There are countless campaigns, websites and outlets all about the issue of body image in America. Unfortunately, not all of them have positive messages behind them.
“Fix your problem with (insert form of plastic surgery)”
“Lose 10 pounds in a week.”
“Try this diet and you’ll look like a super model.”
Even Googling “define: health” pulls up a bunch of negative connotations such as “poor health” (you couldn’t define it with good health?) or “free from illness or injury” (Um, we’re human. We’ll never really be free from illness or injury. And besides, Kris Carr has cancer and she’s pretty damn healthy.).
What ever happened to just being healthy? What happened to loving your body and treating it with respect? What happened to the true meaning of wellness?Where we are compassionate and loving toward ourselves and our bodies and as a result we extend the same to others?
Fortunately, there are several resources out there helping to spread a positive message about loving ourselves and our bodies. Websites and people like The Daily Love, BodyHeart, Ashley Turner, Jenna Phillips, Kris Carr, Your Bella Life, Kate Northrup, Diana Antholis and many many more.
I’m all about general all around old fashioned health and wellness. I don’t count calories. I don’t buy into crazy fads or the next super food. All I do is eat well, exercise regularly, meditate and try (operative word being try) not to overwork myself. In short, I try to take care of myself to the best of my ability all while practicing compassion and love toward myself and my body.
Here’s how you can do it it to.
1. Work Out
I work out regularly. My ideal schedule is kick boxing three times a week and then yoga the rest of the time. Of course, sometimes life gets in the way, but I have dedicated much of 2012 to creating a regular routine. And you know what? It has worked!
After 9 months of regular yoga I must say I can’t really go too long without some sort of physical activity. I’ve gotten to a point where if I don’t work out or move my body then I get very crabby, anxious and stressed. I get tense and very very tight – particularly in my neck and shoulders. As a result, I’m not working out with the intention of getting my abs back (though it is an extra perk), I’m working out with the intention of releasing stress and other negative emotions.
Move your body people! Not to get killer abs or fit into a bikini, but for your overall well being, your organs and the releasing of stress and tension. Change your intentions about exercising and you’ll soon start to love it. You’ll also start seeing better results!
2. Watch what you consume.
When I started working out regularly I found myself naturally picking healthier food. What we consume and put into our bodies has a lot to do with our physical and even emotional well being.
Of course, I’ve revved this up recently as I started noticing the connection between certain foods and the the way my body reacts to them. For instance, I’ve been noticing for quite some time that my body kind of hates dairy, I just hadn’t really done too much about it until now. As a result, almond milk has become my new best friend.
Take a daily inventory of what you’re eating and how you feel afterward. Are you getting the 2PM crash? Are you having a hard time sleeping? Are you way too jittery for your own good after some coffee? How are your dumps? (I’m serious, we can learn a lot about our health through our poop. )Simply take note and start adjusting from there.
If you need help getting started because you are as clueless as I was I highly recommend getting your Kris Carr on.
3. Watch what you think.
Did you know that people that come into workouts with positive intentions tend to get better results than those who don’t? Did you also know that all the “motivation” you need to get off your butt starts with how you think?
If you’re too busy thinking “I don’t have time to work out,” “I’m too tired,” “I’ll never get fit,” “I can’t do that workout because I’m x weight” then you’re going to get no where.
Don’t take my word for it though. Check out this video below from Patricia Moreno of Intensati. She’s combined aerobics, yoga and other forms of exercise with positive and empowering affirmations. The result? People get fitter faster. And they generally feel better!
P.S. If anyone knows of a place in Miami that offers Intensati classes let me know!
Overall, loving your body isn’t all that complicated. The most important thing is that you feel better, not fitting into a size 0.
What are some of your tips for loving your body? Share any insights, tips or resources in the comments below!