What do you say to yourself on a daily basis? We all do it. While looking in the mirror, while working out, when we're driving in our car, throughout the day we are always talking to ourselves. Now I am willing to bet a majority of that self talk is not always positive. It seems awkward, weird even uncomfortable to speak nice to ourselves, but why is that? Why is it easier to point out our flaws and weaknesses than it is to point out how hard we are working. Why is it so damned hard for us to say things like "I like the way I look" "I like my stomach" "I'm pretty" "I'm working really hard and i'm proud of myself"? We may think it's being conceited, we may think it's not polite, but when has it ever been polite to call someone fat. When has it ever been polite to tell someone their butt is too big or their chest is too flat. When has it ever been okay to call someone lazy, not good enough or even a failure. NEVER. So why do we think it's okay to say those things to ourselves? It is a hard habit to break! It will feel uncomfortable at first, but hey, that means your growing. So, here are a few things I encourage you to try, and if it feels weird, good job you're doing it right!
1. Positive affirmations.
Every. single. day. Wake up, find something you like about yourself. It could be the way you treat others, your new hair do, how hard working your are, the way you treat your relationships, it could be anything positive about YOU! If you think that's too tough, think again because i'm sure there are a lot of great things about yourself!
2. Do something that makes you feel good.
We go to work, we clean the house, run errands, do things for other people, etc... When was the last time you did something you really, truly were passionate about....and didn't feel guilty. Paint, sing, dance, run, journal, relax...take some time out of your week and do something for YOU, and don't feel one ounce of guilt about it...your working on your self confidence dammit!
3. Be assertive.
Become okay with voicing your opinion. Tell people what you want, what you don't want, when your upset, when your happy, use your voice. Be polite, but know that your opinion is worth something.
4. Make your list.
Take some time alone, grab some coffee...or wine (whichever you prefer) and make a list. Use this list to write down all the truly awesome things about yourself. Really think about what you want out of this life. Think about what legacy you want to leave behind, and write. What lifestyle changes will help you achieve this legacy? What can you do to create this life that you really want?
5. Fake it 'till you make it
If this is hard, good. Compliment yourself even if you don't truly believe it yet, because one day you will. Even when you want to be negative, fire back with a positive. The more times you say it, the more you will believe it. When you start loving yourself that is when you will see the real change. Lifestyle makeover's start from the inside out.
If you ever need help, I am always here.
Whenever I blog about something I always talk about something I have experienced personally. Doing what I do, I come across people every day working on changing their lifestyles. I see the struggles, I see the joy, the hardships and everything in between. I get a lot of people that don't feel like they're doing it right. I was there too. When I started my lifestyle change a few years back it felt wrong. I didn't feel like I was doing anything correct. I was getting help for my eating disorder and had to completely change the way I thought. Instead of focusing on losing weight I had to focus on getting healthy. Instead of making it to the gym everyday I had to do things that relaxed me and helped me find peace. I had to learn how to take every negative thought I had about myself and turn it to a positive one. Diets, fat burners and restrictions had to go and balance, new foods and being vulnerable was the new way of life. I have been there. Having to change the way you live and the habits that you've had for most of your life is hard. It is a tough thing to do.
We are brainwashed to think that diets work. We are raised to believe that fat burners, restricting and hours of cardio is what makes people get to their desired size. We try diet after diet in hopes that "this one is different". I just recently went into a local nutrition store here in town. The gentleman in front of me was trying to put on some muscle and he was buying some sort of pill. The guy working the register said "awesome man, you should definitely start seeing some results in the next 3 days". It made me so sad. I remember when I would do just about anything to get "skinny". To reach what I thought were my goals. I would be miserable and feel terrible taking all types of diet pills and restricting food just to have all my hard work go to waste when I would binge 3 days later. You don't get results overnight. You don't get results doing it the "fast" way. There are no shortcuts. I learned all of this through my years of recovery. I have never seen a diet that worked. I've never purchased a fat burner that changed me into a new person. I've never purchased an expensive meal plan full of brown rice and talapia that morphed me into a bikini model. I will tell you what did work though. Taking my time. Not putting a time limit on this change. Being uncomfortable. Messing up. Learning to love myself.
I am at a very happy place in my life right now, mentally and physically. I never thought it was possible to like the way I looked. I never thought it was possible to enjoy food and have a healthy relationship with it. I meet women everyday that are where I was, they are sad because they are doing this lifestyle change and aren't allowed to eat good food anymore. They're sad because their doctor told them they have to lose weight and be more active. IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE SAD! If I was able to learn how to enjoy food, live balanced, be active and like myself, ANYONE can do it. I thought I would share some stuff that I learned a long my journey in hopes that it will help someone with theirs.
SLOW & STEADY
I mentioned this above. Do not put a time limit on this stuff. Don't say I am going to lose 5 lbs by next week. Don't say I will start Monday and have 1 month to reach my goal. This is a lifestyle. It is a forever type of thing. Goal setting is great. Instead of time limits set a goal to run a marathon. Set a goal to be active 5 days a week. Set a goal to cook dinner at home more days than eating out. Do not put a time limit on this stuff.
PERFECTION IS NOT REAL
I learned very quickly that I was a perfectionist. I thought when I was recovered would be when I wouldn't eat any sweets again. I would eat perfect, I would workout everyday and I would lose 10 more pounds! It was far from the truth. Perfection is not a thing. My lifestyle changed when I ALLOWED myself to be imperfect. The real change came when I didn't beat myself up for missing workouts. The real change came when I knew I could eat sweets and foods that use to be 'off limits' and I could trust my body to handle it. Lifestyle change comes when we allow ourselves to be human and beautifully imperfect.
IT IS NEVER A STRAIGHT LINE
Isn't it exciting when we first start on this journey? We think we are making a lifestyle change and it is going to be point A to point B. One of the biggest turning points in my lifestyle change was when I let myself be vulnerable. When I realized I could make a mistake ( or a lot of them) and I didn't have to start all the way from the beginning. When I realized these mistakes were part of the journey it became a lot less stressful. It is never an easy straight line. There will be obstacles, tears, twists, turns , triumphs and everything in between. But every thing is a lesson. Looking back my biggest moments of change came when I was uncomfortable. When I felt like I was doing something wrong. It came when I thought I was messing up. But please, I urge you, don't overlook those little victories. When good times come and you realize you just did something you use to not be able to do... You celebrate that shit out of that and be proud of yourself.
Everyone's journey is different, but at the same time we all have a lot of similar moments. I am always here to help direct, listen, vent or kick-box your frustrations away. Stay strong and know that if your uncomfortable, your probably doing it right!
We are excited to spread the word of wellness, confidence and empowerment to women all around. We do not believe beauty comes from a size but from within. Our goal is to teach women how to live balanced, healthy lives and how to be HUMAN. For too long social media and society has told us how to live. From a young age It has given us unrealistic, airbrushed models to look up and expectations of ourselves that cannot be met. We believe at iAM that skinny, curvy, muscles, short, tall and everything in between is beautiful. We want to teach you how to feel great about yourself through balanced eating, being active and taking care of yourself mentally and physically. Together we can change the world!
My name is Hanna Kuyper and my mission for iamwell comes directly from my past experiences. Read more