I can’t believe it’s 2017. New Year’s resolution? “Lose weight”. “Get in shape”. “Eat healthier”. We’ve heard it all. I actually just posted on Instagram the other day about my own self-reflection - on my growth as a human being. I’ve noticed that after almost 9 years of an unhealthy relationship with my body, my thoughts, and food, one thing remains the same. I still have my body. We are only given one body, so we must appreciate all that it can do. We need to celebrate the fact that our bodies can breathe, walk, run, dance, laugh, etc.
True beauty isn’t defined skin deep. When we FEEL good, we carry a sense of CONFIDENCE and SELF-ACCEPTANCE. When others can see this portrayal, we hope they can do the same. A mentor once told me that beauty is a state of mind, NOT a state of your body. What can help us feel good about ourselves is surrounding ourselves with positive people. You don’t need a negative Nancy on your shoulders whispering to you daily that you aren’t good enough. Because you are. It took me a very long time, and to be honest, I still struggle at times - to see that I am good enough. I don’t need to compare myself to others because they aren’t me and I’m not them.
I am constantly trying to improve myself so that I can keep growing as a person. Now when it gets tough, and I find myself being too hard on myself, I need to take a step back and try to be less critical. When I was competing in collegiate track and field, I had my parents tell me to look a certain way while my coaches told me something else. I was doing things for others and not myself. What good is that if I am trying to improve MYSELF? After college, I hired a nutrition coach to help me with my mental progress more than my physical progress. He reminded me that my constant goal of “to be lean and strong” was really subjective. If you compare a moderately active person with a physique competitor, sure enough, the competitor will most likely look way leaner.
It is definitely more challenging to be more objective when it comes to yourself, but the only way to keep developing and overcoming the negativity is to look at how far you’ve come. When I look back at some old photos, I feel a sense of anxiousness because “wow, I want to look like that again”. BUT would I really want to? The answer is NO, because back in those days, I was at my leanest, but I was miserable. I avoided social situations that included food - with friends or family - or would show up and just end up drinking water and chewing gum, going to bed hungry. I spent so much time obsessing about which restaurant to go to (if friends or family asked) because I HAD to make sure there was something on the menu I could eat. I found myself spending hours trying to find ONE place to eat at. Saying this makes me feel embarrassed because food should be nourishing us, and we should enjoy it. It shouldn’t make us obsessive or miserable. In addition, every time I saw a mirror, I would spend some times observing how I looked. EVEN if I saw a few different mirrors 5-10min apart. Like, my body isn’t going to change in 5-10min!! Putting myself back in those shoes makes me uncomfortable, because I remember the misery I put myself in. And I NEVER want to feel like that again. I want to feel happy and appreciative of my body and what it can do for me.
Instead of sulking in the past, first, recognize the present thoughts and feelings you are experiencing, then decide a plan of action on how you will move forward.
Let's start with 3 simple ways to help you do this. 1. write down one thing you like about your body today 2. write down one thing you are grateful for today 3. smile. Change starts with the mind.