For the first 20-something years of my life, I struggled hugely with my body image and self worth.
All I wanted to do was change. I was desperate to look and feel different in the hope that it would make people like me more, make me feel better and somehow make my life easier.
I starved myself, binged and tried every diet there was, but nothing really worked or made me feel any better. My motivation for change came from a very negative place – a place of being unhappy with myself, angry with myself and frustrated with the world.
There are so many people I have met over the years who are going through what I did. Their motivation to get healthy, lose weight, get in shape or whatever it might be, comes from a place of wanting to feel like they are loved, accepted or to feel like they are good enough. The core of their desire to change is so often from a place of frustration, anger and sadness.
The problem is, if you are motivated to change from a place of negativity, then there is a big chance that whatever diet or fitness regime or plan you try, you either won’t be able to keep the motivation going long enough to get the results you want, or if you do get results, you might not be able to keep them.
Why? Not because you lack the desire or willpower, but instead because the part of your mind which is motivating you to ‘eat less’, ‘exercise more’ or ‘not drink’ is coming from a dark, cold, hard, unloving place and as far as I can see, that place isn’t great for helping people make positive changes which last.
Over the years I have learnt if you want to make changes that last, then you are far better to be motivated by love, respect and appreciation for yourself and your body.
Learning to accept all that you are and all that you are not, is hugely important. And if you want to make changes in your life – to get fitter and healthier or whatever it might be – make sure you are doing it for you. It might also be for your family, your kids or people who you really love and care about. But don’t use any negativity to motivate you – if people have been rude or mean about the way you look, don’t waste your time or energy trying to change what they think about you. Only change because you want to – for you.
So, if you are in the process or changing or you want to make a change in your life – what is your motivation? Can you find a way to be motivated from a place of self love and appreciation for just how amazing you and your body are?
You want to be gently and lovingly pulled towards your goal, not violently pushed. You want to run and eat well because it makes you look and feel good, not because you care what ‘someone at the office’ thinks.
Be brave, be true, be you.
With love x
“Grant me to serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Claire Turnbull, BSc (Hons) Dietetics UK, NZ-registered nutritionist
Managing director of Mission Nutrition
Healthy Food Guide nutritionist
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