So often we find ourselves holding back from things to achieve that so called “perfect” body.
But are people who even have those so-called “perfect” bodies happy with themselves? It’s interesting the things we do to try to achieve perfection, even sacrifice our health. Why can’t we just get to the point where we lead a healthy life and are fully content with ourselves?
During my government job I had decided to take part in a fitness competition. I had recently gotten out of a long relationship and was feeling the need to achieve something, to better myself. I decided to take part and had 4 months to train and change my diet. Needless to say I had discipline. From working out 5-6 times a week, eating only a high protein low carb diet, no sugar, no wheat, nothing from a box, minus my protein powder. I had decided to give it my all. The two weeks leading up to the competition, I had been advised to do things a little different to achieve the results I “needed” for perfection. Or at least as close as I could get to. Cutting out sodium 2 weeks in, which even meant I could only drink distilled water as it contains very little. Had to lower my carb intake even more and 2 days in I even had to decrease my water intake, so that I would “dehydrate” and get that toned look. There were a lot of other things, but that was the gist of it. Needless to say the day of the competition, I felt good, not “healthy” but my spirits were high as I had pushed so hard to get to where I was. Standing behind the curtains, I took a look at all the ladies in my category. We were all there for the same reason. It wasn’t to win at this point, not for me at least, but to show face of what I had accomplished. Everyone there had a story. A breakup, a lifestyle change, a loved one died, an illness. Whatever the story was, we all had one goal in mind: to better ourselves somehow, even if it was through the physical.
This experience was a huge accomplishment, so I am in no way knocking it down. But looking back I ask myself if it was really all worth it. Did I accomplish what I wanted? Which was essentially to feel better about myself and my body. The accomplishment is always worth my while, but it never really lasts, does it. Feeling good about yourself truly comes from within. So whether you are pushing yourself day in and day out at the gym or going for plastic surgery, or getting makeovers, nothing on the outside ever lasts. It is all about that inner child screaming to be loved. When you can truly embrace your inner demons, all those negative things playing in your mind that you are not good enough until fill in the blank, you will never be satisfied and will be sacrificing your health for an untouchable image of perfection.
Remember health is not simply about low fat diets and having to eat things that have no flavour to them. It is about making beautiful healthy meals bursting with nutrients and eating it with pleasure. It is about being grateful and happy with not just your meals, but your life. It is about learning to love who you are. Many people who are unsatisfied with their bodies and wish to lose weight, have a really tough time. It isn’t just about having discipline with your workouts and diet but also about loving and accepting yourself as you are now so you can love and appreciate the journey ahead. How can one loose weight when every time that person looks into the mirror they see negative things and criticize?
Health is about love. Having love for a deliciously healthy meal Mother Nature has grown for you. Having love for your body capable of moving is healthy. Having love for yourself as you are in this moment is optimal health. When you love yourself, you don’t wish to feed it toxins or have negative self-talk. You simply accept and love it just the way it is. As Deepak Chopra said “The physical world, including our bodies, is a response of the observer. We create our bodies as we create the experience of our world.”
As love should be our fuel for better health, so shall our beliefs. Remember, thoughts and affirmations are one thing, but add feeling and you give it power. Practice love. Love towards yourself, towards others, towards eating, towards moving, towards life and watch what will happen. Love will flow back in and turn your whole world around. Love will have you want to eat healthier, love will have you want to go for long walks or runs, love will build on that appreciation for life. That is when your life becomes perfect. Not someone else’s version of it.