5 bodylove tips for 2016

Happy new year darlings. May it be a great one!

Let me cut straight to the chase here: I don’t like january. For me, the start of a new year was always a bit triggering for bad diet behavior. Left and right, you’re bombarded with messages of becoming a “new you”, and a LOT of people will have weightloss resolutions and voice them loud and proud. you know, “This year I will lose 15 kilo’s and finally be happy with my body”, that sort of thing. And honestly, I hate seeing that kind of message appear in my newsfeed 20 times a day.

If you want to make changes to your body, go ahead. There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to lose weight, you go girl. But I do have a couple of words of encouragement for you. Because chances are you were her before last year, and the year before. And you probably start off great for a couple of months, only to end up disappointed and frustrated, most likely at the same weight (or even a couple kilo’s extra). Until the new year comes around, and you decide that that year is going to be THE YEAR you finally do it for real, and you play the game all over again.

I know this, because I’ve been there. I’ve played the game so many times. I’m done playing now, and I’m much happier and healthier since I got out of that hamsterwheel.

So I want to share my 5 tips with you to love your body better this year, in hopes that my mistakes won’t have to be yours.

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It’s so easy to get caught up in what the scale says, or even what the label in your jeans says. And when you’re bombarded with succes stories on weightloss, it’s so easy to get frustrated. Truth is that sometimes, even when you’ve worked hard, the scale won’t reflect this. It will happen. On those days, instead of getting disappointed, focus on all the things you have achieved so far.

This has been a bit of a personal struggle for me, because 20 years of dieting has taught me to measure my value by what the scale says… which is bullshit. All the scale does is measure weight, not worth. So don’t let it define how you feel about yourseld. Instead, take a couple of deep breaths and remind yourself of all the great thing you’ve done already and how hard you work.  Don’t let numbers fuck you up, and remind yourself of why you’re really doing this. To feel happy and healthy, right? In the end that is all that matters, so stop measuring and start feeling.

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Work out because you love your body. Eat right because you love your body. It will make a world  of difference. I can not stress this enough. There are multiple industries making billions on keeping you in a negative mindset. We are told to use exercise as punishment and food as a guilt trap. You think you don’t do this? Ever said to yourself “man I’ve eaten so much today, I’m going to eat soup and water for the next 2 days!”. Or “hm, I could have that piece of cake, but then I’ll have to go for an extra run tomorrow”. You’ve never talked about “clean” eating and “guilty” pleasures? They may seem like the simplest thoughts, and you’ve probably never realized how these can be damaging, but they are. This way of thinking narrows the focus of movement and nourishment to one thing: your weight.

Instead, try thinking of it this way: don’t exercise because you want to lose weight. Exercise because it’s good for you, and because it makes you feel good… Because it’s the best thing you could do for your body. It is literally built to move. Doesn’t matter if it’s playing sports or hitting the gym or simply going for a walk every day, whatever you want, whatever makes you feel good.  Same story with food: your body DESERVES to be cherished and nourished. It deserves to be treated well.

Do not punish your body for what it looks like anymore: that road has led you nowhere before and it will still lead you nowhere.

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Bodylove is unconditional. Loving your body only when it is thin or only when it fits into a smaller size or only when it has a thighgap, is like a mother loving her children only when they behave. So many people confuse “bodylove” with “I want to stay exactly as I am” and that is simply not true. If you want to lose weight or change, go for it. But love yourself while doing it. Not only will it make your journey easier, but you will end up a lot happier.

The biggest lie women are told is that self acceptance and bodylove comes automatically if you lose some weight. It doesn’t. There must be millions of unhappy women who lost weight and are still unhappy with their body. The ability to love yourself and the ability to lose weight are 2 completely seperate journeys. Love your body now. (yeah I know I’m repeating this a lot but it’s just that important!).

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If you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, don’t say it to yourself. If you wouldn’t do it to your best friend, don’t do it to yourself. You would never dream of telling your best friend she is a disgusting fat pig and a failure, right? And if your friend was having a really hard time, you’d do anything to make her feel better instead of trying to make her feel even worse by being mean to her, right? Your body has literally always been there for you and it would do everything to keep you alive and well. It is the most amazing thing you will ever own, so treat it that way.

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Whoever is reading this; I don’t know you. But I want you to succeed. I want you to be happy. And more often than not, we are our own worst critics, standing in the way of our own happiness. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself and give yourself time to accomplish whatever it is you want to accomplish. Just because it took you longer than others, doesn’t mean you failed.

 

You can do this darling.