Episode 24: Love Yo’self Before You Wreck Yo’self: Fostering A Positive Relationship With Your Body
This week we bring you a very special episode of The Kitschy Kountdown because we have our very first guest interview! Meagan Bertoni is a health and wellness coach intent on helping women make peace with food and their bodies to live a guilt free life. Meagan’s approach to coaching focuses on nourishing the body, being mindful and feeling emotions. She is a guide and mentor who ultimately works with clients to implement positive changes to their diet, lifestyle and mental health to live a healthier, happier life. Check her out on her website Meaganbertoni.com or follow her on Instagram @meaganbertoni!
Eat foods that nourish your body. This doesn’t mean eating kale or a green smoothie every day, although that might be your jam, but focus on eating foods that make YOU feel GOOD. This means different things for different people, but the key is focusing on what makes you feel good instead of following another fad diet or trendy program. Side note: when it comes to buying organic, eating vegetables is better than not eating vegetables, so don’t let the pressure of having to buy organic stop you. However, if you want to start incorporating more organic produce into your diet but don’t want to break the bank, check out The Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen for a list of the fruits and vegetables to buy organic and what is clean to buy conventionally according to pesticide use.
Tune into what your body is telling you. A lot of times our body knows things before our minds do. You know the feeling, the knot you get in your throat when you’re not saying something you should in the middle of an argument. Tuning into that gut feeling is a really great way to change your relationship with your body because your body is telling you so much, and a lot of times we ignore it. Practically speaking, this can look like listening and responding when your body is telling you it’s craving something (carbs anyone?) instead of forcing yourself to eat yet another plate of grilled chicken and vegetables.
Move your body for fun. We have been conditioned to do exercises only if they burn a lot of calories, but that perpetrates the message that working out is punishment. Find ways to move that make you feel good and that you enjoy doing. Whether it’s a zumba class, a HIIT workout, playing kickball with your friends, or stress relief yoga, doing something is better than doing nothing, and your body will thank you for moving for pleasure instead of punishment.
Think about how miraculous your body is. Your body is an air-breathing, blood-pumping, food-digesting, energy-converting machine. If you can spend even 5 minutes a day focusing on how great your body is, you will be amazed at its greatness. This could be as focused as a meditation practice or as simple as taking the time after a workout or while you’re eating dinner to stop and think about how amazing your body truly is for all it can do. The more time you spend being grateful for your body, the less time you will spend criticizing it.
When you look in the mirror, focus on what you love about your body rather than what you hate. This is easier said than done, but if you can look in the mirror and pick one thing you love, you are working to rewire the way your brain works. The more you focus on the positive aspects of your body, the healthier relationship you will start to foster with your body.
Stop comparing yourself to other people. We all spend so much time and energy looking at the girls who have the thin legs we want or the toned arms we want, but at the end of the day, you’re not them and you have no idea what they’re going through to have the body you want. This is where positive self talk and reminding yourself what you would actually have to go through (buh bye wine and cheese nights) to look a certain way can make you grateful for who you are and what you have.
Ditch the scale. Stop weighing yourself. Throw it out the window. Get rid of it. Numbers mess with our minds- you could be feeling super great about yourself and as soon as you step on the scale, it can negatively affect your whole attitude. Replace the scale by tuning into your physical and emotional well being, noticing how your clothes fit differently, how much more weight you can lift, how much longer you can run, or using a food journal to chart what you’re eating and how you’re feeling.
Find your “why.” We often start a new diet or workout regimen to lose weight or look a certain way without really stopping to think why. Dig deeper into your motives to get past the “I want to lose weight before I go to the beach” and connect to the heart of the matter. Your reasons may change and you may have more than one, but if you really connect to your why, it keeps you on track to achieve what you really want. Wanting to change your body isn’t inherently bad, but when it gets unhealthy is when you’re doing it because you hate what you have or you feel you’re supposed to look a certain way.
Practice being okay with where you are. You can’t be anywhere else than where you are in the present moment. In order to effect positive change and stay in tune with your why, you have to accept what you have and where you are right now.
Get rid of your “white shorts” and buy clothes that make you feel beautiful. We’ve all been there- we keep the clothes in our closets that used to fit and try to stuff ourselves into them or look longingly and think about how great it would be to fit into them again. This does nothing but perpetuate our negative self talk and reinforces our pessimistic thought patterns. Go through your closet and get rid of anything that triggers these thoughts for you and buy clothes that make you feel beautiful and confident. Smaller isn’t better ya’ll. Nobody knows what size you wear but you, and 9 times out of 10, trying to stuff yourself into clothes that are too small actually ends up making you look bigger.
Unfollow people on social media who make you feel like crap. Scrolling through Instagram and constantly comparing yourself to the people you see and feeling down about yourself does nothing to serve you. There’s no shame in unfollowing the people who trigger these negative emotions. This doesn’t have to be a forever decision, but not allowing yourself to be constantly inundated by images that spark negative emotions can only propel you forward in your health and wellness journey.
Meagan's Kitsch Pick: Embrace (Documentary)