I’ve never really been comfortable or confident in my bod in the past. There’s always been 5kg to lose. Love handles to eradicate. Abs to chisel. I’ve wanted to be taller, have slimmer thighs, a firmer butt, less cellulite, the list goes on. I’d dread wearing a bikini or getting naked in front of my boyfriend. I’d suck my belly in and tape my boobs down. Yes, I have literally done that!
But in the past 6 months I’ve finally started to fall in love with my body and how amazing it is, by choosing to exercise from a place of love, rather than a place of fear.
I can’t believe how different my exercise regime looks today than it did 12 months ago. How much LESS I am doing and how much HAPPIER my body is.
Today, I exercise because it makes me feel good, not because I’m afraid of getting fat.
And as happens, I’ve ended up losing that ‘Yes I’ve Been Eating My Way Around Europe’ look that I was working so hard at ditching. Funny how these things work like that.
So following on from last week’s VLOG on choosing LOVE over FEAR when it comes to nourishing and loving your body, I really want to help break down this transition for you. Which is what has inspired this 3 day blog series.
Today we start with the basics. Try these on for size.
Lose the Scales
I used to be able to tell you my exact weight, measurements, waist to hip ratio, BMI and body fat percentage. I used to weigh myself every, single day. I can tell you exactly what I weighed on any given day in the past 10 years – obsessed much?
Yeah, you could say that.
And for what?
Tell me, when is the amount of kgs you weigh EVER going to determine anything of substance in your life? Your body is made up of water, muscle, fat, skin, blood, bone, hair, organs – there’s a lot of stuff going on there y’know.
Unless you are a professional jockey, boxer or maybe a motorcycle rider, you need to throw those damn scales out. IT FEELS SO GOOD.
Instead, focus on how you feel in your clothes, how strong or flexible you’re becoming, how much better your food is digesting, how less bloated you are, how healthy your skin is looking, how much longer you can keep up – all the real benefits of a healthy exercise regime.
Repeat after me. My weight is purely a numerical reflection of my relationship with gravity.
Listen to your Body
You hear this one all the time. But what does it really mean? Where do I listen? Listen for what?
Previously, I had zero idea how to listen to my body. I just did what I thought I should do, so I slogged it out at the gym, sometimes twice a day with a rigid schedule that became almost torturous. And I wasn’t losing any weight!?
Today, I commit to exercising every day, but I check in with my body every morning and see what it needs. This means being present, breathing and checking energy levels. Sussing out your mental clarity. This means literally feeling your skin, muscles and limbs. Self-massage. Tuning in.
Do I feel sore and tight? Maybe I’ll just do half an hour of stretching. Do I feel super energised? Then I’ll go for a run or attack some stairs. Irritated after a long day at work? Maybe something outdoors. Do I feel like a long walk or just a swim at the beach? I’ll go do that then.
Your body is smart, it knows what it needs better than your strict schedule of cardio/weights does. Try listening to it a bit more. You’ll enjoy exercising far more and be more inclined to get up the next day and do it all over again.
Repeat after me. What does my body really need today?
Create an intention: Caring vs Calories
Caring for your body via an exercise regime creates a nourishing environment for your body to thrive in, as opposed to a guilt-ridden place of calorie counting.
I used to be able to tell you how many calories I’d eaten in a day and how many I’d need to burn at the gym to lose that last 5kg. My intention for exercising was always to lose weight and was directly linked to my eating habits; if I over indulged in thai takeaway or chocolate mousse, I’d console my conscience by running 10km the next day. Sound familiar?
Calorie consumption was a major motivator. I sniggered at yoga, pilates and gentle walks and instead chose whatever activity would burn the most amount of energy in the shortest amount of time. Exhausting.
Instead, try choosing an intention before each sweaty session and it becomes an act of self love. You could create an intention to clear your head, have fun, increase energy levels, de-stress, aid your digestive system or flush out toxins. You could focus on strengthening, stretching and balancing, creating mental clarity or even aiding your creativity.
Repeat after me. I exercise with the intention of caring for my body.
To me, these are the basics when it comes to making the transition to body love. Click here for part 2 where we get GET REAL and get really super honest with ourselves when it comes to exercise and our bodies.
Are you battling to fall in love with your body? What do you LOVE about exercising?
Let me know in the comments below and shout out if you’ve got any other ideas that help to fall head over heels in love with exercise and your body.
And PS. You are SO gorgeous