It Starts From Within
When was the last time you looked in the mirror and reinforced the things you love about yourself? And not just your physical attributes, but all of the unique, beautiful pieces of your personality that make you you and no one else. The reasons you’re a good daughter, or why your friends think you’re funny, or why the barista at Starbucks thinks you’re endearing. True confidence emanates from within. Self-love, self-acceptance and positive reinforcement keep your spiritual soil fertile. That’s where body image grows from. It’s an image you self-project from within.
Too often, however, we do the opposite. We focus only on the physical, our exterior. We pick ourselves apart, put ourselves down and compare ourselves to others. The result is well-worn neurological pathways that drain our self-esteem. A cycle of self-hate, self-rejection and negative reinforcement that starts every time we look in the mirror. By letting what’s outside be in control, you under-nourish your spiritual soil and your body image unfairly suffers.
Mind Over Mirror
To enrich your spiritual soil, you must infuse it with nutrients—positive thoughts, reminders of the gifts you give the world, gratitude for the people in your life and for life itself. Set your intention and think it. And smile! You’ll see yourself differently if you do. If a negative thought enters your mind, watch it float by like a cloud in the sky. Find a patch of blue and focus on that instead. Metaphors abound, but the point is this: build and positively reinforce your body image by focusing on all the good that is within you. Let the mirror reflect that.
Enjoy the Journey
Transforming our mindset, our nutrition and our bodies is a journey. It can be challenging and, if we let it, overwhelming. It takes practice to be present, to see that big leaps start with small steps and to not get discouraged if we have setbacks. Learn to enjoy it by breaking your “big goals” down into attainable action steps that can reinforce how strong, brilliant and beautiful you are. Just look at the week ahead of you. Plan a workout with a friend and create a healthy meal-plan to nourish your body. Step-by-step, you’ll build a healthy lifestyle. Moments of clarity and opportunities for fun will follow. Think about getting into a yoga-flow with Rihanna pushing you to push yourself. True progress happens when we enjoy making it happen and when we get out of our own way.
At Be Well, we try to instill balance in our clients. Binging and cleansing cycles swing you back and forth like an out of control pendulum ball. Happiness and health are attained when you find balance. Opposed to popular belief, balance isn’t when you stop moving and live a rigid, on plan, perfect life. You are human. None of us is perfect. You will swing a little from time to time. We all do. Balance is found with intentional movement to eat clean, sweat and even enjoy a glass of wine with friends. Accept who you are, love who you are and build a lifestyle focused on health, not some abstract idea of “perfection.” Punishing yourself for “failing” is unhealthy, unproductive and breeds disappointment. Be you.
The world of health and nutrition is constantly changing. Trendy new diets, food fads and new types of exercise are everywhere. New studies and research articles are published every week, sometimes reaching different conclusions. Sifting through the mass of information can be a daunting task. On top of that, we sometimes fall into the trap of looking for the “quick-fix.” It’s time to stop putting a band-aid on things and, instead, address the underlying causes. By focusing on eating real and nutrient-dense food, and striving to build a healthy, active lifestyle, you’ll take the important first steps to being well.
Kelly LeVeque is a Holistic Nutritionist, Health Coach,Yoga Instructor and Fitness Expert. Kelly was named one of SHAPE magazine’s “50 Hottest Female Trainers in America 2014.” Her company beWELL was launched to help individuals restructure all aspects of living well, including fitness, wellness, nutrition, weight loss, and overall lifestyle. Connect with Kelly on her website, Be Well By Kelly, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.