The other day a friend’s partner made a comment to me, that has stuck with me over the last week…
I just cannot shake what she divulged to me.
Let me paint the picture.
It is that amazing time between Christmas and New Year, where the weather is warm, you catch up with friends and family, eat yummy food, drink and be merry. My family and I decided to catch up with a friend and family that we have not seen in ages. As it was so warm, we decided to go to the beach so we could all cool off and the kids could burn some energy and get off social media for a few hours.
I was busting to go to the toilet and the walk to the public amenities block was not in my bladder’s timeframe, so off I strolled in my bikinis to the ocean for a wade and wee. The water was beautiful, not too cold, but seaweed was everywhere and kept getting wrapped around my legs and not how I wanted to spend my time in the water, so out I waded and sat on my beach towel with my friends.
Now, this is where my friend (who I have not seen in about 5 months) divulged her secret.
She started telling me about how body conscious she was.
Here I was, looking at this beautiful woman who has had 3 kids, by the way, runs a small business, and was not feeling comfortable about stripping down to her two-piece in front of me. I nearly choked on the Dorito chips I was stuffing in my mouth with avo dip. I mean why was she feeling like this? How has this happened and quite seriously WTF?
In my most tactful way, I told her that I didn’t care what anybody looked like, and I thought she looked amazing, and she had recently undergone major surgery and not been able to do any exercise for months, so like give yourself a break darls.
And yep with that, whoosh, clothes be gone we swam in the ocean, bloody seaweed and all, in our bikinis. BUT, it really has left me feeling… well, kind of sad.
To be fair, I have had my issues with my body for a great deal of my life.
When my body was in its late teen years and fabulous, I hated it. I dieted, became anorexic, bulimic, ruined my immune system and, stuffed up my metabolism which I needed to rebuild and get better. Boy, do I wish I had someone to tell me I was perfect the way I was.
In my twenties, I started out shy, again had issues with my weight, how I looked, what I thought I should be, I even paid for a series of hot body wraps to supposedly “melt” away toxins and additional fat. I wish I had someone to tell me I was perfect the way I was.
In my late 20’s I had 2 children, my belly grew, my body changed, it was a home for 18months for 2 amazing, beautiful children. But again, I was quick to want to lose the weight, look like all the ‘Celebrity Yummy Mummies’. I ran hours a day, I dieted for weeks on end. My body that remained was hollowed out breasts, stretch-marked tummy and thighs. I wish I had someone to tell me I was perfect the way I was.
In my 30’s I threw every challenge I could at my body both physically and mentally. How to be a Super Mum and run your own business, how to be a superhuman and be the CEO of a Not For Profit Organisation. Go run a few half marathons in the mix. How to work every hour of every day till exhaustion and still make time for kids, husband, family. Throw in a period with No exercise, bad diet, and boy you had a cocktail for destruction. I ended up putting on 15 kilos, making my small in stature height overweight. My face was puffy, my stomach had hardened bad fat I could feel. For the first time ever, I had Increased blood pressure and high cholesterol. I was also diagnosed with severe stress, depression, and anxiety.
So here we are today, with a friend who is far from overweight, worrying about her body, her amazing body that has done so much, and for what?
Oh, and the funny thing in all of this is that I DID have someone always telling me that I was perfect the way I was, every step of the way – My Husband and my Dad. But why did I not listen to them, why do we shun comments from the people we love the most? Because I know that this friend’s Partner WILL be telling her she is beautiful and amazing, and he LOVES her body.
So, I have come up with 7 points to help you navigate your way to SELF LOVE and ACCEPTANCE
1. We need to stop judging ourselves on others. I mean it right NOW.
We all know that Insta and Social Media are fake (regarding pictures and loads of content), let’s face it everybody takes a few pictures before they post to make sure they have the best angles, light, background etc. So why do we wish for something that may have been enhanced to be better than it actually is?
2. The health and fitness industry is a global Trillion Dollar business.
It feeds on your insecurities and needs for a “snake oil fix” to your perceived problem. Don’t buy into the mumbo jumbo, New Year’s Resolution crap. Drinking shakes for meals, popping pills to lose ‘fat’, buying and downloading apps by celebrities who have the next best workout to make you lose weight and feel great, are just means to take your money and get other people rich.
3 Being healthy is not just about your outside image.
Being healthy is having every part of your body working in harmony. Your mind, brain, immune system, muscles and skeletal system, your WHOLE BEING.
4. It is perfectly normal to NOT look like the next person.
We all have bodies, but not one looks identical to the other, seriously try and find something on your body that is EXACTLY the same as your friends. It is IMPOSSIBLE. So why are you trying to have the same arms as hers, or the same biceps as his, the fact is YOU CAN’T.
5. Respect your body.
Your body is the only one you will ever have, and hopefully for most of us for around 80 or so years, so look after it. And if you have things that are not right with your body, get them looked at, and treat your body with respect. I try and treat my body as the most expensive item I own. Now when you have a very expensive item, you look after it, you don’t abuse it, give it crap, leave it or break it. No, you nurture it, feed it with love and respect, give it all the good stuff. For me this means nurturing my body with good food, getting enough sleep each night and moving daily. I also make sure that my exercise is something that I really enjoy doing. So, find what works for you to respect your body to move each day.
6. Do what makes you happy.
We all have such limited time on earth, so why not try and spend each day doing something that makes you happy? When you do things that make you happy you create these wonderful chemicals in your body which affect your whole body, and those around you.
7. Love yourself first.
When you wake look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself how much you love YOU. It sounds weird, but when you can love yourself, you can love everybody else better.
I truly love my life, my family, my friends, my business and my clients. I have committed my life to helping Kids, Families, Individuals, and Communities to feel better about themselves through the power of Health, Wellness, and Movement.