For a long time in my life I suffered. Especially when it came to my body. I think there is this overwhelming pressure to struggle to get what we want in life. From a very young age we, especially women, are encouraged to struggle. We should be restricting, counting calories, and exercising! There is no joy in the process. It’s all about aggressive dieting and exercising to get that beach body. You’ve got to look good if you’re going to be of value. That’s the way I lived my life for a very long time. I popped diet pills like candy, restricted my calories (at one point in college I thought 800 calories a day was appropriate), then I would binge eat (because you get very hungry trying to eat only 800 calories in a day!), then I would sometimes puke (thank goodness that was a short lived phase) or try to exercise my meals away, and quite frankly went crazy in the process (think antidepressants, excuses, drama everywhere, and eventually hitting rock bottom). What a sad, horrible place to be in to think that you are not worthy of having just your basic needs met, then flailing around frantically just trying to gain some sense of balance…been there done that. It’s not fun and it’s not pretty either.
The saddest thing to me is that my experience is the norm for young women in this country!! Just think of common magazines. These are the terms that are frequently use around dieting:
- suppress – as in supress your appetite!! Why?! If you are hungry, shouldn’t you eat?!
- repress – as in don’t think about it! How?! My stomach is growling!!
Ain’t nobody got time for that!
The reason I am here, the reason I created this blog and this website and this job, is because it is my passion. Helping others get truly healthy in mind, body, and spirit is my absolute passion project. Want to know why? Because I don’t want any of you to suffer the way I did. It’s a miserable, empty, lonely, and frustrating existence and it’s totally unnecessary. I honestly had no idea how simple and enjoyable it could be to actually nourish my body and feel good about myself. What I found though nutrition was not just food that was good for my for body but also my soul. My mind woke up (!!), I began to truly value myself, my spirit came alive, and it changed me to the core. I know it might sound strange to some of you but changing my diet quite literally changed my life. On one level I was free from physical ailments like chronic fatigue, acne, weight gain, frequent colds & flu…and on a whole other level I came alive. My spirit came alive. Depression and anxiety went away. I felt balanced and a sense of peace that just wasn’t there when I was popping pills, barely eating, then binging, then feeling guilty, and plowing away on the elliptical machine.
Life is waaay too short to spend our precious time obsessing. Lena Dunham said it best,
“I have sort of a Zen body philosophy, I’m sort of like: we’re one weight one day, we’re one weight another day, and some day our body just doesn’t even exist at all! It’s just a vessel I’ve been given to move through this life. I think about my body as a tool to do the stuff I need to do, but not the be all and end all of my existence. Which sounds like I spent a week at a meditation retreat, but it’s genuinely how I feel. … I think every girl that’s a little curvy can tell you it doesn’t stop you from having sex, it doesn’t stop you from doing anything, unless you decide you should hide in a shame pit because you don’t look like a Victoria’s Secret Angel.”
It’s not about suffering, it’s about celebrating!! There’s a tremendous amount of joy and ease that comes from the process of nurturing yourself. Keep that as your focus; feel good. I promise you don’t have to suffer to look or feel good.
The best part is that this form of self acceptance and self love, frees up a lot of time and energy to focus on things that actually matter!! I just want you to know, if you are reading this and feeling lost and suffering in your body and the way you feel, it doesn’t have to be that way. You were put here on this planet to serve a purpose that’s much higher than you can imagine and much greater in importance than a perfect bikini body. Take care of your vessel so that you can share your gifts with the world! I’ll tell you from personal experience, when you let go of the obsession, the weight usually just falls away on it’s own anyway.
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