You know the feeling. You look in the mirror and you’re filled with disgust. Thighs touch, belly pooches, arms flap, butt dimples. Sound all too familiar? Well I have the solution! Whether you’re experiencing post-pregnancy bod or “dad-bod”, I’ve got it. It’s a quick fix. A 21-day program, a special drink, a pill, a fast. No, wait. That will only make you feel good for a few days. What if I told you I have the long term solution? What if the solution is “The Love Yourself Program.” Why waste another minute pointing out your flaws, avoiding bathing suits at the beach, obsessing over all the little details of your body? What if you just worked to LOVE what you already have? I am a firm believer in feeling good about your body but believe that in order to FEEL good, you need to change your mindset and love who you are in this moment. My goal as a trainer is to teach my clients to love WHO they are and not focus so much on their physical appearance, but more on their mental health. When you love who you are, you want to take care of yourself and you begin to enjoy the process. Life is all about balance; restricting yourself all the time can create stress and a negative self image. So here are a few tips to get you set on the road to loving who you are, in this moment.
1. Self-care. You were given one body, take care of it. That doesn’t mean you need to obsess and work toward perfection. It means you should strive for progress. Find something active to do daily. Do you love yoga but have a hard time getting to class? Try setting your alarm 20 minutes early each morning and begin your day with a few sun salutations. Maybe you enjoy riding your bike or hiking. Maybe you’ve been avoiding the pick-up basketball game with your buddies because you’re not “in-shape.” Stop. And GO! Look for ways to work these activities into your lifestyle because it feels good to get up and move! How many times have you said, “I’m just too tired?” Or how about, “I don’t have the time.” News flash: you DO have the time. Turn off social media, stop watching your Netflix shows, and give up the Bachelorette for the time-being. Do you really need to watch EVERY athletic game on TV? I know, that was a little rough. As far as being too tired, exercise gives you energy! In fact, on the days I skip exercise, I feel even more tired and lethargic than on the days I wake up at 5a for an early morning workout. Exercise is going to release some pretty epic feel-good endorphins and you’re going to feel pretty freaking amazing. Trust me.
2. Tweak your nutrition. No, I didn’t say, “Give up all carbs. No more sugar. Stop drinking alcohol.” You should simply take a look and what you’re eating and do your best to make healthier choices. Do you really need dessert EVERY day? No. Or maybe you feel like you do. So just take a couple bites… if you have self-control. Maybe switch to half a sandwich instead of a full. Swap the potato chips for a side salad or a piece of fruit. Is beer your drink of choice every night? Think twice. But always, always feed your body. Don’t think you’ll be happier by skipping meals. Your body needs nutrition like your teeth need a daily brushing (or two). Trust me, once you start eating healthier, you’ll start to feel better. And this is ultimately about feeling better, right?
3. Stop comparing. So you’re a woman at 5’3”, 160lbs and you’re instagram stalking a fitness model who is 5’9” and appears to be 125lbs? How is that going to make you feel better? Or maybe you’re a male who works 40-60 hours a week and you’re following a guy on social media who spends 4 hours a day at the gym? Come on. Let’s stop focusing on other people and start focusing on what you love about YOURSELF! Do you have two legs that allow you to walk from here to there? Most likely. So what if your thighs touch? Do you have two arms that allow you to work, cook, hug those that you love? I’m going to guess you probably do. Are you a dad with a gut? I bet you work pretty hard and come home and spend time with your kids, don’t you? Or how about two hands that lend help to others, ears that listen when a dear friend needs you, eyes that see someone in need and a caring heart that does something to help. Our bodies don’t need to be perfect in order to feel good about ourselves. In the long run, isn’t it better to just be a good person?
At the end of the day, we really just need to give ourselves some compassion. Do you really want to spend another day feeling sad about your body? Take your shirt off at the beach and run around with your kids! Wear that bathing suit proudly! Self-love is a basic necessity and will lead to inner peace and ultimately, happiness. It’s important that you continuously seek ways to physically, psychologically, and emotionally grow as a person.
So get out there, spend some time being active, choose to be healthy, love yourself and others, celebrate each of your accomplishments and remember… you are worthy, you are important, you are loved, and You Are Enough just as you are in THIS moment.