Confession time. I’m often conflicted when trying to figure out what to talk about in my newsletter, blog and social media accounts. I don’t know if I should be the professional with all the answers or if I should share stories of how I’m in the same boat as you guys. ‘Been there done that’ sort of thing. Often I end up being a bit of both. I believe the term these days is ‘being authentic.’
This month I’m trying to be the professional with the answers but I must admit I am not the best at loving myself for who I am. I am a striver in many ways. But it’s a new year. Time to set a new intention. Time to stop chasing the social media (I have a friend who calls Facebook Fakebook – love it!), photoshopped version of the perfect body and instead embrace the person you see in the mirror. The constant need for change and re-creating who you are will leave you in a cycle of loss and despair, feeling like you’re never good enough. That’s far from the truth and it’s time to jump off the self-loathing merry-go-round.
This year, I ask you to accept who you are, where you are on your journey, and ultimately embrace the road in front of you. All I would like for you is to make small, healthy, sustainable changes to your lifestyle so you can live a long life where you remain independent; energized; off prescription medications and out of doctors’ offices, nursing home and hospitals as long as possible. I want you to live the life of your dreams – quality to the years of your life. I don’t expect everyone to be vegan, eating ‘clean’ all the time, chiseled. In short, I don’t expect perfection. Find what works for you. I’d like to help you find that balance.
A small group of us just completed my 7 Days Healthy Habits Challenge. Stay tuned for details on my 28 Day Lifestyle Jumpstart.
In the meantime, enjoy this newsletter and embrace yourself and your journey in 2017.
7 Steps to Embracing Your Body in 2017
1. Accept you are perfectly imperfect. Those imperfections are what make you beautiful and special. The first step in accepting yourself and where you are is to appreciate you were made perfectly imperfect. It’s time to release the concept of the perfect “body” we see on Fakebook and other media – ads on t.v., reality t.v., magazines – and embrace the body you have.
2. Forgive your body. It’s time to make peace. Release the negative thoughts and feelings you have towards your body. Instead, embrace what it is today. Move into 2017 treating your body with love and respect. And, because you have been at battle with yourself and your body this may take awhile.
3. Practice self-love. Respect and nurture your body with what it needs to perform at its best. Thank your body with nourishing, minimally processed food and water. Thank your body with a hot bath, massage and rest. Thank your body with regular activity. Thank your body with kind words.
4. Focus on the positive. Your body is unique and incredible, designed to do amazing things in this world. Instead of solely focusing on outward appearances, turn your focus to the positive things your body does for you every day – it plays with your children, it picks up your grandchildren, it carries several bags of groceries in from the car. If you struggle with finding the positive about yourself, keep a compliment journal, recording the kind words and compliments others say to you.
5. Treat your body as your best friend. Reflect on the way you speak to yourself. Is this how you would speak to your best friend or your child? If you respond with, “I would never say those words to or use that tone of voice with my best friend”, then it’s time to change the way you speak to yourself. Your body is your buddy. You and your buddy are on a journey together. The two of you work in unison to do amazing things!
6. Accept and appreciate your body. Learning to embrace who you are and where you are on the journey called life is a process that does not happen overnight. Remember life is a marathon not a sprint. Once you learn to forgive and become friends with your body, you can start accepting and appreciating it. Look in the mirror and silence your inner critic, that voice of doubt and negativity. Send that critic packing! Replace the negativity with positive affirmations of self-love and self-acceptance. Be grateful for every aspect of your body. Is that hard for you? I get it. It’s not easy for me either. So, I encourage you to get an compliments journal. Use it to record the kind words and compliments others give you. File away inspirational messages in the journal.
7. Know you are enough. Yes! You are! Stand in front of the mirror and keep saying “I am enough” until you believe it. Stop striving. Accept who you are and know you are enough. By knowing you are enough, you will walk forward with confidence into 2017. You got this!