Hey Mama, You’re wondering how to kick the “I don’t like how I look” habit that’s lasted most of your lifetime. I see you, you’ve literally tried to shake off all of those nasty feelings of feeling fat and frumpy. You’ve tried all the sugar/fat/carb-free diets, you’ve even tried the diets that were not diets but a way of life, and you’ve bought the workout gear and used it a few times (now you wear those leggings while doing your food shop). You’ve spent hours googling for the answers and asking your friends, family, and mum groups for the secret on how to look like an Insta fitness influencer. They’ve all just suggested the same things: a new diet/workout plan/let’s do it together plan.
And while you’re talking smack about your body and eating a different meal from your kids — they are there. You are your children’s greatest role model, and you can choose whether you show them how to be body confident and have a healthy relationship with food or if you show them how to feel bad in their bodies and have a strange relationship with food.
Here are some easy tips on how to change your relationship with yourself and nourishing your body.
1. Forget the diet industry
The diet industry is based on making you feel like you’re lacking something and that the answer to what you’re lacking is a diet. Yes, you will lose weight temporarily but at what cost? Diets have a sneaky way of taking over your life, filling up your headspace, and shrinking your life. And diets don’t even work!!! It has been proven countless times that diets make you gain weight. Once you start to nourish your body normally again you often end up gaining back the weight and some extra. Then the diet industry has the cheek to put the blame on you, it was your fault because you didn’t follow the rules (that were designed for you to fail). Then what happens… you end up signing up for a different diet, a BETTER diet… and you start the whole thing all over again.
2. Fat is not a dirty word
The word fat is often thrown around as an insult. I’ve personally been called fat many times. The word used to make my blood chill. I had a fear of it and I physically felt pain when people called me fat. But now that word is neutral to me, it is just an adjective, no different from tall, blue, or soft. We can all internalise fatphobia and create a fear of becoming fat. But there is nothing wrong with gaining weight or fat. No matter what your size, your body deserves to be treated with love and respect, especially from yourself.
Take your focus off what you don’t like about your body and place it on gratitude. Your body is incredible! It does so much for you, even when you think or say unkind things about it, your body keeps doing its best. Instead of creating a diet plan, sit down and write a list of reasons why you’re grateful for your body. Number one should be that it is KEEPING YOU ALIVE. Take a few moments and just think about all the great things that your body does for you.
4. Stop body bashing
Stop saying crap about your body when you’re with friends. Drop phrases like “I’m so fat”, “I hate my (insert body part)”, “I wish that I looked like that”, etc. Instead, get into the habit of praising yourself and others. Stop ripping on celebs while you are at it and instead get into the habit of praising others for their successes and courage.
5. Throw it out
Get rid of any leaflets and booklets that you have from the diets you did in the past. You don’t want them hanging around as a temptation. Delete whatever you have on your computer. Just say goodbye to it like you would with a bad ex. The same goes for old clothes from long ago that no longer fit you. Donate those clothes, they served you once and it’s ok for them to serve someone else now.
Do things because you love doing them, not because you feel like you “have to”. For example, I personally exercise because I love how movement makes me feel; strong, empowered, and like a total badass. Replace movement that you don’t like with things that make you feel good. Explore yoga, Pilates, wall climbing, swimming, whatever. Own that movement as something that is for enjoyment and not for weight loss.
7. Forgive yourself
Forgive yourself for ever mistreating your body in the past. You can always start a new relationship with yourself. One where you see all foods as good. One where you eat to nourish yourself. One where you listen to your natural body cues. One where you don’t worry about the calories and points in foods. One where you start to accept your body… and someday… maybe even love it.