At the exact moment of this picture I love my body-
I loved my body because it carried me 5k without stopping (well I stopped once because my stupid iPhone randomly stopped playing my music). I loved my body because it kept me upright on very slippery conditions; I loved my body because it kept running into the strong wind. I loved my body because I finished that 5k in a pretty decent time!
I felt free. I felt strong. I felt beautiful.
Why don’t I always feel this way?
Personally, my self confidence and body image is built on a very shaky foundation- it’s like a house of cards. I don’t know about you but the slightest breeze can send my positive feelings about myself sailing away. My own body image has been a little rough lately. It seems the further away I get from last year’s big weight loss, the worst my body image gets. I have pretty much consistently maintained my weight since last spring. Actually- my top half probably looks better- more muscle definition; where as my bottom half is probably a little heavier- easily explained due to an extremely cold winter and less dog walks. But generally, I fit into all the clothes I wore last year. I only mention this to reinforce that I look the same as when I felt good about my self, but now I feel self conscious (sometimes).
So why the bad body image?
I hope the answer is everybody goes through times of bad body image. Is this true? I hope so or maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s just me who is a little too critical of my own body. Maybe it’s just me who focuses on the parts in the mirror that less than perfect. Maybe I’m the only one who does that. I don’t think so though…..
I’m a pretty happy person- luckily I have a pretty happy life. I have a super supportive hubby, nice kids, great co-workers, and good friends & family– so I am not consumed by my thought on my body image. And actually most of the time I think I look pretty great! My thoughts ebb and flow- sometimes I will change my outfit to something “more flattering” a few times other times I don’t. Sometimes I think I should look better- for all the working out and eating healthy! Sometimes I can recognize the catalyst of bad body confidence. Like this week at the gym, we are doing “heel digs” (like a bicycle crunch) during the ab portion of the workout. Unfortunately, during that entire move, all I stare at is my two problem areas- my tummy and thighs. Ugh. Bad thoughts start creeping in- and interestingly as those negative thoughts enter my mind I can actually feel my body get weaker. I want to quit the move and put my feet back on the floor. Instead, I try to think about how last summer I couldn’t do bicycle crunches and I remember the feeling of getting through the entire ab track last summer for the first time- then I feel stronger. The power of positive self talk!
I think the “2yrs ago” me would think I’m crazy for having negative body image!
But I do know that almost everyone I know that has “that perfect body” still has their own issues with their body.
So how do I get through these moments of negative body image? I work on things I have control over. I can’t control how big my thighs are (or how big I perceive my thighs are!). First of all I don’t fall for the trap and weigh myself. I learned that the hard way (twice!). That will just make me feel worse! Second- I start eating as clean and healthy as I can- stopping the opportunity to further beat myself up after eating something “bad”. And I find, eating crappy food makes me feel crappy. Third- I’ve switched up my workouts a bit. I’m trying to add a little bit more solo pursuits like running or boxing with the heavy bag. Upping my cardio has been great for my mind- and being alone has given me time to reflect positively about myself. Lastly- I’m trying to put a little less pressure on myself. I have one of those personality types that I am unhappy with myself if I don’t give 110% at everything I do. One of my friends posted this on her facebook. It really spoke to me since I try to do it ALL!i
Back to what I can control. I can control what I eat. This last week, I have abandoned my morning ritual of Art Is In Bakery sour dough bread. Yes a super clean and healthy but who are we kidding here- it’s still bread! I switched to (a more filling and) healthier Green Protein Smoothie. Lunches- I tried to incorporate more veggies. I ate a lot of kale salad last week so this week I decided to make a super healthy soup for my lunches. My friend Nicole sent me this recipe and I loved it! It’s a Roasted Tomato and Red Lentil Soup.
- 1kg (2lb) ripe tomatoes (I used Roma but any nice ripe tomato will do)
- 200g sweet cherry tomatoes
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 red onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1-2 tbs olive oil
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups water
- ¾ cup red lentils
- 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 large ripe avocado
- 1-2 tbs lemon juice
- 1-2 tsp olive oil
You can find the directions here. I teach “health” to kindergarteners and right now we are talking about eating a “rainbow” of fruit and vegetables. This soup definitely filled the red part of the rainbow!
What makes this soup special are the lentils (which are super filling) and the garnishes of pumpkin seeds and avocado. I LOVE FRIED PUMPKIN SEEDS!!!! I put them on salad all the time and I already shared this amazing salmon recipe that has fried pumpkin seeds.
The soup was beautiful, filling and tasted amazing!
Eat pretty soup and you might feel pretty too!
Choose happy 😄