Love Your Body

MeandTim

{Here’s a picture of me and my boyfriend Tim, taken a little over a week ago <3}

In a time when, “thin is in” it can be easy to justify going to extreme measures to make your body match an ideal that society has created. I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly felt bombarded with images of women who are far thinner than I am – thinner than I’ll ever be. I don’t wish I looked like them, but there was a time when I’d stare at those images; I’d dissect every part of a woman’s body and wonder why mine didn’t look the same. I wondered why my thighs weren’t as thin; why my cheekbones weren’t as prominent; why my stomach wasn’t as flat. It didn’t take very long before I started to cut back on the amount of food I was eating.

It wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that I slowly began accepting myself. When I went to college, the acceptance and love for my body grew. I became a Healthy Eating and Living Intern at the Student Center. For “Love Your Body Day” my fellow interns and I ordered shirts that said, “I <3 My Body.” We wore them around campus and observed people’s reactions (most were positive :)). I was happy to be wearing one, because it was true. I wanted to inspire others to love their bodies, too. If you’d given me a shirt like that to wear when I was younger, I don’t know that I would have, because I wouldn’t want people to look at me and think that I actually loved my body. How could I? I was no model. But in college, I did love my body. I truly learned to care for myself. I didn’t diet. I shopped for healthy food. I walked for miles every day. I ran by the lagoon. I danced. I filled myself with love, laughter, and happiness. I was fulfilled.

I cringe when I hear how much women torture themselves to look a certain way. I feel saddened by the amount of pressure many people feel to be thinner, prettier, taller, etc. I wish that we could appreciate our bodies for everything that they do for us – that’s part of how I healed. I thanked my body for taking care of me. Instead of wanting to look a certain way, I just wanted to be healthy. I still feel this way.

I wish that we could spread more love; instead of calling ourselves or others fat, my hope is that we will look at ourselves and others for who we really are; the numbers on the scale, the size of our skirts, the fact that we don’t look like a small percentage of women who are incredibly tall and thin doesn’t define us. There was a time when being thin was everything to me. Now, I think it shocks people that being skinny isn’t my ultimate goal. It’s not even on my list of things that I want. I don’t know if it’s because I’m older, or because I love and accept my body, but I genuinely don’t want to stretch myself out to be a few inches taller and a few pounds lighter. I love my curves. I am passionate about helping women be healthy and learn to truly love their bodies, too.

Instead of focusing on being a certain weight, I would rather we all strive to be our healthiest, happiest, most radiant selves. When we learn to love ourselves and enjoy life, if we have weight to lose, it will come off because we are feeding ourselves healthy food, and are taking time to be active, as well as to relax, and connect with nature, ourselves, and people who lift us up. To me, that’s what life is about. If you’re on your wellness journey and are struggling to love yourself, accept your body, and heal, I’d love to help. If you have an eating disorder, I can refer you to a specialist who can help. Wherever you are on your health journey, know that there are people who can help. The fact that you’re beautiful won’t change as your weight changes. And, you can learn the tools to take care of yourself, too. You’re worth it. <3

Nigella Lawson Embraces Her Beautiful Body

Nigella Lawson Book

I know I always tell people to love their bodies, so I am always excited when someone knows how beautiful he/she is and is ready to share it with the world. Recently, Nigella Lawson, one of the chefs on ABC’s The Taste, told ABC that they were not allowed to airbrush her tummy in new promotional posters for her show. I am so proud of her for embracing her gorgeous curves and for reminding men and women that we do not need to be retouched to match an unrealistic expectation of beauty that society has drilled into our heads. Being curvy is just as beautiful as being thin; the important part is that we are healthy and that we take care of ourselves. There is no sense in beating ourselves up for our natural bodies, rather, we should follow in Nigella’s lead and be proud of what we have!

If you are having trouble loving your body, think of everything that it does for you. Stand in front of the mirror and say this affirmation daily, “I am beautiful.” Thank every part of your body for the role it plays in keeping you healthy and for allowing you to do all the things you love. If there is a part of your body that you are trying to change, be kind; love yourself  – all of yourself. Touch the parts of your body that you try to hide and say, “I love you.” Practice being your biggest supporter. In time you will see that you are beautiful.

Are you feeling down about yourself? Do you wish you had more confidence? Work with me and I will help you discover how radiant and gorgeous you already are!

Are You Listening to Your Body?

listening

One of my favorite parts of nutrition school was listening to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s founder, Joshua Rosenthal speak. He has an amazing ability to capture everyone’s attention, because he is constantly giving out good advice. He is a strong believer that our body talks to us, so we have to listen to what it’s saying. Below is a quote I had to share as it’s a wonderful reminder for us to love and listen to our bodies.

We can, and must, develop dialogue and relatedness with our body because it’s talking to us all the time. And please remember, your body loves you. It does everything it can to keep you alive and functioning. You can feed it garbage, and it will take it and digest it for you. You can deprive it of sleep, but still it gets you up and running next morning. You can drink too much alcohol, and it will eliminate it from your system. It loves you unconditionally and does its best to allow you to live the life you came here for. The real issue in this relationship is not whether your body loves you, but whether you love your body. In any relationship, if one partner is loving, faithful and supportive, it’s easy for the other to take that person for granted. That’s what most of us do with our bodies. It is time for you to shift this, and working to understand your cravings is one of the best places to begin. Then you can build a mutually loving relationship with your own body.”

Joshua Rosenthal, Integrative Nutrition: Feed Your Hunger for Health and Happiness

Are you addicted to sugar? Do you have trouble staying awake without coffee? Are you driven by your cravings? Join me for a free initial consultation and let’s get started on helping you deconstruct your cravings so  you can get your life back on track.