Many of us are if not all are bombarded by the media, blog posts, Facebook advertisements, magazine articles about establishing a healthier lifestyle, slimming down and getting fit. As a fitness professional, I will be the first one to admit, that I do love to read diet and fitness tips, either to get a good laugh by the ridiculous studies or to implement them into my life, if I find it to be beneficial. But behind all of the talk of exercising and dieting tips lies the heart of what it truly means to be healthy: Loving who you are, and treating yourself right. One of my past clients whom I health coach, really inspired me which sparked up an hour long conversation with her. She explained to me that “loving the body you have” is a great way to feel confident, but what’s more important is improving your health by eating nutritious food and moving your body.” I was happy to see that the whole take on “ losing 50lbs in 30 days” and “ tone up with 15 minutes of intense exercise” because it showed me that men and women are quite intuitive about body image. In a nutshell, here is what she said:
“While I was growing up, I was never confident in my appearance and body image. I always judged myself when I looked in the mirror, critiquing my face, my stomach and hips. My whole mindset of the perfect body was based off of super models, Barbie and advertisements on T.V. on how one should look. I was so self conscious, that I monitored what I ate, worked out for several hours a day and still to myself I was not good enough. Now, that I am older I realized how much pressure is put on everyone about appearance and body image. But, i’ve come to the conclusion that being healthy shouldn’t be about appearance, it should be about health and to love yourself so much you want to be healthy. Once I was able to let go of trying to be skinny or perfect and began to focus on loving my curves and everything about myself, that I gave my body the very best treatment and I got healthier. People started to see my natural glow, and I became more confident in myself.”
I was so moved by what my client had discussed with me, that I felt compelled to discuss with you what my thoughts are when it comes to loving your body. As a human, and I am sure most of you would agree, we all have things that we are self conscious of. Whether wishing you had washboard abs or your arms were a little more toned. It doesn’t even have to be about your body, it could be about lacking confidence in your intelligence, social status or wishing your were more attractive to the opposite sex. There are always those little things we wish we could change about our bodies or life. My approach to most things in life is to accept what has been given to me or change it if I am not satisfied. But as I have grown, I have learned more to love my body for what it is. After all, it has been very good to me and how could I not want to provide it with love.
My body is incredible and so is yours. It takes me on walks and runs during the evening to watch the sunset. It has allowed me to create tasty meals where I could indulge in the zesty flavors that hit my tongue. And, in exchange to everything that my body has provided me, from strength, endurance, a warm heart and feelings. I treat my body the best I can. I stay active and feed it healthy food. Sources have indicated anytime you ingest processed food, it knocks your body out of homeostasis and causes it to work improperly. I let it rest at night and take vitamins to keep it strong, to help me fight off viruses. I love my body the way it is because I have treated it well by eating healthy and exercise throughout the years. I am an advocate for body confidence, but I am even more of an advocate for living a healthy lifestyle and loving yourself.
Remember that working towards the body that you want does not mean working to fit into a certain mold, whether thats a super model, an actor or actress or a role model. It simply means working to treat your body properly, find an exercise that you enjoy and indulge in a healthy lifestyle. That means decrease the amount of processed foods in your diet and move your body more. That my friends, in my opinion the best way to learn to love the body that you have.