I recently got asked how I figured out a way to body love. I used to pick on myself. I didn’t like the way I looked. There were favorite body parts, like my abs, that I especially focused on. I was constantly trying to loose weight. I wanted to maintain a weight lower than what was commonly recommended for my height. Then one day came a moment when I did some serious soul-searching. I wrote down my true values. None of them turned around bodily measurements. I also recognized that when I was in contact with others, I never paid attention on their weight. I wanted to see them as they really were, a person with interesting things inside. So, I figured that I needed to apply my core values to my life as well.
I decided to stop the fight between my weight loss wanting mind and the actual needs of my living body. Trying to maintain a lower than normal weight led me to controlled and inflexible behavior. Keeping things where they naturally aren’t supposed to be is hard work. Some people spend their lives fighting with the scale, deciding that they’ll never go over a certain number, come what may. But in the meantime they are limiting how much they really experience this life. There were times when I’d stay at home just because I didn’t want to eat more and thus didn’t have the needed energy to go out and enjoy other’s company. Or maybe I’d go but only be a shadow of myself because I was exhausted. These are rather extreme examples but you get the picture.
I decided to allow myself the amount of energy, nutritious food, that it needed to fully function. Slowly I incorporated all foods back into my life. I had forbidden foods like nuts, chips, pizza or chocolate from myself. I now go by the 80-20 principle. I try to eat 80% clean, just because I know it makes me feel my best, and 20% indulgence. I’ll have that chocolate chip cookie if I want to. I do physical activity every day. I do it because it helps me to feel good in my body and also boosts my mood. I know that I have to be mindful of maintaining my happy spark alive. I also know that I have to be proactive. I take myself out for a walk or do some yoga before I feel too sad.
I have recently focused more on health magazines and social media in comparison to the fashion magazines that I used to read. I still like fashion and read the glossies I subscribe to, but I pay attention on not getting any negative body vibes from them. If my day’s good and I’m feeling great in my skin, then there’s no problem in looking at a young girl with a very thin (and probably photo shopped) frame. But if I’m already feeling self critical so then maybe that day I need to entertain myself with other things.
I continue to look for articles, social media influencers and messages that support my quest for body love. I’ve found a group on Facebook where women support each other’s sports and health goals. That has been a very positive experience. That is why I was inspired to start my own Happy Place fitness community here in Quebec City.
So, what’s the secret to body love and peace within? Deciding to want it more than anything else and then doing all you can to get it. There’s beauty in putting yourself out there and giving encouragement to others. That’s why I wrote this post.
I had flirted with yoga before but it is only this summer that I’ve really delved into it. I took yoga lessons back in Paris which left me dubitative. I craved sports and didn’t find it in that particular practice. But now either I or something else has changed, and I really see the interest in yoga. I still feel that it is a lot like my twenty years of ballet – a discipline based on strengthening and lengthening the muscle all within the same practice – and what is more precious than that.
I enjoy yoga outdoors and with music. I also like the mental side of it. Sometimes the instructor will encourage you to set a certain goal to our practice like finding peace or energy, or even an answer to a question. I like the emphasis on being thankful and also radiating the love you have sparked when finishing your session.
I recently discovered a beautiful girl – inside and out – who teaches yoga lessons online. Here’s a link to Boho Beautiful if you also would like to try working out at home with her. She will take you to do yoga on the beaches of Asia. You find differently focused lessons: core, shoulders, morning wake up, digestion and so on. I say let’s go find peace and power…
It’s been the longest blog break I’ve taken ever during the lifetime of this one since 2007. Things just went that way. We were enjoying ourselves by the ocean and wireless network was unsure. So I took time to live real life and to breathe in the ocean air.
I’m extremely happy to be back though. I am contented to be reconnecting with you. My blog is about sharing joy. It’s about bringing sunshine and positive vibes into this world. I’m thankful that you’re here right now. That you’re interested in reading what I have to say. As the new business/school/activity year is dawning, I’ll be here more enthusiastic than ever to inspire you to feel good be it fashion, self development, traveling or relaxation.
Our first vacation week was spent on Cape Cod in Massachussetts. We camped less than a mile from the Atlantic Ocean. We took long walks on the beach. I did yoga there. We swam and cuddled and slept there. We took in all the renewing breezes. As my tank top says, I needed “vitamin sea”, and I truly got my dose.
This weekend I wish that you also find “your beach”. Go take some time for yourself. Rejoice in what is beautiful, calming and energizing around you. Get lost in the moment. Be you.
The beach is my happy place. I love seeing the vast mass of water. There’s hope and dreams and opportunity in all that. I encourage you to find “your beach”. You may not have access to a veritable waterfront, but there are places everywhere where you can retreat for a moment. Connect with yourself, and a higher power, if that’s how you roll. Find that time – and you’ll feel more centered.
A good life is really made of simple things. This week mine has been about working, doing sports and connecting with my husband. Choosing to invest time in people that you value – and doing it generously – pays off. You’ll feel more supported. Someone’s got your back.
My goal for today is to live every passing moment with enthusiasm. I called my mom today. (She’s a faithful reader of this blog, so I know she’ll be reading this.) That conversation was a path of life lived together. It was nothing special yet it was very special. We were open and honest, just sharing life as we had experienced it. No need to sugarcoat or overdo. These kind of moments make the day worthwhile.
We can all invite meaningful moments into our days. By reaching out to others, the ones that our heart is leading us to, we go from a thought to actual action. Who is it that you’ve been meaning to call for a while now?
This is my beach. This is where I used to hang out. The sand is so fine and powdery. Okay, so there are many gorgeous beaches in Florida. I just happen to have a special relationship with the one in Fort Myers.
Memories are precious. They are like jewels stored in a hideaway box. Yet, what really matters, in the long run in our days, is here and now. Visiting my old beach was fun. I did also realize that since the way back when times, I have discovered other magnificent places as well. I live in Canada now. I can’t get to the beach as often as I used to. I’ve adapted to the new reality. I take joy in other things. When I do get to hang out on the sandy shores, I truly appreciate every moment.
Being joyful really is a question of attitude. Each day brings us things that are nice, and then the ones that aren’t so much so. The way I handle what comes really sets the tone. Life is also about alternation. There’s time to relax, and time to work towards paying for that time to relax. It’s my job to make every step a happy task.
A new year is always a new, exciting beginning. I’m thankful for each year that rolls along. I’m grateful for little things that line up, one after the other. That’s where true happiness is found.
I went on a journey to find more relaxedness in my life last year. This year the same quest will continue. I long to counter the luring feelings of anxiety that sometimes try to pollute my otherwise happy outlook on life. We each have our challenges – and I know that mine is dealing with the restless thoughts that could hinder me did I not pay attention on dealing with them.
These pics are from the Intercoastal Waterway between Lantana and Lantana Beach, a hop up from Miami. Water is such a powerful element. I need it in my life. I was born in a city by water. I love gazing into the ocean horizon. It lets my dreams fly.
As the new year dawns, dreaming is important as well. Goals and plans push us forward and give us wings. I dream of vacations in the USA – home sweet home with so much to discover – but also important conversations around coffee with friends. I long to learn to appreciate every passing moment be it at work or at play.
Thank you my dear reader! Thank you for all these years of blogging since 2007. Thank you for appreciating what I create. Sharing it with you is what blogging is all about.
Hugs from Florida!