I recently posted this image of Sophia Loren on my Instagram account with the included caption (found on @MakersWomen IG), “I’d rather eat pasta and drink wine than be a size 0”.
Pretty much instantly people were liking and commenting, more so than on any post I’ve ever posted! In less than 24 hours it had over 700 likes (which is pretty huge for my humble account). It made me so happy, not because of the social media validation, it really has nothing to do with me. It made me happy because I realized that people (mostly women) want to see THIS kind of content. A gorgeous woman, standing in her underwear with curves and all her soft bits, proud of her body and not willing to give up her comforts in life.
This is FREEDOM.
Being in the wellness world for the last 17 years professionally, I’ve been a coach and also a woman who compares herself to others with so-called “ideal body types”. I’ve seen too many women and girls obsessed with losing weight, a number on the scale or idealizing an unattainable figure at the cost of their own happiness. To say that I’ve never felt that way too, would be a lie.
However, I think because I have been a coach this whole time it’s easier for me to pull myself out of that space of self-loathing and comparison that often leads to self-sabotage. I’m a self help junkie and I’ve learned and practiced tools to help me appreciate my body and recognize the patterns that lead to destructive behavior and change them before going down a rabbit hole.
I’ve seen the damage that this behavior does to a person, to their loved ones and quite honestly, what a GIANT waste of time it is. Time is too precious to waste by being consumed with weight, the size of our thighs or rolls on our stomach. There are too many other big things to attend to, if you are truly on purpose in your life.
Here are just a few principles that help me snap back to self love:
- Stop confusing your weight with your self worth.
Your weight is a number on the scale that only you can put meaning to. You choose whether to make it a positive, negative or even neutral thing. It’s YOUR CHOICE. Your self worth is completely separate from your weight or size. It’s something that you need to fill up for yourself and you can’t rely on outside validation for self worth.
The good news is you can start today by declaring you are worthy of love, freedom, joy, happiness, abundance and anything else your heart desires. You have to practice self worth just like we build our muscles; slowly strengthening them every day.
- Stop idolizing other people’s bodies.Here are some facts to think about the next time you waste your time wishing you had someone else’s body.
Realize that what we see on social media, in print and on tv, are people’s highlight reels, not every day life.
Most photos have been photo shopped.
Most models know how to pose to show off their best assets.
Many fitness influencers, trainers or models spend most of their day working on their bodies. Like HOURS in the gym, every day. It’s not even close to realistic for the average person.
Many of these people are hyper obsessed with their nutrition in an unhealthy way. And tons of them have or have had eating disorders. Not something we should want to emulate.
Some people are born with genetics that give them body shapes, leaner bodies and curves that we as a society have come to consider “ideal”. Maybe she’s born with it?
Just because these people we idolize have the “ideal body type” doesn’t mean that their lives are perfect or any better than our own. Every body has their own shit to deal with. Every. Body.
- You are more than your body.
Whenever my little negative voice starts to hijack my mind I start to focus on all that I want to contribute to the world. I begin to remember what I was put on this Earth to do, to be and to give.
I encourage you to do the same. We all have a desire to contribute to humanity. What is your purpose? Focus on that. Remember that your body is only the vehicle that holds your soul, your desires and your purpose. And yes, we should treat it with respect and honor and not with cruelty. Bottom line: who we truly are is not our body. Focusing on our body for too long is actually self centered and can take us away from our life’s work and mission. If you start to become hyper focused on your body, drop everything and run to a local shelter, charity or organization where you can spread some humanity from the truest part of who you are. You may even walk away grateful for the body that you have.
- Drop the F word.
The language we use to describe ourselves is so important. I always had a rule for my clients that while we were training they couldn’t use the F word and I don’t mean F*ck. They weren’t allowed to call themselves fat, ever. We train our brain by the language we use and when we are putting ourselves down, calling ourselves fat, ugly, lazy, stupid, etc. our subconscious minds begin to believe it. Once our mind believes we are fat, ugly, lazy, stupid, etc. it will begin to reinforce that by adopting more behaviors to prove it so.
Fill your vocabulary up with positive descriptions of yourself. Let your mind conjure up it’s best version of you and call yourself those words. Do it in the mirror, as a mantra and whenever possible. Here’s a little video to reinforce this idea.
Those are just a few of my techniques to snap you back to self love and channel your inner strong, safe and sexy SheBeast, your inner Sophia Loren, Beyoncè or (whoever it is for you).