January is typically a time when my girlfriends start complaining about the five pounds they gained over Christmas, start fasting & juicing and generally beat themselves up for over-indulging. And I honestly hate it! It reminds me of a time when I too used to be a yo-yo dieter and wasn’t happy unless the scales were tipping in my favour and I was wearing my “skinniest” jeans (usually a size 4). I now wear a size 10 and couldn’t be happier about it. As women we’re taught to be a certain size, taught that clothes look best when we’re small, and sadly I see the message reinforced throughout blogging as well. My snapchat seems littered with vegan salads, roasted cauliflower entrees (um, so not dinner) and women that generally strike me as too petrified to eat. Or if they do “indulge,” they rush to the gym to correct a wrong because they’ve been bad!
This year, it’s my goal to eat “normally,” exercise moderately and let the scales fall where they may… accept my size and move on with my life. I want to be strong, well nourished and energized. Our bones, heart health, muscles and organs depend on it and it petrifies me that I’ve put my health at risk in the past. No more, friends, no more! So with that, I thought I’d share a few tips on how to love your body and start nurturing the beautiful person you are:
1. Buy Clothes That Fit: I recently gave away all my in-between sizes, or anything else that didn’t quite fit and it replaced with clothes that don’t inevitably make me feel like crap if I choose to splurge on a cheeseburger & fries instead of a salad. For me, sizing up in jeans has helped a lot and I love wearing comfy leggings! I typically wear mine with simple dresses & booties, or a snuggly tunic sweater!
2. Find New Role Models: Whether it’s your BFF, a co-worker, or a blogger… surround yourself with positive women that love their bodies and are committed to healthy living. In the past, I’ve definitely had to say goodbye to a few toxic girlfriends. Sad, but necessary! They were obsessive dieters and always quick to body shame other women. Ugh! It’s toxic, it’ll drag you down and it’s totally okay to say goodbye to those kinds of friendships!
3. Eat Balanced Meals: Nothing screams self love like eating complete and nourishing meals and caring for your well being/overall health. With each meal, I like to focus on a carb with veggies, protein and fat. Keeping my meals balanced helps with my energy levels and helps fight off daily stressors. Not to mention, skipping meals slows your metabolism, depletes your electrolytes (you need those to help your heart function properly) and you loose muscle tone. Yikes!
4. Move Your Body: Going for a hike with our pooch, starting my day off with yoga, or taking a dance class… are all wonderful ways to de-stress my body and feel empowered + body happy. I typically aim for 45 minutes of daily moderate exercise and I’m careful not to over do it. I like creating a routine that’s easy to stick to so I won’t fall of “the wagon” because I’ve created a workout schedule that’s too hard to maintain. Remember it’s supposed to be fun, and you’re more likely to succeed if your goals are attainable!
5. Fill Yourself Up: Rather than pouring over social media (guilty) and obsessing over my closet, I’ve started looking for meaningful ways to go beyond body image and start validating the good things my body “can do” rather than focus on how I look. Things like giving back to my community, or volunteering at a local animal shelter are all wonderful ways to re-connect in a positive way.
6. Practice Kindness: Booking an after-work massage, getting a pedicure, pouring a bubble bath, or curling up in bed with tea & your favourite book are all wonderful ways to practice kindness and carve a little time out for yourself. Rushing, pressure, and comparison all lead to self neglect… and for me, that has translated into a lot of unhealthy work & body habits. But as I mentioned in my 2017 goals, these are all things I’m so excited to start working on! xo