Today is the first day of fall. Are you ready for the new season? I think that we never really are. As humans, our forte is maintaining things the way they are, not welcoming to change. Yet change is everywhere. It’s easy to feel pumped when the sky is blue and the sun caresses our cheeks. The need to dress up, to boost and beautify comes with gloomier weather and tougher temps.
This fall I will take things one day after another. I will find excitement where I can. I will welcome the calmness of nature and the lessons the turning colors offer me. I will trust that I will be OK – that I will find joy even when all the leaves will be gone.
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.
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.
I’ve enjoyed June so much. More than ever before, it feels. I just love every dulcet summer evening breeze of air, every unexpected opportunity to venture out for a long walk and every free moment now that work has once again, summer time thing, slowed down a bit.
I’ve used the time to connect with others, and myself, too. I’ve sought zen moments and longed for mindfulness meditation. I’ve practiced being here and now. Just enjoying the present time without rushing anywhere else forward in thoughts.
Truly appreciating what you have here, now and today takes practice. Of course things could be better, and of course we should strive for better results from ourselves, yet at the same time it is so liberating when you really learn how not to long for anything other than now. Accepting that life goes as it does, and that my job is to adapt to it.
Life becomes an exciting journey when you start living it with a thankful servant’s heart. When you wake up in the morning and think “my input is important so what can I do today to make a difference?” I have my list of things to pray and work on this summer. Do you have one, too?
Ever since my last post and the decision to stop bashing my body and start living in full appreciation of what I am today, I’ve felt a lot more energetic and happy, too. It feels like a weight has been taken off of my shoulders. My old ways of thinking do try to lurk back in but I’m sure that with mindfulness and practice they’ll fade away.
I feel like this is a topic that I should write more about, how to love your body as it is, all in taking a good care of it. Running, toning up, doing abs and in general moving your body and eating mindfully, and as clean as it feels good, are all good things. But even after that you may not be as skinny as you’d like. Then that’s when you have to do work on yourself in order to accept that your unique weight set point is there where it naturally, without constant battle, falls.
For years I tried to fool myself into thinking that I was super skinny by nature. I still think that I am naturally slim or even thin but not underweight and skeletal. Since my undereating years I’ve had to relearn what my body really looks like, how much food a normal person eats and so on. I am now able, and more and more every passing year, to enjoy food without guilt. I am able to find a BMI of 19 ok and not needing to loose weight. These things take time. I’m sure that I’m not alone with these issues so that’s why I feel like I should write out openly about my feelings even if it can put me in a vulnerable position.
Today my life is a lot happier and a lot fuller than during those years when I was focused on staying as skinny as humanly possible. I’m full of energy and positivity – and I’m sure that these feelings will even grow as I learn to reprogram my thoughts.
I’m done bashing my body. I’ve decided to stop complaining once and for all. Yes, I’ll never be perfect, but does that really matter? I don’t expect perfection in others, so why in myself. I believe that many of us will be freed to truly live, not just to get by, when we uncover the key to unconditional body happiness.
I read an article talking about three points leading to body wellbeing. Let’s start. The first point is the most powerful. Focus on what you love about your body, not on what you don’t. Let’s stop wasting our precious time on complaining about this and that. The tummy that isn’t as flat as I’d like or the shoulder bones that don’t define themselves as clearly as once before. Is my body functional? Does it enable me to truly live, to go where I wish and pile up on activities that I long to engage in?
The second point is about stopping negative internal talk. Practice and learn how to talk to yourself like you would to a dear friend. I would never ever tell a friend that they don’t look their best today or that their cheeks look too chubby to be cute. I don’t even notice these things in others. According to my values, I’d find that small-minded. So, why would I pick on myself in such a way?
The third point banishes our damaging habit of comparing. We compare body weight and firmness of tummy but also jobs, finances and success. This leads to what. Deep dissatisfaction, ungratefulness and general lack of motivation. Let’s appreciate our lives, bodies and doings to their true value. I am unique. So are you. Let’s do “us”. I believe that practice makes perfect. Once you catch yourself in the comparison game, snip it off right there and then.
What do you think? Are you game?