When I decided to lose weight, I had no idea what kind of journey I was in for. My goal was to set myself free from being ashamed of my body; I was essentially in hiding, a captive of my own insecurity. I would go out of my way to avoid bikinis, and always turned off the lights before getting naked. Limiting my life this way made me feel incredibly irritated and claustrophobic.
To my surprise, when I started shedding some pounds, I didn’t automatically feel that sense of freedom I craved, despite the fact that I was making amazing progress. My mind was still in the same place; I couldn’t stop criticizing myself, and my self-hatred just kept growing. About six months into my new lifestyle of clean eating and yoga, I had an “aha” moment. I was finally able to acknowledge that my appearance wasn't at the root of my dissatisfaction, but rather, my emotional state. I thought I’d feel better if I simply changed the way I looked, but that clearly didn’t solve anything. Although my body was starting to look better, I didn’t really feel better. I needed to emotionally detox before I could fully reach my goal. My body was so resistant to my healthy new regimen because I was being held back by my poor self-worth. I knew I wanted to be in peak physical shape, but I couldn’t get there. To bring this vision to life, I had to learn to love myself, which is one of life’s most difficult challenges.
So how did I get through it? Coaching was instrumental in shifting my mindset. For the techniques to fully work, I needed to be open and willing to accept change; that’s how I was able to transform my life. If you’re closed off to bettering yourself, you’ll be stuck at a dead end.
To start, I adopted a tough rule: don’t think, speak or act negatively towards myself. That meant no more obsessing over things I wanted to change. Let’s just say learning to love my cellulite was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done because I had to relinquish so much hate! Motivational author Louise Hay summed up this feeling best; cellulite is self-hatred that goes away little by little. The moment I began accepting myself, this is precisely what happened.
As a result of my personal challenges, I’ve become passionate about helping others—particularly women—realize that they need to relax and embrace their true selves, imperfections and all! Every time I go to the gym, I see women working out in full makeup, but being vulnerable and exposing your insecurities will motivate you to break through barriers. Honestly, there’s nothing more beautiful than a bare face and a messy ponytail; the rawness and strength are so inspiring. So next time you hit the gym, save your foundation for later. Think about it this way: use the energy spent worrying about how you look for a more positive purpose, like getting in the best shape of your life both physically and emotionally.
We all need to realize that before setting off on a journey towards self-improvement, you must accept yourself. This is how you'll nail each and every objective, not only when it comes to getting the body you want, but in all other areas of life. There's no doubt about it—strong self-worth sets you up for success. Moral of the story: you can get the body you want, but just love yourself first! Here are some simple game-changing tips that’ll leave you inspired and ready to improve your mind, body and spirit:
- Repeat mantras like, “I love and approve of myself” and “I’m strong and healthy” as often as you can.
- Make a rule to distrust negative thoughts about yourself. Know you’re so much more than your thoughts!
- Talk to your body. You’re on the same team, so when that pesky voice tells you to quit, don’t! You’d never encourage your teammate to quit, so why do it to yourself?!
- Regularly take small steps to improve your health, like switching to organic foods. You deserve only the finest fuel for your body!
- Be curious about your feelings. Question why you’re experiencing certain emotions and don’t be afraid to seek extra help; you can’t always fend for yourself. Working on letting go of unresolved emotions will only make room for new and greater things in life.