No matter what you do, it seems like your body is working against you!
Your love handles and cellulite don’t go away, you can’t get a butt or curves—no matter how hard you try, your bloating and constipation continually linger despite eating “clean,” and your metabolism is slower than Christmas as a kid! No matter what you do, your body is just stuck.
The result? Hate. Loathing. Frustration.
I’ve been there, got the t-shirt (multiple t-shirts actually), and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that, the MORE frustration I put into my body…the FURTHER I get from the goals or physical things I want from it.
Can you relate? If so…here are 4 game-changers I’ve found to HELP make peace with my body (once and for all), and actually heal (not hate) like I once did.
Personal Reflection: Your Relationship with Your Body
Question: When is the FIRST time in your life you remember looking in the mirror and recognizing what your body looks like?
No, not like a little kid, looking in the mirror and seeing their reflection, but the time in your life when you really paused to stop and think, “Hmm…I don’t know if I like what I see?”
I was 8-years-old.
It all went down in dance class—the place where I shuffled and stepped, leaped and plied every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon for years.
Standing in the dance studio, in my black leotard and pink tights, I caught a reflection of myself in the mirror.
This year in my life, unlike other years prior, I began to take notice to my little Lunchable-loving tummy pooch, and comparing my body to others in my class—the teacher included…especially when Miss Sarah had us drop down, flat on our backs to do our “ab exercises” to tighten our stomachs at the end of every class.
It was during this year that I remember thinking: “I need to change,” and I gradually began to learn a whole new language of calorie counting, fat grams, food labels and diets in order to make “big change” happen.
It was also during this time that I remember a new “mantra” hijacking my own self talk. No longer was I capable, smart, strong and a natural born beauty (like my celebrity icon Belle, from Beauty & the Beast).
Instead, I was “fat, ugly and stupid.” And I often said those exact words out loud to myself every time I looked in the mirror…so much so that I began to believe them. Sometimes, even slapping my thighs or gripping my wrist with my other hand—sizing it up and down to see how many times my hands could fit around my arms, up the ladder.
Body-hate is real.
Ending Body Frustration & Hate
This continued for the next 20+ years of my life—leading me down the rabbit holes of eating disorder treatment, hospitalizations, 100s of food rules and fitness obsessions. Chasing the “dangling carrots” to look like “THAT GIRL.” Even today, despite ALL the hell (and back) I’ve been through, I STILL find that “inner critic,” or that “inner mean girl” likes to rear her ugly head at me and simply whisper:
“You’re not good enough.”
Not pretty enough.
Enough. Enough. Enough!!!
Recently, yet again, I caught myself all up “in my head,” hating on my body.
Since my own post-recovery eating disorder recovery began about 5 years ago, my body has STILL been in healing mode from more than 15 years spent in chronic stress, starvation, malnutrition and neglect—particularly my gut health and metabolism.
At times today, it seems like, no matter how much I eat, how many probiotics I take, how much I get good sleep, how much water I drink and how much I take care of myself…my body still stays stuck.
As if my metabolism has completely “re-shifted”—making me leaner, less lovelier, and less prettier than I visualize and idealize my body to be.
Can you relate? Do you ever feel like you want ONE thing for your body, BUT it looks like or feels like the complete opposite?
OR, do you ever recall “past times” in your own life, when you seemingly had EVERYTHING you want right NOW for your body, but for some reason you can’t figure out, your body is no longer “there?!”
Again, I get it. Like I said, been there, got the t-shirt, and if this is you, frustrated in your own skin, here are 4 Gamechangers that Help Me Stop Hating on My Body (so I can truly feel good, at home in my own skin):
Gamechanger 1: Focusing on Health, Not Fixing
“Am I taking care of myself?”
“How am I nourishing myself?”
These two questions ALWAYS bring me back to my center for a healthy relationship with food and my body. No, NOT focusing on calories or macros, but instead focusing on:
- Eating real whole foods my body was meant to thrive upon (a balance of proteins, carbs and fats included)
- Sleeping (enough)
- Drinking at least half my bodyweight in ounces of clean water every day
- Working out to build my body up—not break it down. Varying it up and doing things that feel good (not enslaving)
- Loving my gut! Probiotics, prebiotics, chewing my food and mindful eating included.
Gamechanger 2: Getting Outside Myself
In times of the black hole and spiral of body hate, I find when I pause, take a deep breath and remind myself to GET OUT OF MY OWN HEAD and STOP FOCUSING SO MUCH ON MYSELF, I feel an enormous amount of relief and peace. We are ALL innately selfish (after all, we are with ourselves 24/7). Some of us are more selfish than others. However, I’ve discovered that when I stop thinking so much about what I hate about my body, and instead focus on ways I can love and serve others in my life and daily comings and goings, my fixation on my size, shape and dissatisfaction falls to the wayside.
“Getting outside myself” looks like:
- Smiling and genuinely asking (caring) someone else how their day is
- Doing a random act of kindness for a friend or someone else
- Sending my sister or friend a text to let them know I am thinking about them
- Celebrating, liking and sharing someone else’s awesome success, post or happiness on social media
- Doing the thing no one else wants to do
You name it, there are TONS of ways to“get outside” yourself. Body love is a natural byproduct that comes with using your hands and feet to love others.
Gamechanger 3: Focusing on My Passions & Vision
I am a visionary and a passionary.
We all have passions, interests, dreams and ambitions that drive us—some more than others as well. Getting in touch with my own passions helps me realign my focus to focus on the big stuff that matters.
Consider the answer to this question: When you are 90 years old, looking back on your life, what will you want to say you did? You cared about? You spent your time and energy on?
Is it on having a hot body, shaping up in the gym, time wasted hating on it?
OR…is it the 101 other amazing cool, fun, exciting things that make your heart skip a beat or that make you come alive?!
For me, things like:
Writing (and writing books)
Time spent with people—connecting
Movement and fitness for fun
Cooking good, yummy food
Outdoor hikes and fresh air
Growing a business that’s bigger than me to help others heal
Learning (life-long student)
Reading the Word and growing in my faith
—These things are really where I want to spend my time and energy. How about you?
Gamechanger 4: Prayer & Release
Last, but not least…pause…sigh…and release.
I know when I look UP, rather than look IN…and pray SPECIFIC prayers over my heart, my head and the unrest and frustrations I feel with my body, I feel like Someone else is in my court.
I pray, “Lord, help me to see my body the way you see it, and ultimately take it to where you want it to go.”
This body of mine is a vessel for doing the amazingly, unique things I was designed to do on this earth—and so is yours. This body is also a tent—the home my spirit, heart and head ultimately reside. And when I focus in on attuning to those three things, my body seemingly goes where I wanted it all along—feeling good, alive and free (to be me).
How do you stop hating on your body? Any Gamechangers that have helped you make more peace? Shoot me a message at [email protected] if you’ve got insights…I’m always all ears.