One day a number of years back I was out for a walk and I happened to catch my reflection in the window of a store … it stopped me dead in my tracks! My 1st thought was “holy SH*T! How did you walk out of the house looking like that? You look awful! That top makes you look gigantic! And seriously…what’s up with your hair?” And the dialogue in my head went on and on.
I bet this has happened to you too. Why do we speak so unkindly to ourselves? Why do we, dare I say it, always feel that our bodies are not good enough? What if I told you that there’s ways to be a little kinder? Would you be willing to give it a go? Let’s talk about the 5 top ways we are unkind to our bodies and how we can put a stop to that NOW!!
Comparing – Cruel to Kind
Look at her! I’ll never have a body/hair/eyes like hers! We do this all the time…we compare ourselves to other people…especially if we are on a weight-loss journey. There is a big difference between admiring another person and comparing yourself to them. Think about the beautiful models you see on the front of a magazine...think about your favourite athlete; it’s their JOB to look like that! It’s our job to admire them not be them.
When we compare ourselves to others, we automatically set ourselves up for disappointment. The next time you find yourself comparing, try Reframing your thought. That might sound like “Look at her! I might never be a super-model but boy do I have gorgeous eyes!” Reframing allows us to look upon our thoughts with a more positive and gentler attitude.
Deprivation and Binging – to eat or not to eat? That is the Question!
Perhaps the most unkind thing we can do to our bodies when we are on our healthy living journey is to not fuel our bodies with good and balanced nutrition. It has been proven over and over again that diets don’t work! Let me say that again a little louder! DIETS DON’T WORK! No matter where you are on your journey you must always approach your nutrition from a place of kindness. You can not be kind to your body if you are depriving it of food or if you are consistently over-indulging.
Get rid of the diet plans! Throw out the diet books masquerading as cook books! Cancel your memberships from diet loss programs! Honestly all you need to do to be kind to your body is to eat the best fresh foods your budget can afford. You need Power Foods and Pleasure Foods in your diet (More on that next week!). You need to eat when you’re hungry (see my next post where we talk about the mind/hunger connection and how to determine where you are on the hunger scale!). You need to hydrate with fresh water. When you follow these simple guidelines there will be no need to neither deprive nor binge. You will feel great and your body will thank you!
But I Hate Running/Yoga/Aerobics – Be More Like Monica From Friends
Have you seen the episode of Friends where Monica is taking a tap-dancing class? She’s super bad at it (kind of like me in a Zumba class!) and the teacher calls her out in front of the whole class telling her she’s doing it all wrong. Her response to the teacher is “Yah but at least I’m doing it!”.
This is a perfect example of what it means to be kind to yourself/body when you exercise. We all know how important it is to move our bodies. Exercise keeps us healthy not only physically but mentally as well. So if this is a necessary part of our day, why would you want to do something that you don’t enjoy?
Sometimes we get caught up in the “I don’t have time to exercise” dialogue with ourselves. My motto has always been it’s the Quality not the Quantity! If you find yourself not wanting to start an exercise session because of this, remember that even 10 or 15 minutes of an exercise you actually enjoy is far better than no exercise at all! Keep that body moving and it will thank you!
Being kind to your body is never an all or nothing thing! It takes work and time! Don’t expect it to happen overnight and don’t expect it to be perfect every single day. You’ll have days that the first thought you have is more on the negative side of things; that’s ok! When you notice that, go back to the Reframing exercise we talked about earlier. Or if perhaps you’ve over-indulged on the Pleasure foods today, maybe tomorrow you decide to be a little kinder to your body and fuel yourself with lots of Power foods. I invite you to share how you are practicing Body Kindness this week. Pop over to the Perfectly Imperfect Mastermind Group on FB and share your successes!
Life Metamorphosis Coach
Branch Director, Happy Healthy Women - Guelph
Facilitator, Women’s Wellness Circle – Guelph
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