good check ups at the doctor’s office, growing spiritually and emotionally, and having self-confidence in who you were designed to be.

Here’s to making peace with your body and no longer allowing the fitness and diet industry’s narrow definition of what “healthy” looks like to control our lives and emotions!

Shared with love,

Jennifer

Photo above is by Petar Dopchev on Unsplash

 

Taking Care Of Yourself Isn’t Selfish, It’s Necessary

Taking Care Of Yourself Isn't Selfish, It's Necessary

There was a time when I used to burn the candle at both ends and it was exhausting.  From the outside I looked like a go-getter, but on the inside I was falling apart.  I had hit the wall emotionally, mentally, and physically.   I had focused on taking care of everyone except myself.  Out of necessity, I decided to start taking better care of myself and that’s when I decided to focus on total health, wellness, and self care.

After spending some time researching the term “self care”, I’ve figured out that there are different opinions and theories as to what self care is and it’s going to be personal and different for everyone.  In general, self-care is any activity that you deliberately do to contribute to your mental, emotional, and physical health in a positive way.  While that may sound simple, self care is something that is often ignored because the only one you are accountable to is yourself, and it’s easy to break dates with ourselves.

When it comes to self care, or doing things for yourself, one of the top reasons people report putting themselves on the back burner is a feeling of guilt.  Focusing time and attention on yourself is too often considered selfish.  Unfortunately, while it might seem noble or even necessary to sacrifice taking care of your mind, body, and spirit, over time it’s a recipe for burnout.

Taking time to take care of your mind and body is good for you and it’s certainly not selfish.  In fact, research is showing us that the pursuit of health and happiness is far from selfish.   When we practice self care, we’re likely to see an improvement in many areas of our lives, including our physical health and wellness, our relationships, and even our income. Plus, by making the choice to take good care of ourselves, we open up our capacity to care for others which helps contribute positively to the world around us.  It’s much easier to give to others when you feel well taken care of.  Self care is not a luxury it’s a necessity.

here is a list of thirty eight self care ideas to help you get started

  1. Give yourself permission to say no.
  2. Do your best to step outside every day.
  3. Stop and stretch once an hour.
  4. Drink plenty of water.
  5. Get at least 7 ½ hours of sleep a night.
  6. Laugh daily.
  7. Say nice things about yourself.
  8. Listen to music.
  9. Dance.
  10. Exercise.
  11. Delegate and ask for help. 
  12. Get a manicure, pedicure, haircut, etc.
  13. Ditch the guilt and justification around doing something for yourself.
  14. Move your body in a way that feels good. 
  15. Buy a new outfit.
  16. Decorate or change up the looks of your surroundings. 
  17. Ask for what you need.
  18. Accept compliments. 
  19. Journal.
  20. Pray.
  21. Meditate.
  22. Allow yourself to have a hobby.
  23. Work on your car.
  24. Fix or build something.
  25. Buy something new for yourself.
  26. Have lunch with a friend who makes you feel good about yourself.
  27. Go on a date with your spouse or significant other.
  28. Read a book or magazine.
  29. Go to the beach.
  30. Play with your pets.
  31. Take a bath.
  32. Attend happy hour at your favorite restaurant or bar.
  33. Plan a vacation or day trip.
  34. Light a candle.
  35. Order takeout.
  36. Get a babysitter.
  37. Browse antique shops and thrift stores.
  38. Hang out at the book store.

Because self care is so personal, I encourage you to make a list of your own ideas that you can pull from weekly or even daily.  For example, some people might list “go to the gym” as self care while others would prefer a “stroll on a beach.”  Self care should not have stress attached to it.  The whole point of self care is that you look forward to whatever you choose, it recharges you, and it lowers stress.

Here’s to taking care of yourself and living a long and happy life!

Shared with love,

Jennifer

Strengthen Your Core With The Lateral Slide

Aloha from the big island of Hawaii!

My awesome hubby is home taking care of the pups while I spend some quality time here with my girlfriends. Moving twice in six months was quite a bit of work so he encouraged me to take some time off for a little rest and relaxation. The beach is a perfect place for that!

I promise he won’t be left out. We are planning a trip for the two of us in the near future. 🙂

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you may have noticed that I never allow the pressures of society to determine whether or not I put on a bathing suit. I recommend that you don’t either. However, I do believe that it’s normal to want to tone the body you’ve been blessed with before you hit the beach. The exercise I share in this video is great way to do that.

First and foremost, this move is a great core stability exercise that can help you maintain good posture and a healthy back. However, it also targets some areas of your body that tend to be exposed more often in the warmer months. There is no such thing as spot reducing, but you can certainly target muscle groups.

Enjoy the video and please remember, the only thing you have to do to get “beach ready” is put on your suit. No exercises are ever required. The best beach body is the one you already rock. 🙂

Have a great week!

P.S. This exercise is not intended to be a substitute for anything a medial professional has prescribed you. It is recommended that you consult a physician prior to starting a new exercise routine. 🙂