So today, I’ve decided to get a little personal with you all.
I find it hard to believe that ANYBODY in the world is 100% happy with their body. Whether you feel too fat, too thin, too tall, too short, the wrong colour – I believe that for most of us there is something that we wish we could change about ourselves.
The thing is, we only have these thoughts because of the way other people treat us/see us or what they tell us. When you were a child, did you spend so much of your time and energy worrying about your appearance or worrying about what game you’d play next?
Last week, I heard a parent that was horrified when their child had come home and said ‘Mummy, why am I ugly?’ Where does that come from? It is 100% not something that we are programmed to think, or thoughts that we are born with but it is external influence that creates these negative feelings and opinions of ourselves.
The danger, is when you start to listen to them and let them take hold of you. Once you allow a thought to take root, it begins to grow and suddenly it IS your thought, nobody else’s.
So, how do we start to rebuild our relationships with ourselves, how do we plant good thoughts and root out the harmful ones?
The secret is in self CARE. Not self love – self care. I will talk a lot about self love, however, self love isn’t something you can just turn on. I’ve learned over the last decade, just how to build a strong relationship with myself through simply caring enough and giving myself the time and effort I deserve.
So here’s my advice to you, to love yourself you must learn to respect yourself. To treat yourself with care and with kindness.
I’m going to bring this back to food now (of course, haha) so that you can think about food, your body, and your personal relationship with yourself and how the three are all connected and can work together.
Invest in yourself.
Invest in your own health and well-being. Eat healthy foods because you know they’re good for you, and because you know they add value to your life – not because you’re trying to reduce how much room you take up in the world.
Invest in knowledge – you don’t have time to research which foods you should be eating for optimum health, what calories are right for your body, what exercises burn fat etc etc – so invest in experts that can help you. Get a personal trainer, get a meal plan, speak to your GP about supplements, speak to the athletic looking girl in the gym – seriously, start seeing the opportunities to invest in yourself everywhere.
If you start to invest your money into things that add long term value to your life, you will feel so much more fulfilled than when you invest in a night out on the town, or a cheat meal because you slipped up on your diet and you’re feeling sorry for yourself (I’m getting passionate now because I’ve been there!)
Start to treat yourself with respect.
To wrap this up, let me finish with a little insight into my own journey to loving my body.
I’m very fair skinned, I’m ‘stocky’, my boobs are small and I store fat around my tummy very easily. Oh, and my calves are bigger than most guys.
They are just a few of the things that I’ve allowed to take root in my head over my life, and you might notice that I say them as facts rather than as opinions.
I will never say ‘my boobs are too small’ because that’s an opinion that is relative to the individual. It’s a comparison to what I think is ideal – and it’s an absolutely useless way to think about yourself.
Instead, it is simply a fact – a part of my identity – my boobs are small, fact.
And you see – facts can be interpreted how you want.
I’m very fair skinned – so I look great in red lipstick.
I’m relatively stocky – and it makes me immensely strong and capable.
My boobs are small – and literally never give me any problems, or get in the way when I work out!
I store fat around my tummy easily – which is irritating but it does gives me a great indication of when I’m not treating my body right with the food that I eat.
I could go on… but you get the picture. It’s perspective. There is a positive and a negative to be found in everything so why do we focus so easily on the negatives when they make us feel so rubbish!
For me, five years ago (ish) I realised I was really gaining weight and I felt like crap. It had got to a point, where I couldn’t look at photographs of myself without feeling pretty ashamed. I’d always felt a little larger than I liked, compared to other girls, although looking back on my younger years that was pretty ridiculous (and just proves my point about letting other people’s thoughts and opinions take root in your head and how damaging that can be.)
Anyway, I reached a point where instead of dwelling on all of the negative thoughts I had been building about myself, I decided to take action and make positive changes.
I wanted to have a Thai Boxing fight. To have a Thai boxing fight meant that I needed to be an ATHLETE. Athletes don’t eat salads all week and then binge on pizza and ice cream on a Friday night because they don’t like the way they look in a dress – they’re too busy focusing on how incredible they can make their bodies move, and perform.
I never ever managed to feel good about my body, or stick to a diet, when I was focusing on not feeling good enough. So instead, I studied nutrition, I trained with coaches, I learned how to make healthy food tasty, I trained a lot – I dedicated my time to bettering myself because I was determined to change for ME. I had a goal and I was determined to get there.
So you see, when I started to respect myself instead of hating myself – and I invested in myself instead of feeling sorry for myself – the positives get louder than the negatives, I began to uproot the thoughts that no longer served me and start planting better ones for life.
I learned to love myself, by becoming Miss Fighting Fit.*
*How cheesy is that?! (hahaha!)