This is to all those people who have spent all (or the majority) of their lives stressing about their body, food, and exercise. Who are constantly going on and off diets to lose ‘those last 5 kilos’ or to look like the model in the magazine. Ask yourself, how has it served you?
Have you achieved and effortlessly maintained that dream body? Have you suddenly found new friends and become incredibly successful? Do you know bounce out of bed in the mornings with incredible vigour? Did losing weight fix all your life problems? Are you now perfectly happy?
So many people feel that if they just lose those last 5 kilos, or if they finally eat ‘perfectly’ or exercise just right then they’ll achieve all their dreams, then they’ll be entirely happy. Yet, so rarely does that happen. Instead we spend our lives stressing over something that prevents us being happy. Give yourself a break from the unrealistic expectations that society places on you.
Quit that diet and give yourself full permission to enjoy foods for nourishment and pleasure. Take the time to cook healthy and delicious meals that look after your body. Stop saying you can’t eat chocolate and instead enjoy it mindfully and eat it when you really do want it (because we know when you tell yourself you can’t have something you just want it more and think about it all the time).
Stop planning exercise programs that require 2 hours a day, 6 days a week with exercises that you hate doing. Unless you’re an athlete, you’ll physically burn out at some stage and psychologically you won’t be enjoying yourself. Exercise should be fun, not punishment. Find something you love and do that instead. It will be good for your mind and body.
And lastly, stop with the diet talk. Stop bashing your own body and others. Stop saying ‘oh I shouldn’t’ when someone offers you cake at a birthday, stop saying tomorrow you’ll get back on track and start that diet all over again. Stop reading magazines that promise ‘flat abs and a toned butt in just 2 weeks.’ Stop listening to uneducated people who tell you that 1200 calories is enough for your body to live off of.
Stop feeding those unhelpful thoughts in your head. Feed and care for the body you have right now, because that is what will bring you happiness.
And consider just for a moment – maybe, despite all your attempts, you haven’t been able to lose those last 5 kilos because you’re not meant to. Maybe your body is honestly quite happy and healthy where it is.