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 Coach Nadine Dumas, and wanted to share some insights on my takeaways 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 you (just like you do with loved ones)
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 used to. Even if I could see progress, I would still be picking apart 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, health 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. Continue reading