Loving yourself is a freakin' challenge.
I wasn't going to write a blog post about this but the more I think about it I think that if people know that I'm trying to "eat clean", I will be more likely to stick to it. I know some people get annoyed when people post pictures of their healthy meals on Instagram and their work outs but I honestly think that Instagram can be such a good tool for inspiration and motivation. I know personally, it's the little things like posting a picture of the delicious meal I just made that keeps me going and keeps me excited.
I had no intention of starting a "challenge" but I've been doing some thinking. For a while now, I've been trying to lose weight. Right now, I am at the heaviest I have even been and for my height and actual body size I am probably carrying quite a few extra pounds. Exercise is not always an option when you're living with chronic pain. We try, but it's even harder for someone with chronic pain and chronic fatigue to exercise than it is for a normal person; and even for a normal person exercise isn't easy. I started to realize that I might just have to get used to the fact that my body won't be the same as it used to be. In order to start accepting this I decided that I needed to love my body just the way it is. When I began to do this I stopped all the negative self-talk, I got rid of the clothes I had been waiting to fit back into again one day, I bought new clothes in the right size that are flattering and make me feel good and I took advice and tips from women all over the world who love their bodies and accept themselves.
Except, I started noticing a trend.. Most of these ladies who have all of this confidence and love and acceptance of their bodies were these ladies that were taking care of themselves. By taking care of themselves, I don't mean doing hard-core work outs at the gym every day and eating a strict gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free diet. I mean these women stopped the negative self-talk, they try hard to eat their fruits and vegetables and proteins, they try not to indulge every day but still treat themselves when they want to. These ladies don't even necessarily go to the gym. These ladies just care for themselves by eating the food that will nourish their bodies, and getting the exercise they need by doing small things each day.
These are the women that have inspired me. Take for example Demi Lovato. Demi is a young women who has struggled with mental illness and self acceptance for years and has been very open about her journey. Over this past year or so she has documented her journey to a healthier lifestyle. You can see the difference physically, but she also talks about how mentally she feels so much better and happier. She chose to stop hating on herself, she chose to love her body and to take care of it and it made a world of difference.
I think that it's so important for people to hear these stories. It's not about losing weight. It's not about getting "gains" or working towards rock hard abs and glutes and getting a flat stomach. It should be about taking care of the body that you have and loving it at every point of the journey, not just when you meet the world's standard of perfection. So after all of those inspiring stories, I've decided to stop trying to lose weight. Instead of trying to lose weight and focusing on the number of the scale and all the work outs my body isn't able to do, I am going to focus on the food I am putting into my body. I am going to focus on dressing in a way that makes me feel confident. I am going to focus on getting enough rest and enough exercise in whatever way I enjoy. I am going to stop negative-self-talking and I am going to start talking to myself positively and in an encouraging and loving manner. I am challenging myself to love myself. And we take of the things that we love.
*Tip* If your best friend was struggling with their self image and feeling down, would you talk to them the way you talk to yourself when you look in the mirror? TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY, SPIRITUALLY. Don't be mean to yourself because you don't fit into the world's standard of beauty, celebrate your body as it is.