18 April 2018

LEARNING TO LOVE MY BODY



I wanted to talk a little bit today about our own perception of ourselves, what we think others see when they meet us verses what they actually think! Not sure that made any sense but let's jump into it!

Some of you may already know that, about a month ago, I started another 'healthy eating' plan and, so far it is going well; I am four weeks in, half a stone lighter and staying totally on track with it all. When I mention my feelings on my body/weight to people it is often met with 'but you look fine as you are' and sometimes a little confusion over why I take things to the extreme when I put myself on these twelve week intensive plans, and this is what I wanted to talk about with you.

Life can be really bloody testing sometimes and we have all experienced physical insecurities for sure (we are, after all, only human!) but why are we so hard on ourselves when, the reality is, we would never be that hard on someone else! I was writing some blog posts for Leaf Lane Studio this week about different styles of wedding dresses and I was very determined not to keep referring to dresses as 'suiting this body type or that body shape', because that plants very negative feelings for someone and personally speaking I hate that kind of stuff! Whilst typing the posts up I was working my way through the dresses and thinking how amazing all different kinds of brides would look in them, so I tried to really boost the body positivity thing, because I genuinely believe people need to hear it and I really believe in getting that message out there, but then I realised something...

Guys, I am a f**king nightmare to myself when it comes to this stuff. How can I stand there and hand out advice and positivity to people and try and big other women up about how beautiful they are whilst I still feel super negative about my own body? WTF is that about?! Don't get me wrong, there are certainly good days where I just kind of accept where I am; a 37 year old woman who goes to the gym four to five times a week and is super careful with her diet (but also has hormones that can't decide what they are doing and a metabolic rate that looks at an oat and gains a pound!) but a large amount of my week is staring at myself in a mirror, grasping on to fat that I feel needs to 'do one' fast and wondering if I will ever feel comfortable in my own skin.

Some of you know my journey: when I was a bit younger I was a lot bigger, I qualified to work as a personal trainer, taught lots and lots of classes too, and worked with so many people towards their goals, but it is an ongoing battle for me. What I do feel though is that, despite personal thoughts on my own appearance, I will always be the one to hand out compliments and they will always be genuine and heartfelt because I never want anyone feeling how I felt at the hands of the people who told me how fat and ugly I was every single day. It really does stick in your brain doesn't it.

Much like the morning meditation I am currently doing, which is a manifestation/law of attraction thing, I see the whole giving other people a bit of positivity thing working much the same way on my own psyche; the more you say these things and look at all kinds of bodies with kindness, love and as having their own story to tell, that those happy thoughts will soak into my own mind and gradually water down the shit. It is happening, just very slowly. 

This time round, as I weigh out and measure out my food, train even though I am exhausted and drink enough water to re-float a sunken ship, I am really questioning my next move. What am I going to do post-plan? How am I going to stay positive and upbeat when I reintroduce foods that I really crave and I am just thinking that I will only succeed if I start to work on that mindset right now, rather than drop off the end of twelve weeks work into a dark hole of despair and self-loathing again. It is really tricky isn't it? 

What I do know is this: I am 37 and I do not want to still be feeling like I am at 40! So, I am learning every day, trying to practice a bit of self love every day too (by saying nice things to myself) and unpicking the places within my lifestyle that I may need to make a change of routine happen quickly.

That was all a bit of a mind-dump wasn't it! What are your opinions on this subject when it comes to your own body? I am keen to get your advice on how you feel good every single day or, if you used to feel bad about yourself and now feel better, how did you get there? If you fancy a chat in the comments I would love to hear from you!
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