I work with many women on positive weight loss and body image issues; and I say this to almost everyone I serve: “You cannot hate yourself into loving your body.”
Give gratitude to your body for what it offers you every single day: your breath, your ability to walk into your favorite coffee shop, your arms to embrace your partner, your stretch marks that bear evidence that you gave life to a child.
If you are accustomed to being disappointed with or even loathing your body, start with just one thing you can appreciate, and hopefully, love.
Add something else the next day, the next day and the next day. That’s what fuels transforming a life — and your body — if that’s what you desire.
There are new things going on in this career of mine to help women create and implement a healthy and happy lifestyle.
This month, it brought me a lot of joy and pride to see myself featured in a local magazine’s (Today’s Woman) feature on women who are living their best lives in their best bodies — and not according to a template or standard created by someone else. All of us have chosen different paths to love and care for ourselves.
You will not read that anyone of us featured takes care of ourselves from a place of fear, panic or self-loathing.
There is no perfect path to wellness; our lives change whether we want them to or not. Our bodies are part of the ebb and flow. There are weight gain and weight loss, illness, injuries, childbearing, menopause, etc.
The thing I teach all of my clients is to stay with themselves. My keys to health and happiness that come up over and over again are:
- Make simple but significant changes to realize big goals.
- Stay consistent and committed to getting what you want.
- As far as I know, most people don’t become so self-actualized that they never struggle or meander off their path. Resilience is key. You can learn to bounce back; it’s a mind and body skill that gets better over time when you practice it.
I may look like I’m invincible in that black and white magazine photo and the cover shot.
Yes, I am powerful, confident and strong in mind and body. It looks like perfection, but in the interview, they had with me, I also offered up my challenges and fears.
What’s also real about those beautiful photos that were taken in early July is that my body was aching with arthritis in my knees. My piriformis (literally a pain in the ass) and the tendon on the outside of thigh were tight and painful.
Let’s get real-real and throw the mysteries of perimenopause into the mix: my body decided to have what seemed to be four menstrual cycles most days of every week that month.
Driving to the photoshoot that afternoon, I had the thought that “if only they knew” one of their “Best Bodies” was feeling pretty banged up and tired.
But I flipped the script on that thought and told myself that all of my perfectly-imperfectness is what living in my best body is. It’s staying with myself during the aches and pains. It’s rest. It’s getting the help I needed to heal and recover. That’s unconditional love.
I don’t just love me when I can do a plank for two minutes, feel pain-free or weigh a certain number on the scale.
I’m loving me and the miracle that is the human body through the good and not-so-easy times. To me, “the best” doesn’t mean perfect; the best is what’s real and unique to me and my life — to each one of us.