Do you you frown at yourself in the mirror? Are you constantly pinching your waist? Or poking at imperfections? This body-shaming mindset is a common obstacle to pursuing our best health and fitness states. It’s time to understand why we think this way about our miraculous bodies and how we can harness the power of our minds to better support our wellness goals.
Hey everyone! Welcome back to episode number 84 of the Fitlandia Podcast. We are rounding out the month with the announcement of The Mind Zoning Academy. If you are having ANY challenges with mental obstacles, then this is the place for you. Every single month I am doing a LIVE webinar with me that is one part focusing on a mental obstacle, one part guided meditation, and one part group coaching so you can learn how to apply these principle and strategies to your life and keep moving forward on your fitness journey.
To sign up, you can head over to fitlandiafitness.com/mind-zoning and you will be able to register for either the webinar version or the in person version with me held in Portland, Oregon. Everyone that registers will get a playback of the webinar itself, as well as professionally mixed Mind Zoning session so you can listen to it over and over again whenever you need it. TODAY, I am going to talk to you about Ending Body-shaming and Fat-shaming so that we aren’t hating and self loathing anymore, which really prevents us from getting all the health benefits we are looking for. With that, on to the show!
My goal with today’s episode is that I give you enough education and insight to start intellectualizing more what is happening in your body with food and movement and mood and end the body and fat-shaming cycle that is NOT serving your fitness goals…it is really holding you back.
When people come to 30 Days to Thriving Program, I would say that every single one of them have the intention of weight-loss. I like to make sure that they leave the program more focused on health and vitality and improvement in all areas of their life. Whether that is their resting heart rate or their blood pressure or their blood sugar levels, whatever it is that is also going to support them, rather than simply focusing on weight loss. But inevitably, we still live in a culture that is very much focused on body image and the shape that we are in and having ripped abs and being cut…and even I myself find that I am pinching and poking at myself. It is not something to hide from, but something to explore and understand what is really going on.
More importantly, I hope that you can start to end body and fat-shaming today because really, our bodies are miraculous and beautiful and incredible and we come in ALL shapes and sizes! And part of our journey is accepting that.
What I first want to start out with is a little bit of understanding about when we fat-shame someone. We’ve all heard it or done it. Whether it is something like, “Hey, put the cookie down,” or “Go for a walk,” or “Quit being so lazy.” I just want to say this first and foremost: to anyone who has been fat shamed, I am SO sorry that that has happened to you. I know that it is a very painful experience, I’ve experienced it myself, even people yelling out on the street to me, and I just have to say this: they are ignorant…they are completely ignorant. Not only is that a cruel thing to say something but they also lack the knowledge to understand what is happening in the body.
So let’s back up a little bit first and talk about out of control eating, emotional eating, and what leads us to a lot of weight gain. We have this beautiful part of our brain, our reptilian brain, that is always trying to keep us safe. Then we have the prefrontal cortex that says, “Hey, I know I need to be moving everyday and I know I need to be cooking healthy meals.” But then there is that part of us that just can’t execute on it, right?! All of our good intentions, at the end of the day, is to cook a healthy meal and we are grabbing a cupcake or grabbing a bottle of wine, whatever it is! And that is because our primal brain is literally just trying to keep us safe. We have a lot of stress in our day, we have a lot of emotions that many of us haven’t dealt with, traumas and triggers from childhood that haven’t yet healed, and so our primal brain is kicking in to make us feel safe. And the ways that it knows to do that is to fire up the pleasure center in our brain and that usually comes in the form of sugar, refined carbs and alcohol. Whatever kind of addictive behavior that means. For some people, it’s drug abuse, for some people, it’s gambling or a sex addiction…but our brain is trying to find a way to serve us.
But bringing it back to Fitlandia and my audience, most of us are struggling with an emotional connection to food. What we also don’t realize is that a lot of the processed foods that we consume are actually geared to make us addicted to it…and we might not even know that! For some of you, this might be the first time that you’re hearing that processed foods are made to be addictive and make us crave more of them. So when I say that it isn’t your fault, it truly isn’t your fault if you lack that knowledge and don’t know how to get out of it, then you can’t blame yourself for it, you can’t shame yourself for it, you can’t hate on yourself for it when your brain is designed to keep you safe.
