Are you trying to get ahead in life, working hard, working out, and eating right? If you’re doing it because you hate your body, you are playing a losing game. It won’t matter how often you work out, how much money you spend on supplements, whether you eat all organic or eat conventionally. If you are looking at or thinking of your body with disdain, your body is going to feel it, and so are you.
New research shows your thoughts about your body – the way you say “Ugh!” when you look at your thighs, perhaps — has an immediate chemical effect on your cellular tissue. That means when your mind is talking, your cells are listening. If you aren’t sending them love, you aren’t going to like the results. The stress response associated with judgment, disgust and criticism of your own body decreases your immune function, impairs your digestive system, stresses your cardiovascular system, and even disrupts your connective tissue. That means you get sick more frequently, feel more fatigued, gain more weight and have less resilient skin (aka more wrinkles) when you don’t like your body.
That means just the state of disliking your body keeps your body in a limited state of vibrance, fitness and health.
So what can you do if you really do want change? You have to love yourself where you are, and begin using the same methods of exercise and diet as self-care instead of self-hate. Here is a 3-step formula to do before eating or working out to help you love your body into health and fitness:
1. Lights. Focus the light of your attention on what you do want, not what you don’t want. Every time you hear yourself saying, “I feel so fat.” or “I have to lose weight.” or “I hate my belly.” make a change. Say instead, “I want to feel fit and healthy.” or “I want to be at my ideal weight.” or “I love my body into greater health.” Even if you notice yourself thinking negatively about your body, make a change and focus your attention on what you do want.
2. Camera. Look in the mirror. Love your body. Look at your own body in the mirror and literally send yourself love. Gaze upon the areas you find easiest to love, and begin there. Tell your body, “I love you. I love you. I love you.” With your mind. This has been shown to generate chemical changes in your body that increase energy levels and promote health.
3. Action. Every time you eat, use your intention to love and nourish your body. Determine the food you eat will nurture you into a strong, fit, healthy human being at your ideal weight. When you exercise, make it an activity that supports your body in self-healing. Even if it’s a tough workout, be mindful of doing it to serve your body in becoming stronger and fitter, not as a way to punish yourself for eating too many cookies.
Sometimes lighter movement serves your body best in releasing old energy and coming into balance. Know that whatever your body needs is what is best for you. Then trust that your body knows just what to do to come into its ideal weight and fitness, and to feel vibrantly alive the way you most desire to feel.