“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” ~ Jim Rohn
It’s a new year, and I am here to tell you that you don’t have to spend one more day unable to look in the mirror. The days of feeling disempowered and disliking the body you’re in are over!
Here are seven adjustments to your day that will instantly shift your inner dialogue and outward actions to align with radical self-love.
7 Steps to Loving Your Body Just as It Is
How often do you say the words “I love you”, to yourself? I know it sounds corny but seriously, how many minutes or hours do you practice loving yourself every day? Try this, first thing in the morning and the last thing at night, place one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart, look in the mirror and tell yourself how much you love every inch of YOU. Describe specific aspects of yourself and your physical being that are wonderful and unique. Say it like you mean it, because when you look in the mirror you are seeing the only person who can change your negative relationship with your body to a positive one.
2. Give yourself an all-over-body kiss.
To get a natural all-over glow, take hot baths in Epsom salts, followed by a coconut butter massage. Add 2 cups Epsom salts to your bath, and scrub yourself from head to toe with salt. As you do so, imagine your washing self-judgment away. Coconut butter is a natural moisturizer beneficial to your hair, teeth, and every inch of your body. All of this self-touch is extremely healing and has been shown to elevate anti-aging chemicals like DHEA, nourish your adrenals and boosts oxytocin- the chemical produced when we’re in love!
3. Calm your blood sugar.
It’s difficult to find self-love when your blood sugar swings like a pendulum, depleting your focus and energy. Make sure to take a chromium and vanadium supplement, and eat at least 1lb of green leafy vegetables a day. Instead of three large meals, try eating at more regular intervals, such as five smaller meals with 10-20 grams protein in every meal. Of course the best foods are whole foods that haven’t been processed in any way, combined with “good fats” like grass fed butter, Ghee, MCT oil, and fish oils, you’ll be rewarded with stability in your blood sugar, and your outlook.
4. Go on a gratitude walk.
In our complicated world, it’s easy to overlook the benefits of simply moving your body with pleasure and gratitude, especially when you can connect to the natural environment. After I lost my first fitness business, my body, mind, and spirit were broken. At first, I turned to alcohol and unhealthy food to soothe myself, which did more damage. Then I started going for walks to try and get fit again. My mind would clear, my negative labels would disappear and I started to find clarity and peace. These walks evolved into a daily movement practice of gratitude, and profoundly improved my GI tract, facilitated healing my digestion, my hormones, my stress levels, and filled my whole being with an appreciation for my life.
Practicing gratitude with movement reprograms your cellular biology much faster than just gratitude alone. You’ll be surprised at improvements in areas of digestion & elimination, serotonin, and dopamine levels, and develops the will center of your prefrontal cortex making you more committed to your self loving practice.
5. Cultivate your inner garden.
We have a flora of bacteria in our gut- responsible for 90% of our immune system, hormone production, and digestion. The health of our gut is the basis of our health overall, and eating a high volume of leafy green veggies combined with garnishes of cultured foods like kefir, raw unpasteurized sauerkraut, and taking a good probiotic daily, will encourage healthy cultivation of friendly flora in our guts. These foods will help you regain your lovable goddess glow!
6. Eat with your highest vision of love.
We are what we eat, and we eat what we are. Many of us, myself included, use food for comfort and have a habit of trying to fill the void created by a lack of self-love with the pleasure of food. The pleasure found in food goes away as soon as we’re done eating, but what remains is self-hatred, guilt, and shame and all the energy of those feelings heading through our digestion. Before you reach for Ben and Jerry’s for self-comfort, ask yourself, “If I really, really loved myself, what would I do in this moment?” Look at the emotional NEED behind the craving and figure out how you can lovingly care for yourself in a pleasurable way, without using food. Try replacing the habitual consumption of food with an ACTION: try an activity that you’ve postponed, put energy towards developing a friendship or relationship, honor your creativity, or explore something new that gives you pleasure!
To truly feel the love in our lives, we have to be it, channel it, and feel it in every facet of our daily expression. Don’t postpone it, or wait for it by saying, “I’ll love myself when I lose 5lbs or when I don’t wake up on a fat day, or when I’ve achieved what I feel I need to achieve.” You are worthy of love NOW, so stop negating the time in between NOW and finding self-love in the future. Like happiness, love comes first, and then everything in your life becomes an extension of this love.
Practice holding kindness in your heart during daily tasks, and watch how this moving, meditative radical self-loving practice translates into a healthier, balanced Self.