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Love Yourself

Dec 27, 2018 | course content

Be honest with yourself…why are you doing this program?  For decades (yes, decades) I told myself that I was in doing another detox, cleanse or diet in the name of health when, in fact, I was really looking to lose weight or was downright scared to death to gain weight. When I became honest with myself, my quest for perfect health was really a quest for the perfect body. I hated my body.

We are experiencing an epidemic of body hate. If you’re like most of us, society (and yes, that includes the media, your friends, and even your own mother) has instilled an image of the “perfect” woman in you. And chances are, you don’t look like her. To add fuel to the fire, we have spent decades in a culture of weight shaming, so it’s no surprise that, collectively, we hate our bodies.

But a negative body image is not something we heal overnight. It takes time and it’s always about the baby steps. You may experience a “false positive” and feel pretty good about yourself after going on a diet and losing weight, but in the end, after “falling off the wagon”, we end up self-attacking ourselves – again.

It is literally impossible to end up with a positive body image by hating into weight loss with punishing diets and excessive exercise. We know we’re supposed to ‘love ourselves” but what does that even look like?

One of the keys to liking (or even loving – gasp!) our body is through embodiment. I know what you’re thinking, “What the heck is embodiment?  It sounds pretty woo-woo.” Embodiment is simply the act of being in one’s body. You know these people when you see them – they just seem to be comfortable in their own skin. Someone who is NOT embodied is living in their head, takes no joy in movement or stillness, and spends more time thinking about their feelings than feeling them.  

Now that you can define embodiment, how do you get it?  Here are some strategies to become embodied and begin loving yourself again (or maybe even for the first time):

Food

  • Become a slow eater, relax and feel nourished by your food.
  • Focus on the pleasure and joy with food.
  • Increase the quality of your food.

Movement

  • Let go of punishing exercise and embrace fun movement.
  • Experiment with different kinds of movement than your norm: yoga, dance, pilates, hiking, swimming, tennis, walking, team sports – anything you truly enjoy. After all, the best type of movement is the one that you do!

Personal Care

  • Look into new clothing styles or wardrobe updates that match your unique shape! If you aren’t sure what that means, check this article out.
  • Experiment with safer skincare and cosmetics.
  • Try out a new style – hair, makeup, accessories.

Lifestyle

  • Spend time in nature.
  • Limit your use of electronics
  • Get more sleep
  • Meditate or take a rest period during the day
  • Massage, chiropractic care, acupuncture
  • Enlist the support of others around health and embodiment
  • Choose your environment and the people you spend time

Remember that this is not a quick fix. It also does not mean that, one day, you’ll achieve embodiment and you’ll never experience challenges around food or be perfect all the time. It just means that you can choose not to abandon your body for very long.  

For a great way to start making small changes that have big results, read Atomic Habits

Julie Ralston

Primal. health Coach