Recently I have been working with a client who is keen to feel physically lighter since having two beautiful babies. Her reason is not about looking "perfect" or "skinny" but a desire to feel more energised to run, jump and play with her gorgeous daughters who are now toddlers. She is a smart, confident and self assured woman who has enjoyed success in many areas of her life, but she was struggling to make this change. Frustrated, she came to me for help.
We started working together and it didn't take long for the obstacle to appear. Her love for her body and it's ability to gift her two daughters was bumping up against her quest to change it. She was in conflict. Her questions to me were:
"How can I focus on changing my body, but continue to love it at the same time? How can I stay body positive whilst trying to change the very thing I want to feel positive about?"
Being someone who battles with “self body love” herself, I’ve really enjoyed working this through with my client and being able to show her that LOVING, rather than disliking, our bodies is actually the ideal place to start.
Loving our bodies unconditionally, will motivate us to treat it with more respect and nourishment.
We put some strategies in place and my client is now moving happily towards her goal.
Media, social and otherwise, is flooded with "body shaming" messages that can affect us all. In contrast to this, I thought you may like to read my top 8 tips for loving your body, no matter your size.
1. Remember that there is no “perfect” size. We are all made differently. Some of us are never going to be a size 8 or 10. First thing to do is to stop comparing yourself to others. Right now. Just stop.
2. Are you enjoying good health? Are you able to get out of bed in the morning and do what you need to do that day without feeling ill or having to take medication? You are more blessed that some so take some time to be grateful for a functioning body. Thank your body for everything it does for you each day. If you want to take it further, create a list of things your body does for you.
Remember your body is an instrument, not an ornament.
3. Be mindful. A very wise friend told me the other day that she suffered with body issues throughout her twenties but now she eats whatever she likes, whenever she likes but does so mindfully. She no longer deprives herself, just enjoys a little of everything in moderation. And she is the picture of good health.
4. Move. Our bodies are made to be active. If we didn’t move when we were cavemen we didn’t survive. Even later in time, we were moving around on farms or in market places. Then came the industrial revolution, the era of industry and then technology and we stopped having to “move for our money”. Moving your body can decrease back pain, neck and shoulder discomfort and will actually energise you. If you move fast and often enough (and by that I mean regular walking) it will help you manage stress and even sleep better. If you do more vigorous exercise, do it for fun, fitness and friendship. Do not “punish” or fight your body. Exercise because it makes you feel good.
5. Make a list of all the people in the world you admire and consider if their physical appearance was important to their success.
6. Wear clothes that suit your body shape and make you feel good about yourself and your body.
7. Surround yourself with people who appreciate inner strength and beauty.
8. Picture yourself in the future, looking back at today. So much time in my teenage years was wasted being negative about my body, but when I reminisce now I realise it was perfect for me! Those strong thighs powered me around a netball court. The fact I was shorter than everyone else just taught me to jump higher, which I’m sure made me fitter. The curves that were the absolutely curse of my existence were the envy of other girls because I could fit into those dresses which needed some cleavage.
When I’m older and my body no longer works the way I want it to because I’m not as agile or fast as I’d like to be, I want to be able to look back and know that I appreciated everything my wonderful body did for me – each and every day.
In my mind, loving my body means fueling it with nutritious food, moving it regularly in a way that brings me joy and booking it in for the occasional
checkup with health professionals.
The more I love my body - the better I want to treat it.
This may work for you too.
Hi and thanks for reading! My name is Janelle Ryan and I am an International Coach, Speaker, Author, Presenter, Amateur Video Maker and Change Catalyst whose main passion is helping amazing women step into the light!
If you enjoyed this article, and would like to EMBRACE YOUR BODY, join me for my screening of EMBRACE THE MOVIE at Rivoli Cinema, Hawthorn on Monday 20th March. I'd love to see you there.
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