So, that’s just one tip of the iceberg, we could do a LOT of education in food addiction alone to help support you, but now it’s the “What’s Next?” right? What do I need to do to move forward on my journey? If I have this one little sprinkle of knowledge today that my brain is trying to keep me safe so I’m craving and firing up that rewards center in my brain and oh, by the way, what I’m eating is keeping me in an addictive pattern…now what? And that’s where my 30 Days to Thriving program comes in. We actually do a food elimination program of the commonly addictive foods, the inflammatory foods, that are going to help you do a body reset. But I also call it a nutrition and mindset program because we also help you reshape your thoughts around craving a lifestyle of health that is sustainable.
So during that process, and the program while you’re learning how food is processed in the body, how to make good choices, how to break that craving cycle, that addiction cycle, learning how to starve the bad bacteria in the gut so you get out of this incessant craving need. Also comes this opportunity to really love on your body as it is TODAY…and I know for a lot of you, that’s a really tough one to swallow. We are programmed to hate on ourselves…we motivate ourselves through this shaming process and I want to get us out of that because when we shame our body, we actually keep it in this same state that it’s in. Many of you have heard the quote, “What we resist, persists. And where our attention flows, that’s what we create.” So if we are constantly looking at our body, looking at what we don’t like, we are actually feeding our brain to maintain that.
So what I’m going to be teaching in the Mind Zoning Academy for July, is actually how to end that shaming cycle. It doesn’t matter what weight you are at, what your shape is, where your goals are and what you want to achieve, I’m going to walk you through a beautiful meditation that teaches you how to really appreciate your body as it is today. And I can’t stress this enough…it is a critical component in long-term weight loss, health, and vitality. Being able to accept your body today, while at the same time, lovingly release the weight, the guilt, the shame, the triggers, the trauma, everything, that got you to this point.
So, I’m going to speak to the exercise that you can do at home BUT I hope you’ll all join me for this Mind Zoning Academy, because when we are in that relaxed, focused, meditative state, our brain slows down and we are actually able to access our subconscious mind much more readily so that we CAN start to change these thought patterns. So YES, do this exercise everyday, but also sign up for the Mind Zoning Academy at fitlandiafitness.com/mind-zoning so that you can also experience the meditation BUT you will also get a professionally mixed version of the recording too so you can play it over and over again.
Okay, so here’s how it works:
Stand in front of a mirror every morning, make it a habit, let’s say, when you are brushing your teeth. Usually, we are in the bathroom brushing our teeth, most of us have a mirror in front of us, it’s a great time to look yourself in the mirror, look at yourself in the eyes and say, “I love you today, as you are, while we are making these changes. I accept every part of you, today, while we make these changes.” And then do a scan from head to toe, focusing on gratitude, and being mindful of everything you love about yourself and your body. And it goes something like this…
“Oh, I LOVE my forehead, and the wrinkles that are there just show the joy that I’ve experienced in my life. I like the color of my eyes. I am grateful that I had braces in my teenage years for a straight smile. I love the development I am getting in my shoulders for the strength that I have. I love that my arms are getting stronger everyday to lift more and feel muscle tone and strength, but I accept where it is today. I love my core and my torso, even with my rolls and the extra fat and tissue that I have, I love that my body is still moving everyday, that I have growing flexibility and strength. I love my hips, that I can get out on a dance floor and shake it! I love my quads, that are SO strong. They are the strongest part of my body. That get me out of bed everyday, that get me moving, that walk me to every task that I do. I love my calves that are also getting stronger and connect my quds to my ankles and my feet. And my feet, ah my feet! That bear the load of my entire body and still keep me moving forward. I thank you body, I honor you body, as you are today and as we are moving forward to grow our strength and vitality.”
So that is how the exercise goes. Like I said, when we are doing this in the Mind Zoning Academy, we will take time to get really relaxed. We will do a progressive relaxation technique that helps us loosen the muscles in our body and really get into it and FOCUS on this wonder that our bodies are! That we get to move everyday! That we get to celebrate what IS good about our body and end the fat-shaming and the, “I wish I was this, I need to be that, I hate that I’m this.” We need to END that and make a practice of it, so that it isn’t holding us back to getting to our ideals and goals and dreams that we have for ourselves. Because really, we are a walking miracle everyday. OUr heart is beating, our brain is thinking, we are seeking new opportunities and we are executing action in our lives and THAT is something to celebrate in our lives.
So, I will leave you with that positive energy. I can’t wait to see you all in either the webinar or live in Portland for ANY of the Mind Zonings because we are going to be doing this every single month so head over to fitlandiafitness.com/mind-zoning, sign up for the the next Mind Zoning Academy and I will see you all soon!