I had the honor of connecting with Jenna from You Aint Your Weight a couple of weeks ago and we immediately bonded over one common goal: helping people back out of dieting and into a body and life they love.
What do we mean by that? Well, we all know by now that diets just don't work. They just DON'T. (If you want to fight me on this, I'd love to hear from you!) We are both advocates of finding a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable in the long run and will help you become the healthiest and happiest person along the way, minus the deprivation. We are all for losing unnecessary weight, but please without losing your mind along in the process.
Why is Jenna so passionate about this? Because, just like me, she's had her fair struggle with dieting as well and has an inspiring story of how an innocent diet turned into years of deprivation and body dysmorphia.
Today I invite her to the blog to talk about how self love is the first and most important step in living a healthy life and how you shouldn't feel one bit guilty for pampering yourself.
Over to you, Jenna.
For ten years I was an extreme dieter, name a program and I’ve been on it. Over this decade I really thought I was taking such good care of myself, I was completely focused on my workout routine, what I ate and what my body looked like; can’t get much healthier than that right?
Boy, was I wrong.
Over the last couple of years, I have finally found my way of this extreme lifestyle but it took a while to figure out what taking care of myself really looked like. Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean working out until you drop, eating only salad for a week or checking the scale every day.
Self-care and self love have to include body, mind and soul or it’s all for nothing.
"Loving yourself as you are is where you need to start. "
This is because you cannot hate yourself into happiness or even into losing weight.
It’s common for women to feel like if they start loving themselves and their bodies they have given up. Isn’t that crazy though? Have you ever taken really good care of something you didn’t like? Ya, me neither.
So the answer then, is love. Love your curves, bumps and odd bits, it’s okay I swear. The only thing that loving your body will change is the way you treat it.
When I was overcome with body hate I would work out and eat “healthfully” for a couple weeks and then it would all go to hell. Usually this meant binging, not moving off the couch and feeling worthless. I promise this way of living will not get you to where you want to go.
Now that I love myself completely, as I am, in every form, I take much better care of myself overall. Think yoga, massages, traditional workouts when I feel like it, meditation and healthy delicious meals. I’ve created a balanced and fun life through self love and self-care. Hate was never going to get me there!
Many women don’t take care of themselves for different reasons but one of the main reasons is because we are so busy taking care of everyone else.
Here’s how can you take care of yourself without feeling guilt
- Figure out what makes you feel amazing: Love yoga? Make the time. Hate taking baths? Then that’s not for you. Finding things that are worth it will make the time for yourself feel worthwhile. Don’t waste your personal time on things you don’t love.
- Realize the effects: Is that solo walk in the park going to hurt anyone? No, the kids will be fine and your husband can cook tonight for once. But it WILL make a huge difference for you and therefore those around you. A happier you makes for a happier family. Remember, your unhappiness doesn’t just affect you.
- Ask yourself who you want to be: Do you really want to look back at the end of your life and realize you lived it for everyone but yourself? I sure don’t. Take time to do things you love, hobbies, exercise, cooking, whatever it is that makes you happy. It’ll be well worth it.
- Love yourself and go from there: If you love yourself, you are going to want to take care of yourself. You have to get to this place to find peace with your body and your life. Start today by doing something nice for yourself.
So, gorgeous, stop feeling guilty about taking time to pamper yourself, you deserve it!
Thank you so much, Jenna, for your insight! Everyone, go show Jenna some love on her Instagram here. If you want to learn more about self love, you can join Jenna's free Facebook Group for extra support. And if you're ready to ditch dieting once and for all, you might want to check out her new The Diet Rewind eBook.