FALLING IN LOVE
WITH YOUR BODY
“Look! I just LOVE how my hair looks!”
“EMILY! You CAN’T SAY THAT!”
I was overhearing this conversation between my daughter, Emily, and one of her friends, Jen. My daughter was the one talking herself up. Her friend was the one admonishing her about the “impropriety” of admiring her own hair.
I stepped in - in love.
“Emily, I am so GLAD you love your hair – and Jen I want YOU to love your hair too! In fact, I want both you girls to love everything about your looks and your body.”
How different my experience of life might have been if I had learned to love my body when I was young.
I can honestly say I love my body now – as a whole. I do not think it is perfect, it is not. But over time, I determined that I would enjoy and be appreciative of my unique features, including my short stature and my flat chest.
In fact, it took me a VERY long time to ever put on shorts. I hated my legs. For most of my life up into adulthood, I didn't want people looking at my legs – until I became aware WHY I hated them. In a flash of insight - a brief gift from God - I remembered the very moment I began to hate my legs. I saw in my mind's eye exactly who said “what” and the precise instant I decided to hate them.
Once I recognized the source of this lifelong insecurity about my legs, I realized I could change my thoughts around that memory. I could choose to “read” differently what the person was saying when they said it. I could choose to LIKE my legs again. And guess what? I started wearing shorts!
I have been working with a lot of women, for a very long time, on eating and exercising. I have made it my life's work. I wish I could tell you there is a magic bullet, a miracle pill, a way to achieve instant weight loss success – but there is not.
For the most part, though, I have actually found the biggest block or obstacle is NOT about eating per se or exercising (and yes, you MUST do these things to be healthy). The greatest barrier to weight loss involves learning, discovering, and overcoming your own negative thoughts and perceptions about what eating is, what exercise does and most importantly how you look at and your perceptions about your own body. That is where you must start.
And that is just the beginning.
There is no quick fix. If there was, it would be out there and the billion dollar exercise/supplement/diet industry would be a thing of the past.
So, here is a small word of encouragement: there is hope, there is a way, there is a type of thinking that you can LEARN. You can learn to love yourself now. You can learn to love taking care of yourself (I can almost hear an audible gasp from the giver personalities). You can learn to love your body AS IT IS while taking it to a better place.
In fact, you cannot carry through on any long-term commitment to transform your body and your health unless it is an act of self-love.
That better place is worth finding. It is a place where you will feel better and have more energy. Your life will change when you change your body from sick to healthy, weak to strong. You will go from feeling dead to feeling ALIVE for the first time in a long time. How could your life not change? Your body is you.
The journey from here to there, if you are surrounded by people who encourage you and love you and push you to be your best, can actually be... Dare I say it? Fun. (Oh, I can hear my clients from Fit Body Boot Camp groaning right now. Let me take that back.) Well, let's just say it can be fun at times. At other times, you will cry because you want that box of Twinkies so bad.
But it is possible. You CAN do this. For some of you, if you don't, you are facing some terrifying health consequences.
Touch your face, stroke your own hair, hug yourself and say: we will take better care of one another from now on. Body, mind, soul and spirit. Harness the energy and love from every part of yourself - and begin.
Or for some of us: begin again.
Hopefully, over the next several months, you will check in and we can journey together to find and use the wisdom and understanding that exists – to take care of and cherish this precious body of yours that is a fearfully and wonderfully made GIFT of God.
We can do this. Together. That's why I'm here.
Robyn is co-owner of Fit Body Boot Camp in Roanoke, Virginia. Its two locations just became three. Robyn is married to the love of her life and has three children. (And she has amazing legs.)