Just because you're not physically where you want to be, doesn't mean there is anything wrong with where you currently are.
Many of us walk into this fitness/health lifestyle focused on something we "have to fix". I don't know about you, but when I think this kind of language, it creates a lot of resistance in my body, and suddenly I feel like another burden to myself. Like another project to work on.
THAT NEGATIVITY IS NOT THE WAY TO CREATE CHANGE. You cannot and should not HATE your way healthier. There is another way: acceptance (of the status quo), appreciation (for this newfound awareness), and respect (for the journey and the way your body carries you through it).
There is nothing wrong with desiring a different physique. There is nothing wrong with wanting to change. But recognize where it comes from....a FEELING (not an appearance). And that feeling can be created over and over again based on the actions you continuously set forth, not just AT the goal, but at many stops along the way.
Be KINDER to yourself on this journey. It will feel much more manageable and less overwhelming this way. Here's how you can start by hating your body a little less...
Love Yourself Tip 1: Mirror Exercise
Like leaving a negative Amazon review, it's always easier to pick apart what we think needs fixing. It's human nature to get more emotional about what needs improvement and crave evolution. But if we forget about what WORKS, if we take for granted what IS GOING RIGHT, we may just lose that quality, too.
It's time to focus on what you LOVE about your body.
Here's what to do: next chance you're alone and undisturbed for 10 minutes, it's time to get CRAZY...and by crazy, I mean dressing down to your undergarments and standing in front of the mirror. (Honestly, it's a little sad this makes many of us afraid).
Looking at your reflection (I KNOW, I KNOW... you're going to immediately focus on your perceived flaws...HUMAN NATURE!! But let's BUST that), your going to:
1) Take 30 seconds to a minute to take all of you in. Pay the most attention and pause at the areas you love, are proud of, or have helped you through a tough physical time. This can be something as tiny as your long eyelashes or as big as those stretch marks on your belly that carried life.
2) Speak out loud the 3-5 things you took time to appreciate...and do this looking right into the mirror. "I love you ___(insert body part)___ because you make me feel/help me do ___(feeling/activity)___.
Every time you catch yourself nit-picking yourself apart, think back to these things or try the exercise again. You are MORE than just your flaws. Let your best qualities be the focus for once.
Love Yourself Tip 2: Focus On The Things Your Body DOES
Working out & eating well is something you GET to DO....not something you HAVE to do. It's time we change our mindset: Do physical things to FEEL GOOD, don't do them because YOU FEEL BAD.
Example, I love to run! I remember the days I used to say, "I need to lose 10 lbs. so I am going to run 4 miles every day to do it". After years of this creating resistance to running,I decided this thinking no longer served me. I now run because it makes me FEEL powerful, it helps me get CLARITY on my day and my life, and it makes me feel FREE. The physical results will follow, but it's not the goal.
What ways do you genuinely enjoy to MOVE your body? Maybe it's an old pastime, such as dancing,hiking or riding a bike outdoors. Maybe you prefer slow rhythmic movement, like Yoga or Pilates, or something more feminine and powerful like pole dancing could be your jam! (Yes, pole dancing is HARD WORK and there isn't any shame). Maybe you've always been competitive by nature...compete with yourself and start work on getting stronger or faster!
The point is, DO THE THINGS that FEEL GOOD to do as part of this lifestyle! This is about so much more than just checking off workout boxes on your weekly to-do list. Empower yourself! Shake up your life! Have fun!
Also, no matter WHAT movement you choose...CELEBRATE IT. Celebrate your body for the things it's capable of ALLOWING you to experience, whether it's a walk in a park or climbing Mt. Fuji! It ALL counts. Your body is not something to LOATHE...it's something to respect, to treasure, to use to fully LIVE during your time on this planet.
So on your worst days remind yourself how your body walked you up that flight of stairs to work or allowed you to carry your sleepy child up to their bed. And use that positive thought to create a more positive physical experience.
Love Yourself Tip 3: Join the Body Positivity Movement
Know that body positivity isn't about LOVING your flaws, but being kind to them. You don't have to be best friends with your cellulite, your stretch marks, that extra cushion in your middle, or whatever physical trait you deem needs fixing. But you should RESPECT it, and last but not least, you should NOT BE ASHAMED of it.
Our body's all tell a story: the good parts and bad parts, alike. SO WHAT that you went through hell and back and gained a little extra in the process? SO WHAT that you went into survival mode to make it through that new job, degree, divorce, health scare, financial crisis and lost all your good results you worked so hard for? What matters is not what you've lived through, but how you use it to move forward.
By NOT APOLOGIZING for your story (while simultaneously not using it as an excuse that keeps you from your best), you never know who you will inspire.
None of us are perfect...not even the most incredible filter or airbrush technique can make someone perfect behind the scenes. We are all human, DESIGNED to be unique, including ever.y freckle and dimple and fold. That doesn't mean our differences are WRONG or that we are less than. We just have a different story to tell.
Your physical differences don't have to define you. By making peace with them and focusing on your best, that's where your light comes from. That's what turns heads in a room. And that's what will consistently get you results in a way that feels good.