For those of you just reading this now, as a Food & Body Image Psychologist, I wanted to demonstrate to you that you can go on a Body Transformation AND (learn to) Love Yourself. You can read about this on my previous blog here.
I’ve been on this Body Transformation & Self-Love journey for almost 8 weeks now with my fitness Coach, and wanted to share some insights on my take-aways so far from my own experiences. Note that everyone’s experiences would be different since we’re all different individuals with our own histories.
I am writing in a perspective that will hopefully help you gain tips for how to emotionally and mentally grow on your own SELF-LOVE and BODY TRANSFORMATION journey.
My idea of a Body Transformation and Self-Love Journey is not about how much weight or inches I’ve lost or showing you my before/after photos because, although this is bound to happen, it’s not the point of it. This is about showing you how to LOVE YOURSELF from INSIDE OUT while your body is transforming.
Self-love starts with Self-Care
What does self-love actually mean? It’s 2 parts:
1) Self Love is appreciating yourself (just like you do with loved ones) AND
2) Self -Love is action oriented. It’s engaging in action that supports your psychological, emotional, physical, physiological and spiritual well-being. In other words, self-care activities.
Take your before and progress photos from a Place of Respect for Your Body
How many of you cringe, pick apart your body, focus on what else needs improvement about your body when you take your before and/or progress pictures? I know I use to. Even if I could see progress, I would still be picking part my body for what else needed improvement.
Please don’t do that. You only show your body more disgust and hate. And you know what your body’s doing? Listening to you. And what happens when you treat something with disgust and hate? It won’t love you back. It will FIGHT you back. So in your body’s case, it will fight you back with physical symptoms such as plateauing, weight gain, bloating, digestive issues, illness, and other unwanted symptoms. Emotionally? It will feel heavy, drained, stressed, tired, sad, lonely, exhausted, burnt out, angry, hopeless, shame.
So when/if you take before and progress photos, please focus on how amazing your body already is, no matter what shape/size/weight you are now- this machine that gives you LIFE, the ability to move from place A to B, the ability to breath, to feel, to walk, run, climb, crawl, dance, hug, touch, make love, hold a loved one, write, sing, paint, create, explore, relax, etc. RESPECT and BE GRATEFUL for your body, and it will show you love back in the “symptoms” of energy, vitality, positive thinking, mental clarity, great digestive health as well as feeling happiness, purpose, meaning, hope, love, joy, freedom, peace, and so much more!
Eating healthy is self-care, therefore, healthy eating is self-love. However, it’s only one aspect of self-care.
As part of being in the journey, it’s about putting some attention and focus on my relationship with food for some of the time, but for the most part of my life, have it as something in the background (rather than the foreground). The rest of the time, I’m focusing on all the awesome aspects of my life! Eating foods that nourish my body will give me the brain power I need to serve myself and others, to be a great mom, wife, friend, Psychologist, Mentor, Speaker and give me the ability to grow and challenge myself continuously.
Whole Foods = Less Digestive Upset
I know, you might be going “Well duh Roz- you should know that!” 😉 However, it’s one thing to know it, and then it’s another thing to actually practice it, right? Starting this meal plan with my Coach gave me an opportunity to really inspect my digestive health a bit more closely. Of course then, this lead me to really assess my dietary intake. I knew that overall, I ate really healthy, well and balanced, as well I practice what I preach with the concepts of “normal eating”, “mindful eating” and “intuitive eating”.
What I know about my body is that it tends to bloat easily. So we cut down my protein powder and protein bar intake (which usually was 2 scoops of pp a day and 1 protein bar a day) to 1 pp and no protein bars. Even though the protein bars were decently nutritious, it made a huge difference in reducing my bloating.
I even made an appointment with my friend and Naturopath, Dr. Alysha Somji, to proactively explore my gut health (because it’s been awhile) just to ensure that it’s optimal! I truly believe our gut health can dictate our mental, emotional, and physical health. We do have a brain in the gut after all!
The Art of Joyful Discipline
It actually took me a month to “warm up” in the “dieting” part before I grasped this concept of engaging in Joyful Discipline. I learned about this concept while being guided through a meditation.
By “warming up” I mean not quite being on target with my macro calculations that Nadine had provided me. And I wasn’t far off the track with my numbers, but I also wasn’t quite as focused because it’s been a hell of a long time since I’ve actually followed a meal plan of some sort. In fact I didn’t need to change much of the way I already ate, just needed to tweak the amounts of protein/carb/fats content of these same foods that I ate (and cut down/out the protein products!) I kept missing my “target numbers”. And it wasn’t on purpose, but I now know it was because I was giving myself a warm up period so not to fall into my old ways of “rigid eating”.
The word “discipline” can come with a negative connotation, and especially with dieting it can mean being obsessed, rigid and hardcore. However, Joyful Discipline is about setting your life in alignment of your happiness and success. So as I shifted my focus to be joyfully disciplined, I kept my goal NOT on making sure I hit my target numbers for the sake of looking a certain way, but rather, I’m hitting these target numbers because of a much deeper purpose- I’m here to transform my body while actively engaging in Self-Love – and learn more about ME and my body so that I can improve and optimize my emotional, physical, mental and spiritual health. I love experimenting so I can learn and discover more about my relationship with me. 🙂
Body transformation is not just about transformation your body from the outside. You can do that and change nothing from the inside mentally, emotionally, physically, physiologically and spiritually. A TRUE body transformation is one that starts from the inside out in all these rhelms.
Want to learn more about how to feel Freedom with Food, Fearless Body Love Confidence & Being your Own Best Friend?
I’m hosting a Webinar on:
“Stop Self-Sabotaging Your Weight, Eating Habits & Body Image”
on May 3rd!
Replay is available for those who register! 🙂
Please spread the word with others as you never know who is silently suffering! Thank you!