Self Love Series: Your Body Is A Wonderland – Stop Hating It

I’m about to get really raw here. I feel incredibly vulnerable talking about body image stuff because although I’m in a much better place with loving myself and my body than I was a couple of years ago, I certainly don’t have it all figured out…and I’m not sure I ever will. But I thought it would be inauthentic to create a Self Love Series without addressing the negative feelings we often have about our bodies or sharing my own struggle.

I was a bit of a late bloomer when it came to hating my thighs or trying to make my body conform to the images I saw all over the television. Maybe that’s because growing up with a single mom who was an abusive alcoholic/drug addict left me little time to worry about how my body looked compared to the other girls; maybe it’s because the women in my family constantly commented on how lucky I was to be “skinny” so it never occurred to me to worry about my weight. Whatever the reason, I had no concept of what number I should covet on the scale or what an acceptable pants size was until I was a junior in high school.

All the girls I knew were on diets, and “needed” to lose 10 lbs. I started paying attention. I started comparing the size of my legs (too thick), my butt (too big), my boobs (too small) to theirs. I started reading fashion magazines and tabloids. My body definitely didn’t look like any of those bodies. And so it began.

Fast forward to now and I can tell you I have been every size from 2 to 20. I’ve tried every diet under the sun, from Slimfast (remember the powder you mixed with water, and stirred into a chalky sludge back in the day?) to fat-free everything, to South Beach, to being vegan, to juicing. And then there was the over exercising. Grueling workouts that made me feel like I was going to puke, or pass out, or worse; going to the gym for two hours at a time, doing 2-3 workouts in a day, spending hours on the treadmill, bootcamps, personal trainers…you name it, I did it.

I hated my body–everything about it. I’m truly embarrassed about the way that I used to speak to myself. I was so hateful…as if cruelty would be my catalyst for achieving perfection. I tried with every fiber of my being to beat my body into submission, until one day I just couldn’t do it anymore.

In 2015 I was diagnosed with adrenal failure, Leaky Gut Syndrome and a slew of other hormonal imbalances. My body had had enough. The years of trying to mold it into something it’s not, and the constant stress that went along with that took a huge toll. My body was desperate to be cared for; to be nurtured, and loved. And I realized I didn’t want to use another ounce of my energy trying to change my body and make it smaller. I was all done counting calories, eliminating certain food groups, and killing myself in the gym. Honestly, constantly trying to fix my body was never going to be the solution anyway. It was just a diversion that was keeping me from moving forward in my life.

Now I hover at a size 14, and I try not to get on the scale. I stick to real, whole foods most of the time, but I refuse to diet and I won’t deprive myself of anything I truly want. My workouts are no longer a way to earn certain foods or a means of punishing myself for eating them. I move my body in a way that makes me feel empowered and strong. Some days that’s lifting weights, other days it’s walking outside with my dog.

Would I still like to lose weight, or have a flat stomach again? YES. I’m not gonna lie. And I still get a little down sometimes and think, what if I’m this size forever? And the answer to that question is always, well, then I’m sure as hell not going to punish myself for it! And I reaffirm the pact I made with myself two years ago to always treat myself with kindness and ask my intuition what I truly need to feel good.

These days I choose to focus on the things I appreciate about my body. I choose to only wear clothes I love, and I’ll spend the extra money on things that are comfortable and flattering. I don’t try to squeeze myself into a smaller size to feel better about the number, and I don’t wear things that hide every inch of me and hang over me like a tent. I choose to treat myself to things that make me feel beautiful, like pedicures and flowers and lip gloss.

But the most important thing I do every day is remind myself that losing weight is not the purpose of my life.

Christy  xo

 

Self-Love Is A Dirty Word

As women, we get a lot of messages that other people are more important than we are. We’re taught that our families, our friends, and our communities should come first. Even our responsibilities tend to make the to-do list before our own needs are met.

Society has taught us well. We have so much collective guilt around admitting that we have any needs at all. Doing anything for ourselves is often perceived as selfish. Bad mothers are selfish…good mothers are selfless.

The problem with society’s logic is that it fosters a sense of insecurity within us. When we focus so heavily on taking care of other people’s needs, we lose the ability to trust ourselves and be guided internally. We lose that connection to our intuition, and we feel lost.

Case in point: how many times have you thought back to the passion you had for something when you were younger, and wished you could feel that way again? How often have you felt like you weren’t even sure what your interests are anymore? I used to feel that way all the time…and there was so much anxiety around those thoughts, because I wondered if I would ever figure it out. What if I ended up wasting my entire life never knowing what I wanted to be, or do or have?

Putting yourself first allows you to cultivate a sense of worthiness and deserving. It allows you to recharge, and relearn how to connect with that intuitive part of yourself that knows what’s right for you.

They say that you teach what you most need to learn, and I desperately needed to learn that making my needs a priority (even sometimes over my family’s needs) was necessary to feel whole again. Doing so allowed me to reconnect with who I was besides being a wife and a mom. It rekindled my curiosity and creativity, which gave me a new sense of meaning and purpose; one that was just my own.

So how can you practice loving yourself more and reestablish that connection to your intuition?

  • Work With A Coach – a good coach can help you pinpoint your blocks, dispel any limiting beliefs you have, and give you the tools to change behaviors and patterns that aren’t serving you. Do you need a coach to accomplish these things? Nope. But it can definitely take years off of the process.
  • Create a Daily Self-Care Ritual – setting aside time for yourself each day that you can count on and look forward to (even if it’s just a few minutes) allows you to get quiet and be present to what you truly need and how you really feel. We spend so much of our day doing and going, and that can lead to a constant feeling of overwhelm. A daily ritual reduces stress and reestablishes a sense of trust that you can count on your needs being met.
  • “Flip The Script” Affirmations – We all have a million habitual thoughts running through our brains on a daily basis, and most of them are preventing us from creating the lives we want.  The good news is, you can totally change that! So, when you have a thought like, At 42, I’m too old to go back to school, change it to something like, I may face different challenges than traditional students, but there’s nothing I can’t figure out. I find writing out the positive version of my thoughts in a journal to be a powerful way to establish new patterns; and the more you do it, the more automatic it becomes.

Self-love takes some practice. And as moms, it’s hard to wrap our minds around the idea that taking care of our needs first can actually make us better spouses, better parents, better friends, and better bosses. It was a sobering thought for me to realize that from a very young age, my daughters were watching me. And that in seeing how I treated myself, they were learning how to perceive their own value and worth. I wanted to be a better example.

Christy  xo

P. S. If you’re feeling stuck and aren’t sure what the next steps are or how to take them, I’d love to be able to help you map out a plan and support you.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY FOR A FREE CLARITY SESSION WITH ME.

You don’t need to have everything figured out in order to have this conversation. You just need to be willing to explore your next steps.

I Choose Hope

There are a lot of pretty unbelievable things going on right now. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid for what more is to come. I’d be lying if I said I was certain everything would turn out okay in the end. The political landscape of our country has changed drastically, and these are scary times.

But…

I don’t think I’ve ever in my lifetime seen so many people come together as I have in these last weeks. At a time when many of us feel shame for what’s happening in our government and the direction our country seems to be headed, I’ve had the privilege to witness legions of people reach out to others in solidarity and love.

That makes me proud. I realize I have a choice as to how I experience what’s happening around me. And how I choose to experience it will be the energy I bring to my contribution to change it. So, I choose hope.

Christy  xo

P.S. I have a gift for you! Check out my FREE audio & PDF guide, Create Your Happy, Hot, & Healthy Life! Inside I share 5 super simple tips I used to reconnect with myself, find happiness, and create a life I truly love!