These days it’s fair to say that the great majority of us are critical about our own bodies (as well as, to be honest, a whole myriad of other things about ourselves).
Getting back to the body though, the debate about ‘photo-shopped perfect female bodies, skin etc’ in magazines has been played out for years, of course. But today there are also perfected images on numerous social media channels with which to compare ourselves as well.
We can’t seem to be able to escape the pressure to be ‘body’ beautiful. But we have to, if we want to be happy, relaxed and find fulfilment in lots of other areas of our life. And anyway, the ‘perfect body’ the fashion world and glossy magazines revere is more often than not, underweight and ghastly looking without make-up and studio lights.
Hating our body can lead to unhealthy obsessions
And anyway, what happens if we reach the goal of achieving our so-called perfect body? Will we heave a sigh of relief, sit back and relax? Chances are we’d keep going with the result we’d probably become ill and obsessed. In fact, here’s an interesting little truism for you:
“Changing your body won’t make you love yourself. But loving yourself can make your body change.”
If we’re good to our body ie nourish it with the right green and plant-based foods, make sure we get plenty of sleep and rest, meditate and soak up at least 20 minutes of sunlight every day, then our body will repay us. It really is that simple. Nurturing our bodies will result in us having more energy, better sleep, feeling more motivated and, guess what… it will also mean lose weight without even trying.
How changing my diet and lifestyle gave me my life back
Take my own story, for instance. I started looking at how the way I treated my body was affecting me physically – and mentally – after losing 20 kilos. I loved my new body – not because I looked great in a pair of skinny jeans but rather because I felt so much better. I could still breathe normally after running 10 minutes to catch a bus while fell walking meant being able to keep up with my companions rather than stopping for a rest every 15 minutes.
The weight just started falling off me after I started juicing in a bid to help me with eczema which had started appearing on my face and body. At the same time I started practicing meditation and enjoyed the feeling of being more relaxed, as well as calmer and happier than I’d felt in years. I also changed my regular meat-eating habit to a vegetarian one and finally, a plant-based version. I now have lots of energy, sleep well and feel enthusiastic about life.
Crucially, I take time to listen to my body. I now rest when I’m tired (rather than push on to “get that job finished before midnight”). I stop eating when I feel full and I make sure I have dedicated ‘me’ time every day. These haven’t been difficult things to incorporate into my daily routine. But they make a world of difference to how I feel about myself and the world around me.
Looking after my body has taught me how to love myself and become less judgemental of myself and others. In doing so I’ve also become aware that friends and family don’t love me simply because I’m 20 kilos lighter or have a flawless skin. No, they love me because of who I am, how I think and of the way I behave towards them. And yours will be the same.
About the author
Dominica Roszko is a nutrition and well-being specialist, and the founder of vegerasta.com – a site dedicated to healthy living.