I’ll admit, that sometimes I’ll scroll through Facebook, see all the party photos, glamorous events and think that to some degree, I’m missing out. I think at some point we’ve all felt this way. Seeing people look their best and feeling even remotely insecure as though we don’t measure up. I realize that this feeling may sound completely benign to some but it isn’t because it makes us question our body image, self-worth, maybe our lack of popularity and creates a great deal of stress.
So how do we fit into a world when clearly we feel as though we stand out?
I recently wrote a blog post on the impact of the new digital era and the links with depression. It creates a skewed perception of who we should be based on the flood of messaging we’re inundated with on a daily basis. And when the svelte body of a woman has three kids with the caption, “What’s your excuse?” it’s enough for many of us to put down our fork and feel the weight of body image stress sinking in. We punish ourselves through the food we eat because we don’t fit into the muscle molds and size 25 jeans. So here are some tips to be able to fight the urge to fit into more than just your jeans.
When I say this, I don’t mean that you should never indulge. In fact, what I’m saying is quite the opposite. In fact, I recently got this concept loud and clear from Food & Body Relationship Coach, Kelly Boaz who is one of the experts of my upcoming pay-what-you-can Stress Detox. She strongly believes that when we tell ourselves that we’re having a “cheat day”, it automatically creates a sense of guilt because we feel we’re doing something wrong. This impacts our stress levels significantly because followed by that guilt is negative smack talk and punishment. How often have you “cheated” and said, “God I’m so fat” and how long did that body image stress sit with you? So the solution: stop cheating. Instead, if you eat a burger at the end of the week, enjoy it and remember you’re not perfect, you’re human.
Tune out and tune in
I remember being happy the day I took cable out of my world. I felt that I would zone out to it and it zapped my soul. Social media is TV’s rebellious, evil stepsister. So set a time to tune out of all digital devices. Mine is at 8pm. This will give you the opportunity to tune into yourself, that book you’ve been meaning to get through and give yourself the love you deserve. This requires discipline but you’ll be surprised at how much lighter and happier you’ll be.
Make comfort food & reconnect
I don’t care if you do this over a glass of wine, but start to reconnect with your food and make something comforting. My latest and greatest is a Spicy Black Bean & Pumpkin soup. Receive this new recipe and more in my upcoming pay-what-you-can Stress Detox. Black beans are incredibly grounding and nourish your kidneys in Chinese Medicine (having an affinity to your adrenals – where your stress hormones are pumped out of).
Stop tackling the weight & instead deal with your stress
While I call my program a Stress Detox, it isn’t meant to be a hardcore detox. Rather it’s about rooting ourselves during the cooler months and tackling our stress levels. Too often I see people saying they want to lose weight when the very reason why they’re body is holding on is because their cortisol (stress hormone) is out the roof. This increases abdominal fat as insulin sensitivity is lowered. So we eat more sugar because our body has no idea that it’s had enough. So the root cause is – tackle the stress first. You’d be surprised at how quickly your body will respond.
So in the meantime, if you’ve ever shamed your body for not measuring up to the images you see all over the web, you’re not alone. Maybe it’s about time to have a body image stress makeover. And I’m excited to have Kelly Boaz as part of my expert panel providing practical ways to relieve the stress and start loving your body again. Trust me when I say it makes a difference to the overall picture. Stress is not just about popping supplements and eating well, it’s a combined approach which is why I have a diverse group of experts.
It’s time to celebrate not fitting in and rather revel in standing out.
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