This post was a guest article that I wrote for Paleo Parents. Stacy, from Paleo Parents, is one inspiring woman that you should all get to know better. Definitely check out her story and follow her journey. I was so thrilled to hear that Stacy threw out her scale for good after reading my post! ROCK ON GIRL!!!
Intro from Stacy:
“I met Summer at PaleoFX this year while we shared a barbell during the Women’s Dead lift and Back squat class. She was spunky and bubbly in an adorable way. After following her on Instagram and seeing her series on body love and acceptance on her blog I asked if she’d share some of her powerful words with you all. I can’t thank Summer enough for writing this guest post so that I too could be reminded of steps I too need to take towards loving my own body – a daily endeavor for me. Despite writing about the scale being useless for years I finally threw it out last week when I read her post!” -Stacy
You put so much effort into being healthy – preparing meals, looking up new recipes, going to sleep earlier, being brave and eating sardines – and even though you lost some weight, healed health problems or have better energy, you still don’t like your body. You look at pictures of yourself and instantly gravitate toward the flaws.
You may even find yourself acting a little obsessed around food in an effort to continue to feel better about your body. Maybe you cut back on carbs…or try adding more carbs. Maybe you spend hours listening to podcasts to figure out what other nutrients or hacks you can try to feel better in your own skin.
You continue to tweak things and you still don’t feel great in your body.
The problem is that you are looking in the wrong place to solve your body issues. Stop trying to fix your food and start working on accepting your body the way it is right now. Today.
If you can accept your body as it is right now, your issues with food start to banish and your life starts to feel pretty dandy. Making good choices becomes effortless and easy when you honor and love your body.
Thankfully the message to “love your body” is becoming more mainstream. However, this can seem like an impossible and monumental task for anyone who has ever struggled with body image. I say that rather than loving your body in the same vain that I love a legit bowl of gelato, you choose to accept it. In other words, just be cool with it. But, how do you do that?
Here are 5 steps to loving the body you have today:
#1 – Stop bashing yourself…and other people (… even the Kardashians).
How many times have you said, “I feel gross” or “does this make my butt look fat?” or “I’m so dumb.” Stop. Seriously, just STOP. The more that you vocalize negative things about yourself, the more that you will think and believe them. The more you believe these things, the more you will obsess over food and want to change your body.
It’s also imperative to understand that more often than not, how you feel about your body has nothing to do with your body. It’s true. We project insecurities about other areas of our life and self-esteem onto our body. We do this because we integrate body-esteem and self-esteem, when in reality these are two very different things. When we project our stress and other self-esteem insecurities onto our body, it becomes something we can more easily ‘fix’. It’s so much easier to eat less carbs than deal with hard feelings.
In addition, stop apologizing for, justifying or coming to terms with your ‘flaws’. Who says these are flaws? The media? US Weekly? The more that you buy into that propaganda, the more that we perpetuate the idea that there is some ideal. Every inch of your body is something that deserves gratitude.
When you stop saying negative things about yourself and others, you will stop believing them. Breaking free of these thoughts is imperative to feeling great in the body you have now.
#2 – Ditch your scale.
How many times have you stepped on the scale only to see a higher number than you would have liked? You get that sinking feeling in your gut and you immediately feel panic, frustration or sadness. We are in an abusive relationship with a piece of machinery.
We tie our self-worth to the number and base our success on it. When we see that it’s not going in the direction we want it to, we are thrown into the depths of self-loathing and so we continue to ‘tweak our food’ to solve the problem.
Get rid of your scale for good – throw it out… smash it to pieces. Nothing is more liberating or empowering.
#3 – Reinvent beauty.
Our culture puts so much value on your body looking a certain way. To get past this, you need to redefine beauty for yourself. You need to create your own environment that shifts your perceptions of what beauty means.
First, eliminate anything that makes you feel insecure – magazines, TV shows, people on Instagram, friends on Facebook, forums that discuss weight loss or health hacks etc. Remove people from your life that only want to talk about macronutrients or cellulite.
Next, start to flood your environment with a new definition of beauty. Instead of filling my Instagram and Pinterest with paleo porn, I have flooded it with plus-size models, inspiring quotes about confidence, women who promote strength (Stacy being an incredible example of this) and beauty at any age or size. Once you start to infiltrate your mind with these images, your definition of beauty shifts from TMZ’s definition to real women of every shape and size.
Spend 5 minutes looking at these images every day and you will be amazed at what a difference this makes to your perception of your own beauty.
#4 – Be awesome now.
How would your life be different if you had the perfect body? Would you wear different clothes or do different activities? Would you have sex more often? Would you try rock climbing? Come up with a list of 5 things that would be different and then go and do 3 of them. Now. In the body you have today.
You gain confidence by pushing yourself outside your comfort zone and realizing that your body is never a limitation to achieving what you really want.
Remember, confidence is something you can have in any body. Play the part of the new you and soon you will easily be that person.
#5 – Dedicate time to this
Allocate 10 minutes each day to working on some of these things. You will reap SO MANY MORE benefits compared to finding a new grain-free recipe for pizza. If you have struggled with weight, body image or you can’t ‘stick’ to paleo, it’s time you ditched the diet and started to work on yourself.
Here is my free guide with 10 missions (a.k.a. 10 ways to love your body) to get you started. I know how easy it is to make plans to take on changes and then never actually act on them. Don’t over-think it…just start. Pick one or two of these missions and put them into action now.