When I was running I learnt to become very strict with my intake of everything and once I stopped having that focus I had a period of adjustment where I had to find my new normal and new way of living well … These days I am still mindful but I have learnt to adopt the 80/20 rule. With Easter around the corner I am very aware of my own need to be kind to myself and enjoy the celebration without beating myself up.
It reminds me of the need to learn healthy thought patterns in our lives because the more we practise them the better we feel about who we are and the body we naturally have. Whilst remembering we are all human and there is no such thing as a ‘perfect human’ … here’s a list of things I keep at the back of my mind whenever the gremlins start to take over.
- Appreciate all that your body can do. Every day your body carries you closer to your dreams. Celebrate all of the amazing things your body does for you—running, dancing, breathing, laughing, dreaming, etc.
- Keep a top-ten list of things you like about yourself—things that aren’t related to how much you weigh or what you look like. Read your list often. Add to it as you become aware of more things to like about yourself.
- Remind yourself that “true beauty” is not simply skin-deep. When you feel good about yourself and who you are, you carry yourself with a sense of confidence, self-acceptance, and openness that makes you beautiful. Beauty is a state of mind, not a state of your body.
- Look at yourself as a whole person. When you see yourself in a mirror or in your mind, choose not to focus on specific body parts. See yourself as you want others to see you — as a whole person.
- Surround yourself with positive people. It is easier to feel good about yourself and your body when you are around others who are supportive and who recognize the importance of liking yourself just as you naturally are.
- Shut down those voices in your head that tell you your body is not “right” or that you are a “bad” person. You can overpower those negative thoughts with positive ones. The next time you start to tear yourself down, build yourself back up with a few quick affirmations that work for you.
- Wear clothes that are comfortable and that make you feel good about your body. Work with your body, not against it.
- Be aware of the other side of social media and remind yourself that not all we see is reality. Pay attention to images, slogans, or attitudes that make you feel bad about yourself or your body. Notice it all and choose to observe not judge it or yourself and remember comparison is always the thief of joy
- Do something nice for yourself — something that lets your body know you appreciate it. Take a bubble bath, make time for a nap, or find a peaceful place outside to relax
- Use the time and energy that you might have spent worrying about food, calories, and your weight to do something to help others. Sometimes reaching out to other people can help you feel better about yourself and can make a positive change in our world.