Archive for the tag - love your body

I Hate My Body - Help!

Dear Davey,

I hate my body. There’s no point in mincing words. When I look in the mirror, I’m disgusted by what I see.

You talk a lot about loving your body. It sounds great and wonderful, but how can I possibly learn to love a body that I hate so much?


too-fatHey Lex,

I appreciate your honesty and know that many people, to varying degrees, can relate to your experience.

First and foremost, it’s important to give yourself the gift of professional help. When we are in difficult situations, it’s important to lean on the people who are trained to help us. Reach out.

Recently, I came across an amazing list compiled by the National Eating Disorders Association and Margo Maine, PhD. It’s 20 ways to love yourself, and it goes as follows:

  1. Think of your body as the vehicle to your dreams. Honor it. Respect it. Fuel it.
  2. Create a list of all the things your body lets you do. Read it and add to it often.
  3. Become aware of what your body can do each day. Remember it is the instrument of your life, not just an ornament.
  4. Create a list of people you admire: people who have contributed to your life, your community, or the world. Consider whether their appearance was important to their success and accomplishments.
  5. Walk with your head held high, supported by pride and confidence in yourself as a person.
  6. Don’t let your weight or shape keep you from activities that you enjoy.
  7. Wear comfortable clothes that you like, that express your personal style, and that feel good to your body.
  8. Count your blessings, not your blemishes.
  9. Think about all the things you could accomplish with the time and energy you currently spend worrying about your body and appearance. Try one!
  10. Be your body’s friend and supporter, not its enemy.
  11. Consider this: your skin replaces itself once a month, your stomach lining every five days, your liver every six weeks, and your skeleton every three months.  Your body is extraordinary—begin to respect and appreciate it.
  12. Every morning when you wake up, thank your body for resting and rejuvenating itself so you can enjoy the day.
  13. Every evening when you go to bed, tell your body how much you appreciate what it has allowed you to do throughout the day.
  14. Find a method of exercise that you enjoy and do it regularly. Don’t exercise to lose weight or to fight your body. Do it to make your body healthy and strong and because it makes you feel good. Exercise for the Three F’s: Fun, Fitness, and Friendship.
  15. Think back to a time in your life when you felt good about your body. Loving your body means you get to feel like that again, even in this body, at this age.
  16. Keep a list of 10 positive things about yourself—without mentioning your appearance. Add to it daily!
  17. Put a sign on each of your mirrors saying, “I’m beautiful inside and out.”
  18. Search for the beauty in the world and in yourself.
  19. Consider that, “Life is too short to waste my time hating my body this way.”
  20. Eat when you are hungry. Rest when you are tired. Surround yourself with people that remind you of your inner strength and beauty.

After reading through the above list, it’s my hope that at least a few of the points will resonate with you. If they do, put them to work for you. And if you have any additional suggestions, please share them in the comments below!


Exercise to Build Body Confidence.

I'd like to get more than my car serviced at this car wash...

If you exercise and eat right, it’s no secret that you’ll transform your body. You’ll be stronger, fitter and healthier - and it will certainly boost your confidence. But I think the reverse is true, too.

Hear me out.

Let’s pretend you get a new car. It’s your pride and your joy. Because you really enjoy this car, and because it’s something you value, you take care of it. You wash it regularly, clean it - and maybe even apply a few layers of wax. You change the oil and have it serviced regularly. You might even fill your car with premium fuel. Because it’s something that you appreciate, you invest time and energy into it.

I think the same is true for our bodies: As I learn to value and appreciate my body, it’s easier for me to make decisions that honor it. Because I value my body, I want to treat it right.

I’m grateful for my body and the functions it performs. As such, I want to keep it in prime condition. Fueling my body with candy or fried foods becomes less appealing; my body deserves so much more. And because our bodies crave to move and to stretch and to play, going to the gym is a wonderful way to honor it.

Yes, exercise and nutrition can make us feel better about our bodies. But feeling better about our bodies can also inspire us to exercise and eat right. In other words, it’s an incredible and empowering feedback loop that you can put to good use.

11 Ways to Honor Your Body.

How will you honor your body today?

This world is full of amazing experiences, things to do, mountains to climb, people to meet and delicious foods to eat. But of all the things to do on this planet, just about all of them require the use of your body. Since we only get one body, it makes sense to be nice to it. If you’re abusive, hateful or unkind to your body, it will hinder your journey - or perhaps even worse.

