Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day, love. I hope you had a day filled with so much love, in one way or another. This year I decided to write hand written cards to a bunch of my favorite people to share my love with them. Remember — love comes in SO many forms and all of those forms of love deserve to be celebrated.
Okay, SO, I had an experience this week that I want to share with you because it exemplifies a major shift and breakthrough that I went through around my body image and self-love, and something I want for you, too.
On Sunday night, I went out to dinner with a friend to a Japanese restaurant and ordered filet mignon hibachi and a glass of vino… it’s exactly what I was craving and hit the spot.
Afterward, on my way home, I was really in the mood for ice cream.
I wanted to sit on my couch, light some candles, watch Shameless and hang out with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s (I love eating out of the carton).
I checked in with myself around this craving (I guide my clients to do this, too): is this coming from a place of joy and fun or a place of trying to cover up an uncomfortable feeling or rebel against deprivation?
It was 100% coming from a place of joy. I was in an awesome mood and just wanted to enjoy some ‘scream.
I grabbed two pints of Ben and Jerry’s from the corner store (I can’t ever just choose one, c’mon), lit my candles, got into my PJ’s, put on Shameless, was chatting with a friend, and enjoyed my ice cream out of the carton, just like I wanted.
It was awesome.
The next morning, I woke up and needed to do some bathing suit shopping online because I had just booked tickets to go to Florida this weekend and need to buy new suits.
As I was getting up to turn on my computer, I couldn’t help but laugh to myself at how drastically different this sequence of events was from how it would have been in the past…
In the past, if I knew I was about to be in a bathing suit in 4 days, and had to actually SHOP for bathing suits on top of that, I would have NEVER eaten filet mignon, wine, and ice cream all in one night.
Instead, I would have been trying to slim down before the “big event”. In this case – my trip to Florida.
My thoughts would have gone like this:
Oh crap, I have to be in a bathing suit in 4 days.
I am going to try to do everything I can to slim down and feel my absolute BEST by Friday.
This week, I am going to eat at home, drink lots of water, cut out sugar, cut out alcohol, and be really “good”.
I’ll hit the gym every day – after all, losing those few pounds and my stomach being flatter will motivate me!
It’ll be so worth it so that I can feel awesome in Florida.
And then I would have gone on “the plan”. The clean food, the workout schedule, you know how it goes.
And maybe it would be fun for a day, but then I’d feel really deprived and binge.
Or maybe I’d be able to keep it up for a week, but then once I got down to Florida I would want to eat every chocolatey carby thing in sight.
Or maybe I’d lose a few pounds and feel great, but I never actually worked on my REAL inner confidence, so deep down I’d still feel insecure the whole trip.
Or maybe I wouldn’t lose any weight at all because the stress of losing weight often kills any chance at actually losing weight (this is science – cortisol and weight loss don’t work well together). I may even gain weight!
Regardless, this way of thinking ALWAYS backfired for me. And I have seen the same thing across the board with the thousands of women I have worked with. It always backfires.
These days, the thoughts of “slimming down” before an event or vacation literally do not even cross my mind, and here’s why:
- I allow my body to fluctuate over time – I know that this is a natural process that every body goes through, so I am never clinging to a certain weight or size.
- When I think of people seeing me in a bathing suit, I am clear that nobody really cares. They don’t care in general, and they certainly don’t care if I am 3 pounds skinnier than I am now.
- Even if they did care, that is okay. I can’t control anyone’s opinions of me except for my own. I choose myself, I choose my body, I choose me, instead of putting emphasis on what other people think. This comes as a result of working on my relationship with my SELF for years.
- My confidence has very little to do with my body at this point. My sense of self worth and lovability has to do with WHO I am, not what I look like. My relationships with the people I love are based on an incredible level of depth, intimacy and respect, not on each other’s appearance. I know and feel that I am loved and appreciated regardless of what the heck I look like in a bikini (and this is how I feel toward others, too).
- I have an exceptional relationship with myself and my body – I know I treat her well, I take care of her, I nourish her, I give her ice cream and green juice according to what she wants and needs, I listen to her, I adore her, I am on the same team as her. THIS is what gives me confidence in what I look like — I know that it’s a reflection of self-love. Self-love that sometimes looks like chillin’ with some Ben and Jerry’s, and self-love that sometimes looks like cooking a delicious home cooked healthy meal for myself.
I’ve worked with thousands of women around body image and their relationship with food, and one common theme across the board is this idea of “slimming down” for big events. So, that’s why I wanted to talk about this today.
I want you to be able to book a vacation and spend 100% of your thoughts thinking about how fun it’s going to be, cute outfits you get to wear, delicious food you get to eat, and how much you can’t wait to spend time with the people you love.
I want you to be able to get invited to a wedding and 100% of your thoughts are about how you’re going to celebrate the couple, the killer dress you get to wear, and how much fun it’s going to be to dance your socks off.
I want you to be able to focus on living for NOW, and enjoying every ounce of who you are and what is happening RIGHT NOW in your life.
And I want you to see that in order to do that, you DO NOT need to “slim down”. You CAN feel your best right now, as you are, today.
In fact, it’s imperative that you shift your thinking around this, because if you are always chasing “feeling your best” for when you’re thinner, those “feeling your best” feelings will always be attached to your weight, or your appearance.
And that, babe, is no way to live.
Give yourself the freedom to be able to feel good and love your life now, regardless of your body’s shape or size.
The only thing standing in your way is you 🙂
If you’d like to make these shifts for yourself around your body image, I’d like to invite you to join The Body Image Upgrade, a course that guides you step-by-step toward feeling more connected to your body and beautiful in your skin.
The shifts you can make are truly life changing.
It’s totally possible for you, and I’d be honored to help you get there.
And even if I don’t see you in the course, thanks for reading, and I hope this has served you in some way.
Sending you so much love!