I often catch myself thinking about how bloody hard it’s getting to feel comfortable in your own skin. You only need to look on public transport to see that people are glued to their phones, ipads and any other gadget. We are fast becoming insanely obsessed visual creatures (well, perhaps we already are ‘insanely obsessed’). Where we once got high on in- person- connection we have replaced that for visual connectedness.
This hardly needs to be said in great detail but the media is doing some pretty crazy shite to our minds these days. In a million different ways we are being bombarded with images of what the ‘ideal’ body looks like, ‘should’ look like and essentially ‘is’ like. What’s even scarier is that all of this is resulting in many women being bloody confused about what a typical body in fact is and what it looks like (size and appearance- and I’m talking about women being alarmed to see typical bodies having zip thigh gaps and visible cellulite- this is REAL ladies. REAL). We are being fed images of what the media wants us to think is ‘typical’ by showing us countless images on a daily basis of a certain type of body. The result? Our brain starts to recalibrate what ‘average’ must be and from here the enemy starts to erode us from within.
The other day I was on social media (as I am daily!) when I came across an image of a woman who looked incredibly thin. Not surprising to me at all, were the hash tags at the bottom of the image along the lines of #fitspo and #bikinibody (the hashtags I love…sarcasm). I honestly felt like writing to her and saying- ever so lovingly- “Babe, let’s get in touch”. But I wasn’t in the mood for the ‘hater’ comments and you know what- I doubt this ‘insta celeb’ would care what I thought. She clearly looked happy with her protruding ribs and stick thin legs. Sometimes you need to pick your battles (and I can’t win over everyone).
But I was shocked to see that people were writing comments like ‘dream body’, ‘I want me some of this’, ‘hot stuff’ and ‘what’s your secret?’. I honestly shuddered when I read the ‘dream body’ comment in particular. I knew we had some warped body image ‘ideals’ going on, but this seemed next level. If we all felt this was a ‘dream body’ and eventually achieved this, there would be many messed up, infertile, unproductive (not to mention bitchy) women (barely) walking around the place.
So today I want to let you in on some nuggets of wisdom I would tell my 15 year old self and anyone else who would listen (be them 15 years old or not) about self love, body image and food.
Self love and body image
+ True love starts from within.
+ Self-love is a daily commitment and it’s the little things done daily that make all the difference.
+ Self love is about doing what you love and loving what you do.
+ Ask yourself “How do I want to feel” and let this question lead you to those things which simply put light you up.
+ Self-care is not a selfish or a dirty word. It’s new age language for ‘health and happiness’.
+ Your body confidence will without a doubt sky rocket when you are bursting with love within yourself first.
+ Choosing love over fear is essential and it’s a moment-to-moment practice that when you ‘get it’ is an absolute bloody game changer!
+ Choosing to do all things out of love instead of fear will make your life infinitely better.
+ Write yourself a love list and do something from it each day to bring about radical change.
+ Comparison is the thief of joy. So do what you love and do it damn well. See my list of what I do damn well even though it goes against the grain of what is ‘hip’ for health and life coaches to be doing.
+ Food is often used to fill a void. It can be seen as an ‘easy’ fix to suppress feelings of pain, discomfort and fear.
+ Food is a way of distancing ourselves from reality. The obsession with food can stop, and will stop when we find the courage to face our reality.
+ When you believe in ourselves more than you believe in the power of food, you will stop using food as your shield.
+ Your relationship with food is a direct reflection of your relationship with yourself.
+ How worthy you feel is reflected in all areas of your life, including what’s on your plate, what you choose to put in your mouth and what parameters you put around food and eating.
+ As soon as you stop trying to fix yourself through food and dig deeper, you will unlock the true healing potential behind your food related craziness.
+ Food is just food. There is nothing to fear about food and eating food in a balanced and moderate way.
+ The best relationship with food is when you trust your body enough to feed it what it needs, in the quantity it needs. Everyone is capable to tuning in and listening to their bodies.
+ Too many people today are eating with their brain and not their ‘gut’. And that’s why we are damaging our health and happiness.
+ Changing the way you think and feel about food and then ultimately how you eat, involves looking at your life as a whole, not as a sum of parts.
Now, I would love to hear from you. What are three things you would tell your 15-year-old self about self love, body confidence and food? Share these with me in the comments below.
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