I have a confession to make. I have done a lot of work on myself in the last couple of years to let go so I can become a better version of myself and the best coach I can be for my clients, however it is only recently that I have started to accept and love my body, and it’s still a work in progress.
We are taught so many different things about how our bodies should look that it really can add to our stress and to the feeling that we aren’t good enough. I think consciously most of us are aware that we can’t all look the same and we all have different bodies shapes and sizes, but subconsciously we still have all these beliefs working on auto pilot that are working against us truly accepting this and loving ourselves anyway.
So how do we go about starting to let these go and feel worthy again just the way we are?
My history with the yo-yo dieting
I think the majority of ladies (and men too) have been there. We go through our cupboards before going out and scrummage through feeling like we have nothing to wear but a lot of it has to do with us not feeling comfortable in our own skin.
My weight has gone up and down for as long as I can remember and often it has been linked to my mental well-being at the time. I have been through times where I would just eat one meal a day and drink alcohol nearly every night during my early twenties, to the opposite where I would comfort eat and over indulge to make myself feel better in my later twenties and early thirties.
I have been through stages where I would not exercise at all but remained slim and then others where I would force myself to gym because I over indulged at the weekend but I still couldn’t lose the weight. Then I have been pregnant, had a baby, and breast fed where my body didn’t feel like my own for quite some time and the pressure to “lose the baby weight” comes knocking.
What I am trying to get at is our relationship with food, exercise and our body can really change during different stages of our lives but our beliefs on how we should look like and feel often remain the same which can really cause us to have a turbulent time with accepting how we look and loving ourselves no matter what size we are currently at.
A few things that have helped me
As I have been on this journey, I wanted to share with you a few things that have helped me change the way I view my body and start to love it more:
- Reframing how I perceive my body – I really haven’t always been kind to my body in the past, but changing the way I perceive my body has really helped me with learning to love it more. Our bodies grow life and it gives me the life that I have, carrying me on a journey, experiencing the world, feeling the touch or hug of another and so much more. It’s actually pretty amazing and deserves to be loved for that alone no matter what size or shape it is;
- Seeing myself as the whole and not just the parts – also considering that I am not just my body, I am also a mind, and a soul started to make a different to how I viewed myself and my body. We often spend so long looking at all the individual parts of ourselves that we don’t like that we lose touch and focus on us as a whole. Get back in touch with yourself totally;
- Questioning and letting go of my beliefs – understanding what I believed about how I should look, what I should weigh, what size I should be, how individual parts of my body should look, what and when I should eat, how I should exercise, and so much more, really made the biggest difference. Once you know what you thinking and believing, you can start questioning if it is something you have been taught or fed and if it is really serving you keeping these beliefs;
- Changing my relationship with food and exercise – there is so much information out there on how to eat and exercise that it can be really overwhelming. It also gets hard not to compare yourself to others and feel like you are getting it all wrong. I personally feel it can take a bit of trial and error to find what works for you but punishing yourself around food and exercise is never a good sign and you really need to become aware of why you feel the need to do that in order to start changing it, many times this will go back to our beliefs again;
- Learning to love myself from the inside out –this has been the hardest but most beautiful part of the journey, once you start to love yourself for who you are underneath it all, loving yourself as a whole becomes a lot easier. Letting go of not feeling good or worthy enough changes everything.
I hope this helps you on your journey of learning to accept and love yourself, becoming self aware of why you react and feel the way you do is the first step. It really is a journey and we all need to be kind to ourselves while on this path.
If you feel you could benefit from speaking more about this or if you need help with letting go please feel free to get in touch with me on http://wildflowertransformationcoaching.com.www78.cpt1.host-h.net/contact/ to organise a free Stress Awareness Session.