learn to love and respect myself and my body
With winter settling in, so many of us can find ourselves spending more time under the doona than outdoors exercising, more time eating comfort foods rather than opting for healthier options, and the sad thing is, we spend even more time feeling guilty or disliking ourselves for over indulging rather than nurturing ourselves and enjoying occasional guilt free treats. It took me years to work out life wasn’t meant to be a roller coaster of emotions fuelled by guilt and self – dislike. It took me years to work out I am what I eat, digest and think and not necessarily what I exercise. It took me years to work out that in order to be happier myself and be able to give more of myself to my family, I had to learn to love and respect myself and my body.
Welcome to my life. Body image issues, guilt and self – dislike all used to be my middle names; depending on the time of the month, what stage of the sugar roller coaster I was on, and depending on how long ago my last junk food binge had taken place. I am happy to say I have thankfully been living a guilt – free life now for quite a few years..
I am not naturally slim. I was never that skinny, fit kid that’s full of energy and loves sport. I was the exact opposite, actually. Growing up in a single parent household, with my dad looking after myself and my two sisters, I was an emotional eater from a very young age. Dad was always there physically, but he was rarely emotionally available for us. When I was missing my mother (who I was not allowed to see whenever I wanted) I would turn to food. Sugary, fatty, highly refined food. I remember having this great big feeling of emptiness in my tummy, and I would fill it with junk. Ice cream, sweet pastries, chocolate milk, lollies – you name it. Anything sweet would give me that instant high. That good, warm, sweet feeling in my tummy telling me that everything is going to be ok. And there was always plenty of junk available at my house. Dad would rarely cook for us, so coming home from school to an empty house, it was ‘every girl for herself’. Although fruit and veggies were usually available, what kid would go for an apple or carrot when they can grab chocolate milk and a jam doughnut? Years later, after becoming a mother, I realised that tummy fullness might have only been disguising an emotional void. Looking back now, all I probably needed was a great big cuddle and a pair of ears to listen to my needs and emotions, especially as I became a young teen. That was the time I started to become more aware of my body, including all of the wobbly bits.. I can personally ‘thank’ my older sister, who nicknamed me ‘wobbly jellyfish’ for reinforcing how I already felt about my growing body back then.
So that’s where it all began. That’s where the body image issues, guilt and self – dislike took over my life. I have to be thankful, however, to my sister (who is now my bestest friend), my dad and mum. I believe my past made me want to learn more about food, about eating well to nourish the body and living a well – balanced life in a physically and emotionally well balanced body. That’s when I became a fitness instructor and nutritionist. Through my studies, observing my patients and self – experience, I eventually came to the conclusion that life’s too short to waste your time feeling guilty, follow highly restrictive diets and to not have a good time; I believe it is definitely too short for bad coffee, peeling carrots and counting calories too! Once we learn our unique ‘body language’ and give our bodies the healthy, wholesome foods they need, we eventually achieve the healthy (physically and emotionally), sexy body we desire which we need to emotionally nourish with plenty of love.
I then came up with a ‘KIS’ concept and philosophy, which I later on put together into a book called ‘KIS (Keep It Simple) and Lose Weight’. Here are a few ‘KIS’ tips I’d like to share with you. Following these guidelines will help get you on the right track towards achieving a zestier, healthier version of you: