“I hate how I look”, my mum said this to me at the end of last year and it broke my heart. Despite how amazing she is and how much love she gives she to the world. She still judges herself on how she looks.
And this is sadly the same for so many women that I speak to and work with. That they judge themselves on external factors, from how they look to what they weigh, their dress size or the success in their career. When it comes to it none of these make them, well THEM.
It seems society still judges us on how we look. We see so many images of these tiny models, airbrushed to point that they don’t even look how they look. And from politics, to relationships and even our careers there have been many research studies that shows how someone looks influences our initial thoughts in seconds before they have even spoken.
In fact, I asked the ladies in my Facebook group last year to give one word to describe their body and the results really shocked me and touched my heart.
Disgusting, I feel ashamed.
Fat and wobbly, with cellulite.
Not how I used to feel.
Ashamed, how could anyone love it.
Embarrassing, is that really me?
Revolting and ugly
And on top of that, these ladies push and force their body to drop the weight, return to health or become fitter. But the truth is you don’t get anything in life you want doing things you hate. Love can only comes from love … more to come on that.
My Relationship with My Body
And for me my relationship with my body has been a real experience, it’s all been part of me getting to know and love ME. All of me. Completely. And wholeheartedly. And loving my body for all it does and lets me do and experience has been a huge part of that.
Even a few years ago I did a video of me in my Mr Man pants … pointing out what I didn’t like about my body. A video that was viewed 5,000 times and over 250 comments. I wanted to share that even as a fitness coach there were parts of my body I didn’t like and wouldn’t let my then boyfriend touch.
I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror and didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin. Sex was firmly with the lights off so I didn’t have to see myself and I was scared what my partner would think of my wobbly bits. Shopping was a trauma as I’d judge myself on what size I could fit into despite different shops having hugely varied sizes, which does nothing for your self-esteem. And at times despite not being overweight when I didn’t feel good I wouldn’t want to go out or see my friends.
What changed for me to stepping on stage in words smallest bikini back in 2013, I was the leanest I’ve EVER been. Taking to stage in a wonderwoman style bikini, which I could only wear as I’d dehaired my ENTIRE body and at 14% bodyfat. Yet I wasn’t happy, I was desperately lonely, I was carrying the burden of my marriage breakdown and my body was in a very poor state after over dieting and training for the 8 week competition prep. So I had THE body, and looked amazing but inside I was hurting.
And now. I LOVE the skin I am in. I LOVE being physically close to my partner. I LOVE wearing a bikini, from my collection of over 20. I LOVE feeling strong and my muscles aching after a workout. I LOVE a walk on the beach and throwing the ball for my little hyper Charlie dog. I LOVE wearing clothes that I feel great in to run my workshops and events. I LOVE my big quads and bum, my lop-sided boobs and my giant hair. And I’m not the lightest or leanest I’ve been but that doesn’t worry me anymore.
And here’s the BIGGEST secret in loving the skin you’re in. Your relationship with your body reflects your relationship with YOURSELF. When I didn’t know or like me, I pushed and forced my body to do what I thought would make me happy. It NEVER worked.
So, from my own journey and from working with many clients who have been on diets ALL OF THEIR LIFE these are 5 steps you can take now to start to love the skin you’re in.
- Accepting Right Here and Now
STOP the battle with your own body, you’ll never get a body you love doing things you hate. So, stop forcing, pushing and hating. believe that when you accept where you are, even if it’s painful and hard to do you start to change. It means you are no longer fighting against what you don’t want, losing energy, time and love fighting your current reality. You are no longer blaming yourself, judging your behaviour and beating yourself up for where your body is right now.
So, I invite you to:
- Accept aches and pains.
- Accept the wobbly bits.
- Accept the extra dress size.
- Accept the cellulite or the tiger stripes from your children.
- Accept the tired eyes that are due to everyone else coming first.
Acceptance means taking responsibility for where you are in a powerful way. Not in a begrudging and if I must way. Accepting is the first step to change.
2) Be Grateful For Your Body
It’s my belief that you shouldn’t want for me in your life if you’re not grateful for what you have RIGHT NOW. Whatever you have is more than some people have ever experienced.
A tired face and bags might mean it’s time to slow down.
Children stretch marks = tiger stripes.
Scars from surgery your body has healed for you.
Weight something unhappy or unbalanced in life or body.
- For me, I’m so grateful to my body have allowed me to do so many amazing things. Thank you for also allowing me to:
- Be crazy puppy Nic with loads of energy
- Give hugs and crazy kisses as I want to
- Hug Sam on his way out of this world.
- Speak and share my message with the world, daily.
- Squat arse to grass like a ninja and be proud my bendiness
- Adore being in a bikini on the beach and having my own supermodel strut
- Meeting and welcoming amazing new people into my life
- See amazing places and new countries I adore
- Dance like a loon until I give myself whiplash, twice now at weddings lol!
- Feel strong and like a bad ass in the gym, enjoying getting strong
- Physically be close to my boyfriend
What are you grateful for your body has bought into your life, the people and the experiences.
3) Start with love
It’s time to stop punishing and pushing your body to create happiness. Don’t start changing your body from lack, proving, forcing, striving and bending your body to your will. To make it what you think will make you happy or to find a partner. No long-term transformation that you enjoy and love comes from the pushing and forcing is driven by lack.
Instead, lead with love and gratitude. Be appreciative of all your body does for you, just so you can function each day and most of its’ systems you’ll never truly understand. If you want to lose weight how can you do that in a way you love? Food you love. Training and moving you love. Working on your mind in a way you love.
^^^^ My life started to change when I began to lead with love, even small reminders each day made a huge difference.
4) Nourish and nurture your body
Listen in to your body and what it needs. It’s an amazing machine and intuitively knows what it needs it we let it and listen to it. We’re so busy in our lives and distracted that we don’t listen. Instead we live this life of business, we’re on the phone, taxiing children, grabbing a coffee to wake up, trying to shop when we’re hungry. We pay no attention to it, often until we become ill or develop some form of disordered eating.
Instead today I invite you to slow down and learn to listen. Ask yourself what does my body need today? Gym or rest? What sort of food? More sleep and a nana nap? Less work and more being outdoors?
^^^ Learn to listen and it’ll change your world as you change your body.
5) Watch your Language
What language do you use when you think about your body? Your language will reflect your relationship with your body and yourself.
How you speak to yourself creates your view of the world. The brain looks to reinforce what you tell it.
- Language =Beliefs
- Beliefs = Actions
- Actions = Reality
So, if your language and how you talk about your body is negative, that’ll be reinforced in your actions and there won’t be the change that you want. Instead again start with love, and if love is too much start with neutral and start to become neutral in your relationship with your body.
- Register for this private training … The 7 Day StrongHer Self Love Challenge is a great start point with a short challenge for each day that you can do when it suits you. Over 250 women have now been through this 7 Day Kickstart to knowing and loving themselves, with results as varied as they were AMAZING. CLICK HERE.
- Join the StrongHer Revolution free group of amazing women who are starting to put themselves first and get to know who they are and what they want. It’s the StrongHer Facebook family where busy, successful women learn to at last know themselves and create a life they love. CLICK HERE.
- Join our StrongHer Revolution Programme. Over 125 women in the last year have now gone through my beloved group programme, with HUGE changes in their lives and how they feel about themselves. Between them they’ve found more clarity, belief and confidence to make HUGE courageous changes in their lives. To create new businesses, change careers, leave or start relationships, moved countries, taken up lifelong passions and there’s even been a wedding and a baby. Would you like to be the next StrongHer Success story? If so … just hit reply to this message and put “StrongHer Revolution” in the subject.
- Work with me and my team privately. If you’d like to have some closer support, my latest thinking and weekly nudges from yours truly to take you from where you are now to having clarity, confidence and belief. Join my limited group of incredible VIP clients to take you from being lost and confused to living a truly happy life and be confident in your own skin. Just hit reply to this message and put “StrongHer VIP” in the subject line, telling me a little about your current challenge and what you’d want to work on together.
^^^ Oh and all of these are invites which you are free to say FECK yes to or bear in mind in the future. Either is good with me 🙂