When you look at yourself in the mirror what does the voice in your head say?
I focus so much on wellness and how I physically feel, the energy I have, the foods I eat and the importance of the choices I make and yet for me, all of those things are in no way shape or form driven by body image.
Perhaps you find that hard to believe? Well that’s why I am writing this blog, to share with you the story behind that comment in the hopes that it will be impactful for you in your own life and maybe inspire you to look at things a little differently. It was only by doing that myself that everything changed.
What exactly IS Body Image?
Body Image is how we SEE, FEEL, THINK and BEHAVE as it relates to our bodies – our shape, weight and perceived ‘looks’. Impacted to a huge degree by the media, books, curated Instagram feeds and perfect celebrities.
Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel. ~Kevin Trudeau
I began my journey to greater health while EXCLUDING my weight and my looks as a focus. Yup. I actually flat out said that weight loss was NOT on the table when I started my challenge.
Don’t get me wrong, I had loooooonnngg wanted to lose weight and did not have a positive body image at all but nothing else had worked up till then so I decided to change things up a bit and focus on what was really the driving force behind everything; for me it was Energy, or the lack thereof.
I gave myself this permission to not focus on the weight by telling myself that IF after this challenge I hadn’t lost a single pound but I FELT stronger, more alive and with ENERGY that I’d be completely OK. This wasn’t “just talk”, it came from deep in my gut. In order to set myself up for success and not quit after the 1st week when the numbers on the scale didn’t change, I knew I truly had to be okay with it. Then I said I’d be able to tackle the weight and hit the gym, once I had the energy.
Interestingly enough, letting go of the mental anxiety about my weight, the never-ending beating myself up about it and hating the reflection in the mirror made a HUGE difference in my mental state. I really started to change the story I was telling myself. I grew to deeply appreciate my body. As I changed my eating habits I could see just how AMAZING my body has been for soooo many years taking care of me while I wasn’t even giving it the best tools to do so.
I could feel my body respond and heal with every passing day, it was exciting and so deeply inspiring.
The weight started to fall off. I didn’t exercise. I didn’t count calories. And many days I actually pigged out.
Now when I look in the mirror I say “thank you, I love you. You are beautiful and so amazing and I appreciate that you never let me down”.
Am I the weight I’d like to be? Nope. Will I ever be? Who knows. Perhaps the target will continue to change. Am I perfectly shaped like the curated Influencer feeds on Instagram? Nope. You say “But you look great, you’ve lost tons of weight, OF COURSE you feel better about yourself!”. True, I did lose a lot of weight, it took time and dedication though as like I said, weight loss wasn’t the goal and yet I know that the ONLY reason I did was because first I let go and secondly I started telling myself a different story.
My challenge to you is this:
Pay attention to what you are telling yourself. Change the story first, follow that up with daily actions (however big or small) and choices, that demonstrate you DO love yourself and your amazing body and watch what happens….Magic. Your life will change in ways you can’t even begin to imagine! Mine sure did.
I am writing a book on the full story of my journey to share the details and document it for posterity so I never forget. But I wanted to share a bit of it here, now, as I see so many people around me struggling, hiding in their clothes and looking for the one right diet. I urge you – don’t wait! Start now. Make a simple change, do one thing each day to show love, compassion and grace to yourself. Then please come back and tell me about your experience so I can celebrate with you!