I started this blog with every intention on helping people learn more about nutrition and exercise. I hoped that this would help people make healthier decisions in general in life. What I’m finding out is that many people aren’t trying to make healthy decisions, they’re just trying to lose weight and in the process they’re sacrificing not only physical health but their own mental health and definitely the mental health of those around them. Have you ever thought about the fact that the thoughts that come out of your mouth can affect the mental health and decisions of those around you?
How many times have you heard someone speak about the things they hated on their body and then looked at them and thought, “Well I wonder what’s wrong with me?”
Everyone has insecurities, but the key to a healthy life is doing our best to stay positive when it comes to our body image. Sometimes that’s impossible, that’s where clinical depression comes into play, which is a whole topic for another day.
Learning to live positively takes work, believe me. I am, by nature, cynical, dismissive and introverted. I live in my own thoughts in my head and sometimes they keep me up at night. Everyday when I look myself in the mirror I make it a point to notice all of the things I like about myself. This isn’t just limited to physical features but personality too. I tell myself “You’ve got great hair, long legs. You’re strong, motivated and intelligent.”
Sure, there are things I need to work on. I try daily to be a more patient and kind person to everyone, to learn as much as I can and to get stronger and healthier. I don’t like every part of my body. I still haven’t grown completely accustomed to my stretch marks from my pregnancy and I’m not to that point yet where I feel like showing them off. I’m certainly not ashamed of them, I guess it’s just an overriding feeling of not wanting to deal with people’s opinion of them, good or bad. You have to realize that everyone has things they love about themselves and things they don’t love about themselves, we are all human.
Let’s stop putting so much stock into how much people weigh, as if that’s some sort of indicator of what kind of person they are. Spoiler alert, it’s not, and it’s also not always a good indicator of whether or not they are healthy. The world would be a better place if we would start caring more about whether people are compassionate beings or intelligent or even just kind. We would all be on Pinterest pinning ways to improve our relationships with people or books to read or things we can do selflessly instead of some Crossfit star’s amazing abs with the hashtag #goals.
I promise I’m going to wrap up, but I need to say one more thing. If you are a parent, you need to step back and take a look at the way you talk about yourself and others in front of your children. Do you focus on appearance or inward attributes? Do you speak mostly negatively? Do you use the words dieting and losing weight? Your child is taking in everything you say. If we want to make meaningful change in the way we think about our bodies we have to lead by example. Even if you are feeling bloated or fat one day, find something positive to say. Talk about the things you like about yourself. Talk about food as nourishment. Eat healthy to feed your body energy, vitamins and minerals and get rid of the scale. Start seeing your progress through your own eyes daily instead of a number that is relatively useless to you. Exercise to gain muscle and health and do it all because you love yourself.