Do you know someone who struggles with body image/ personal love that leads to an altered/unhealthy relationship with food. Or maybe someone who has an addiction to food that leads to guilt and body issues?
I'm a binge eater. I hear people tell me that it could be worse. I agree, but don't let that fool you to think that I'm healthy and fit all the time. I still struggle every single day with having to make the right choices and not let my emotions and stress/anxiety triggers take over. I know my issues are severely caused by emotional/mental hurdles and I'm making the necessary steps to process.
My journey started with weight loss, to look and feel healthier. I started with small goals in mind and even a couple of long term goals. I wanted to work toward a body that can lift heavy, keep up with high intense situations, and allow me to do things I've never done. In all of those outward-body related goals, I rejected to make mental hurdles. I feel slightly stunted in my mental/emotional strength. It's a work in progress, every single day.
Now, my goals is body image and self love. How can we change the way we view ourselves? Do we start with making the rest of the world see us in a different light, or do we simply embrace our bodies and disregard others? Both sound almost impossible. People will think what they want about me and my body. I'm sure when I reach my long term goal, people will have negative things to say, and I'm okay with that. The thing is, I'm not staying constant-I'm striving to evolve daily and become a better version of myself as time continues on.
We need to STOP pointing out our negatives or flaws. We will always wish and want what we don't have. (That's another topic in itself...to be continued). Instead of hating the bodies we do have, why don't we look ourselves in the mirror (naked if you are willing) focus on three positives (shoulders, length of legs, clear skin) and thank your body for all it has done so far. Now, start by enhancing or focusing on what you like to take it to "the next level". Example: I love my legs. Bigger or not, I love my legs and know that they can be defined and toned. I dedicate 2-3 days a day in the gym focusing on different leg workouts to strengthen and improve them.
I see so many people say, "If you don't like what you have, change it!". To an extent, I completely agree, because I know it can be done. However, it's a scary thought and sometimes can be too hard to imagine. So, instead of focusing on a negative and working to change it completely; I really like focusing on what I already love and watch "it" change/improve to "wow" myself even more.
Slowly but surely, you will find it in yourself to trust and love your body enough to change any "problem areas". My stomach is ALWAYS my main concern, but I don't do 3 hours of cardio a day to make it go away. I know that's unrealistic. I work toward lessening my body fat, however, my legs changing and my skin becoming more clear really makes me fall in love with my body overall.
I hope this gives a small insight to how I slowly started to regain love for my body and the love I found when I realized what I could accomplish by working hard and eating clean, wholesome foods. This is what we should focus on every single day, but I encourage you to try wholeheartedly this week while people are recognized for their recovery, and while others find the strength to reach out for help.
When it comes to food I have a couple of simple tips: 1. Cooke with color! Have fun with food by adding in various colors. 2. Balanced meals should contain lean protein, veggies, complex carbs, fruit, healthy fats. 3. Eat more! When you're eating wholesome, clean food, please do not feel you need to restrict yourself to 1200 calories. Calories cannot measure nutrients!
Now here's a simple recipe I like to have. It's simple, fast, and delicious.
Chelsea Loves Pasta & Pesto
- 1 cup (or 3/4) of whole wheat or veggie pasta. Cook until ready.
- 1 half skinless chicken breast (season and cook to your liking-I use Mrs. Dash garlic & herb blend). Cut in small pieces before or after cooking.
- Hand full of grape tomatoes, halved.
- Hand full of spinach.
- 1 tsp of basil pesto.