How I Learnt to LOVE MY BODY

IMG_0559How I learnt to LOVE MY BODY

So the inspiration of this post goes to my MUM- with mothers day fast approaching. Growing up with a lady who worked (until she was no longer able) whilst mothering 4 diverse children- AND suffering with progressive secondary Multiple Sclerosis, it’s hard not to be effected in some way. And it is to her that I owe my ongoing belief that being ‘strong’ is the fundamental ‘way of life’ that will help you find more happiness and contentment than it will troubles and woes. My Mum can no longer move much of her body -but what she lacks in physical strength, she makes up for (by the bucket load) with her ongoing strength of mind. Just by ‘coping’ and ‘managing to smile’ in her situation, she stands out as having superhero status in my book. (That said- she’s still my mum and is still able to nag that she would much prefer me to be a florist than an unladylike’ weightlifter …..sorry mum)

So – how does this link to all those out there who are stuck in the path of self loathing around their bodies?

Too Fat. Too Thin. Legs not being long enough. Whatever it is that you are unhappy about heres a few musings to try and get you to place where I am right now.

I haven’t always loved my body. In fact there was a time I would say I very much ‘did not appreciate’ the physical capabilities I have been given. In my earlier years I lived a poor diet. I disliked exercise and I had ‘too much fun’. I’m glad I experienced this as I learnt this way of life didn’t make me happy. You can too. Its never too late to change. IF something is not making you happy don’t persist that this is ‘your lot’. If you have the capability to change something DO IT- Many people don’t have the possibilities you have been given.
When you decide to change- tell people. Share your progress- it helps keep you accountable. But be prepared that sometimes those around you may feel uncomfortable with your progress. Thats ok- You will learn that the path of change is not always smooth. Relationships may suffer. You may find you don’t have things in common with people that you used to. Embrace this and keep moving forward. -Believe in yourself and the long term goal of happiness. A ‘Life time of self loathing’ is not worth ‘keeping others happy’.

When you think about your body. Try and think about ‘what it is’. Skin, bones, muscle. A heart and lungs. All of these things are a ‘gift’. If they are in good health you are fortunate. Appreciate them. Treat them as the ‘motors’ of your soul. The ‘motors’ of your movement. The motors of your happiness. Just like a car that you give oil and petrol too. The body needs good nutrition. Relaxation. Exercise and stress management to help it run. Get the basics right and progress from there.

DITCH THE DIET – When I have dieted’ I have been at my most miserable. People talk of cleanses and detoxes making them ‘feel great’. I’m sorry I don’t buy it. Starving yourself is against the natural rhythm of human survival. This is very much in contrast to how life is created. Babies are fed and grow. Feeding and eating are a HUGE PART of life. Growing and PROGRESSING is a huge part of LIFE. Having a ‘take away’ ‘regressive’ or abstinence mentality works for very few people in the long term. Instead of thinking ‘I have to burn this off in the gym’, think ‘ this food will make me stronger in my performance’. I’m not saying eat ‘whatever you like’ here, but thinking about the way you train is a start. Progressive resistance training is a great way to track what foods work for you and what don’t. This type of approach goes against the dieters/slim fast-tox-shke mentality.

Get the basics of your nutrition right. Eat good sources of protein, fats, veggies and carbohydrates. Eating the right foods makes your ‘happy hormones work’ well. Eating the wrong foods does not. Enough said.
You will have ‘off days’-Thats ok. Sometimes your body will feel weak- sometimes it will feel bigger or softer than others. THATS OK- Track it- see if you can link this with hormonal changes- a lack of sleep – the food you have eaten. Be good to yourself. Stress is the WORST thing you can add into an ‘already stressed body’ Sleep a bit more. Laugh a bit more. Tomorrow is a new day.

And finally

FORGET SIZE/WEIGHT- THINK STRENGTH- My ‘skinniest’ periods of time have been when I have felt my weakest. There is a huge correlation in seeing physical muscle and strength growth and positive mood and mindset changes occurring. When I enter a gym I no longer think ‘does my ass look big- does my tummy look flat’- I now think ‘am I going to lift heavier or faster- or for more reps than I did last time’. My weight is irrelevant (and for the record my ass and tummy are both now bigger but more solid than they were at my ‘lightest’. Strength is without doubt directly associated with confidence. You will become a more capable human being.

So there you have it folks- I hope some of these thoughts help serve a little ‘food for thought’- let me know if they do !

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