Don’t Hate Yourself

I wish I had come up with that phrase on my own, but I didnt. Nevertheless, its one hell of a saying. And you know what? Its true! You cannot fix a body you hate.

Before I get into that, I just wanted to write a quick update. A couple posts ago, I wrote about having a tough transition with the semester, and coming home. Basically, I was a frazzled, stressed mess! I am happy to report, I have straight As, am on top of my game, and am lifting regularly like I was previously. My heart is mended, and I am completely content being alone and doing my own thing. I am so glad to be back at that point! Phew! Breathe..

Also, I have good news to share. Im really, really excited about this! Ive never mentioned this, but I am doing my masters in Music Therapy. It is the cutest, most hip town. I equate it to a mini Portland. Anyway, I am about halfway through my program here, and am loving it. I have recently signed up to do a certification at college for Music Therapy. Yes, thats right. Music Therapy. It sounds so cool, doesnt it? I had a dream, for a short bit, about becoming a Neurologist. I decided this was a better fit given my detailed history and degrees in music. Ill post about the experience, once it happens. But I am so psyched!

Now for the nitty gritty. You cant fix a body you hate. What does this even mean? I think this can be relayed to anyone: the constant yo-yo dieter, the bulimic, the anorexic, the gym obsessed, the sized 26, the sized 0, the person who picks him/herself apart in the mirror constantly, the powerlifter. All of you.

I see it all the time. Girls punishing themselves for overeating on the weekend by doing countless hours of worthless cardio. I have to do this, to make up for what I did this weekend. Guys think they have to be rough, tough, and strong and sacrifice form for a bigger lift. Who cares as long as I reach X on my bench press. Ive got to be a big man! Rawrrrr! This is a common one: I wont eat anything so I can fit into this dress/shirt/pair of pants for my date this weekend.

I dont care what I have to do, or what I put my body through, as long as I can end up looking how I want.

Essentially, thats what all those scenarios are saying. But, just look how messed up that logic is! It should read something more like this: My body is an amazing creation. I will treat it right, fuel it right, and listen to its needs. When everything is in its place, thats when progress in obtaining my goals will occur.

If the driving force behind reaching your goals is desperation, it might be time to change your perspective! Oh, great. There she goes again talking about shifting my perspective.

No, seriously. Heres why having the right, healthy perspective makes all the difference! Ill tell you a little story about me.

Up until about a month ago, or so, I was eating and training for fat loss. My driving force for eating right and lifting was for the aesthetic benefits; not the health ones (although those were part of it, but aesthetics pushed them to the back burner). I was told to eat only x, y, and z to obtain my fat loss goals and look, feel, and perform better. I never reached my goals, and this made me frustrated. I began to resent my body, and I thought, You dumb body. Why wont you work? Why wont you just lean out already? Why wont you finally give me what I want after Ive worked so hard? I saw a pattern forming and I was afraid I would begin to hate my body, again! (You can read about how I overcame that, here!) I talked with a close friend and realized a bunch of things:

By listening to one persons advice only, I was neglecting the advice my own body was giving me. My body wanted out of Ketosis, my body wanted more carbs, and my body wanted more variation.
Maybe the approach I was given worked for some people, but everyone is different, and this definitely was not working for me.
Maybe it was time to switch things up! After all, 4 months of eating x, y, and z only, wasnt really getting me anywhere. It was making me stressed, and those old, dysmorphic thoughts were slowly creeping their way back into my life.

Essentially, I decided to just eat Paleo. and just lift heavy things. Because I like to, and I feel good when I do it. Erased from my mind was the neurotic thinking of keeping my carbohydrate intake under 10g a day, or dont touch fruit! Itll make you fat. All these nonsense things. I realized I was missing out on a lot of great vitamins, and minerals present in the nutritious foods that I was told not to eat (right now) to reach my goals.

So, I stopped hating my body, again, and started treating it right and recognizing how truly amazing it is! I quit worrying about macronutrients, and numbers, and just ate to nourish my body. I learned to listen to what my body needs, and I honestly feel a lot better. I feel less stressed, Im sleeping better, and in essence, Im beginning to look better and feel better, as well. Funny how that works, right?

Once again, Ive had to relearn some lessons. But Im glad to relearn such an important one such as this. Quit hating on your body and start loving on it and all that it is capable of! Its really amazing. From there, everything will fall into place.

Stay tuned, Im not done yet!

To keep the body in good health is a duty otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. -Buddha