We are constantly being bombarded with mixed messages from the media and inferences from friends, family and culture regarding what the “perfect body” should look like. Despite what these influences tell you, you are not meant to hate your body. The billion dollar weight loss and beauty industry would crumble if we started to love ourselves, so they make sure to inundate you with false and mixed messages about what makes a person (especially women) worthy. I wonder what would happen if we spent less time judging our worth, and the worth of others, based on their weight and appearance? How would the world change if we spent more time appreciating what makes us all unique and judging people by character instead? I’m thinking there would be a lot less hate in the world and a lot more love!
Your body is magnificent and meant to help you carry out your life’s mission and special purpose. Instead of obsessing about your appearance, it’s time to start being obsessed with how we can positively change and impact the world. Your job is to love your body unconditionally and keep it healthy and nourished, not punishing it into the “ideal” weight based on hating yourself, berating yourself, extreme calorie restriction, or jumping from fad diet to fad diet. Once you’re properly nourish your body, mind and spirit, your body will return to the weight it is meant to be. Remember, there is no conclusive evidence regarding what a person “should “actually weigh. It ‘s more about feeling vital and energized.
It takes time to dismantle all the misconceptions around what your body “should” look like. But, daily compassion for yourself and others, mindset shifts, and healing your mind, body, and spirit with energizing and life enhancing foods, self –care and self –love, are key towards healing and taking the “pause button” off of your life.
Some food and nutrients to help keep you energized through your journey to healing yourself include:
Vitamin C: This powerful nutrient not only enhances your energy levels, but helps with mood regulation, de- stressing, allergy relief and boosting the immune system. Humans do not naturally make Vitamin C naturally in the body like other animals do, so we must get it from our diet. The best source of Vitamin C can be found in broccoli, red bell peppers and citrus fruits
All your B vitamins: B vitamins are essential for mental health and stress. Because they are water soluble, they need to be replaced daily. Nutritional yeast makes a great source if you are vegetarian or vegan and can be added to soups, stews, or pasta, even over popcorn. It has a yummy nutty cheesy flavor to it!
Magnesium: This nutrient helps to calm the nervous system and is responsible for over 300 chemical processes in the body. Nuts are a great source of magnesium, as well as dark green leafy vegetables. Raw cocoa powder is also high in magnesium and a powerful antioxidant.
Omega 3– Essential to brain health, cognition, anxiety and overall low mood, this essential fatty acid also helps to boost immunity and to aid in digestion. Great sources include flax, chia or hemp seeds, and walnuts.
Zinc– Responsible for numerous biological processes including mood and energy regulation
Vitamin D: A key nutrient in mood regulation.
A great exercise for appreciating your body is to keep a journal. At the end of the day I like to list 5-10 things I appreciate about my body. For example, my legs for allowing me to take that peaceful walk in nature, my eyes for being able to see the beauty and abundance around me, my arms for being able to hug my friends and family.
Noticing what is beautiful about others, including strangers you see throughout the day, will help change the way you view yourself and others. Find some features and personality traits you admire in those around you. This will also help you develop love and compassion for yourself, if that is something hard for you to do right now.
Positive body image takes time to develop, so above all, be compassionate with yourself. Nourish your body with nutritious whole foods, spend time in nature, and surrounding yourself with like-minded uplifting friends. This will help you along the way.
Remember, you are beautiful, unique, and have a bigger mission in life than being obsessed with numbers on a scale!