It’s cliché to say that our bodies are temples. Most clichés are clichés because they contain a truth so powerful that it’s been spoken again and again (until we forget what it means). Your body is a temple of flesh and bones in which a great spirit dwells; no other space is more sacred.

Through your actions, words and thoughts, honor your body. Here are 11 ideas for doing just that:

  1. Give your body gifts. Schedule time with a masseuse or give yourself a massage with some lotion or oils. Don’t be stingy. Indulge. And feel love and gratitude instead of guilt.
  2. Do a check-in. While our bodies are our constant companion, we often neglect this special relationship. Take a few minutes to scan through your body, starting with your toes and ending at the tip of your head. Using your mind, tune into each section of your body - one at a time - and experience the sensations with awareness.
  3. Nourish your body with healthy foods. Don’t defile the temple that is your body with toxic food choices. Consume the foods that your body craves - such lean meats, fruits, water, nuts, berries and vegetables. Honor your body through each meal choice you make.
  4. Write an apology to your body. We don’t always honor our bodies with the things we do, say and think - but your body is willing to forgive. Write an apology to your body and then release any shame or guilt.
  5. Refocus your energy. Imagine if you used all the energy and effort that you expend criticizing your body’s appearance into something more productive? Free up this energy and use it to move your life forward rather than to hold you back.
  6. Express gratitude. Right now, write down 10 things that your body is doing for you. Express gratitude for the blessing that is your body.
  7. Move! There are more than 600 muscles in the human body; it is made to move! Honor your body with exercise. Walk in the park, jog with a friend, take a hike, download a yoga DVD or join a gym.
  8. Shift negative self-talk. Negativity begets more negativity, and it often expresses itself in unhealthy behavior; thoughts become actions - and these actions shape our lives. When you find yourself engaging in negative self-talk (i.e., “I look fat today…”), simply become aware of the commentary and then shift it. Focus, instead, on something else - such as an inspiring quote or mantra. Breathe energy into what you want, rather than what you don’t.
  9. Build supportive relationships. Make the conscious choice to surround yourself with people that support you, your efforts and your body. If people in your criticize your body or the way you look, redefine that friendship or relationship.
  10. Morning thanks. When you wake up, thank your body for all that it does and all that it will do. This positive energy will infuse your day with vitality.
  11. Evening thanks. When you go to bed, thank your body for all that it does and has done. Let this positive energy carry your body to sleep as it revitalizes and rejuvenates for another day.

How will you honor your body today? Let me know in the comments below.

Love Your Body and Lose Weight.

I’ve mentioned the importance of love when it comes to lasting fitness results. When you love yourself and your body, you’re more likely to make healthier decisions that benefit and nourish it - like following proper nutrition and honoring your body with movement. For many people, the whole concept may seem a bit too “out there” - but, thanks to a new study, you don’t have to take my word for it.

Researchers from the Technical University of Lisbon and Bangor University studied obese women over the course of a year. The women were divided into two groups. The first group was given general health and nutrition information. The second group attended weekly sessions where they discussed ways to improve body image, overcoming personal issues, emotional eating, etc.

Women in the second group reported an increase in positive feelings toward their bodies and reduced concerns about body shape and size. Moreover, women in this second group lost more than three times the amount of weight. While women in the control group lost 2% of their body weight, women in the second group were able to release 7%.

Dr. Teixeira, the study’s lead researcher, concluded as follows:

Body image problems are very common amongst overweight and obese people, often leading to comfort eating and more rigid eating patterns, and are obstacles to losing weight. Our results showed a strong correlation between improvements in body image, especially in reducing anxiety about other peoples’ opinions, and positive changes in eating behavior. From this we believe that learning to relate to your body in healthier ways is an important aspect of maintaining weight loss and should be addressed in every weight control program.

Turns out, a little love can go a long way - and true and lasting change occurs from the inside out. For further reading, check out 5 ways to honor your body.

The Secret to Losing Weight. [Video]

This exercise is a powerful and effective way to help you release weight. It’s simple, easy and doesn’t even require that you leave your computer check. Click below to watch the video.

A huge thank you to my friend and spiritual weight loss coach, Diane Petrella, for sharing this exercise with us.