Let me start this off by saying that I am not a health professional, nor do I claim that my advice is the best and only advice for everyone. Every body is unique and beautiful and what works for me might not work for everyone. I am just a girl trying to figure out how to best take care of my own body.
When it comes to health and fitness my habits in the past have been pretty extreme. Constantly fluctuating between extreme dieting and eating whatever the eff I want because you only live once. The problem was that when I ate unhealthy it was a deep, deep dive that always led to feeling awful about myself. When I ate extremely healthy and hit the gym every day, eventually when I lost self control and ate a cookie I felt guilty and awful about myself. Looking back, my eating habits seemed to always correlate with whatever emotional state I was in; my health and fitness habits were determined by my level of self worth, confidence and even stress level.
Consider the fact that while some people eat unhealthy foods to avoid feelings of unworthiness, others work out and stick to strict diets because it makes them feel in control of their body and allows them to avoid dealing with their feelings of not being good enough. Not to say that this applies to everyone, but it certainly applies to me. I eat sweets and skip workouts because f**k it, why do I need to aspire to look like the perfectly toned bodies that I admire? I am good enough the way I am! Right? But, then if I am good enough exactly the way I am, why don’t I strive to be even better? Maybe, if I prove to myself that I can achieve the body image I desire then all this confusion will disappear and I will stop being so hard on myself.
It’s exhausting. So, the past few months I started to take on a new health and fitness philosophy. It is a work in progress because I am a work in progress.
Be active and exercise because your body deserves it. It deserves to be strong, it deserves to move without limitations and it deserves to be energized and to carry you without struggle through the rest of your life. It has carried you this far, so give it the support and care that it needs.
Eat healthy and nourish your body with the nutrients that it needs. Listen to your body, if it says don’t eat that, don’t eat it! Fuel your body with food that makes it thrive, foods that you enjoy, foods that keep your mind clear and that allow you to be the best version of yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for indulging. Learn about your body and what it needs to be it’s best, do your best to give your body the best – because it deserves it! Not because strong is the new skinny, or curvy is the new strong, or big butts are sexy – but because it feels good to take care of your body.
When you look in the mirror, don’t beat yourself up. Admire and appreciate no matter what you see. This is far more encouraging than looking for all the things you want to fix about yourself.
This new philosophy works for me and it feels really good! I feel more comfortable in my skin than ever before. The funny thing is, what I see in the mirror hasn’t changed much. The biggest change is what goes on in my head, and that has made all the difference.