I don’t know about you, ladies, but I am so thrilled that the New Year is here. Right now is the time that our dreams feel fresh. There’s magic flowing from our pens to our journals. We get our vision board party on, and we make promises to ourselves to start manifesting every day miracles.
Many of us use the beginning of the year to put a tremendous focus on our careers, love life, or other major projects but all too often there is one area of our essence that we neglect.
It’s our bodies.
We make plans to lose weight or go vegan but our actions don’t mount up as the year begins to unfold. Doing so starts to feel too overwhelming all too quickly and before we know it, we are putting our bodies on the back burner.
Excuses pop up. Pain from our past shows up, and guilt about other commitments spring up.
This happens to many of us year after year after year.
Fortunately, we are still very early into 2016 and you can definitely start some new self-love practices right now where your body takes top priority.
These five ideas are easy and not intimidating. Taking care of your body should never be too taxing of an effort when seeking long-term change.
Remember to keep things manageable and uplifting.
1. Hold onto that one healthy habit you already have no matter what.
What do you do now that makes your body feel very loved?
For me it’s cooking healthy meals most days of the week.
Yes, I am going to go ahead and say it: “We are what we eat.”
I want my body to be full of gorgeous foods and nutrients that continuously restore my health.
I put this into practice by cooking my own meals despite the fact that I currently live with my dad who is anti green juice and organic anything and everything. My dad is an award-winning grill master who cooks often, but I stay true to the promise I’ve made to my body and always pass on his offer of pork ribs for dinner.
For you, it may be that you’ve been going to a yoga class once a month, so in 2016 why not go once a week. Even if money is an issue (because honestly, yoga can be quite expensive) find a free class in your city. Meetup.com and yelp.com are excellent resources for finding free classes in most major cities.
Or maybe you desire to try Meatless Mondays and have done it a few times in the past. This year, right now, next Monday is the perfect time to start your Meatless Monday adventure and stick to it.
Zone in on your favorite body-loving practice and remain faithful to it this year.
2. Let go of the negative self-talk about your body
As a health coach, almost without fail, when I work with women, their issue is not being able to control their cravings just for the sake of it. It’s often something deeper that’s holding them back.
In most cases, negative self-talk is at the center of their struggle with self-love and self-acceptance. Granted, speaking so negatively to yourself about your body is still not the root of the issue, it’s just the by-product of pain you may have experienced in your life.
In 2016, let that soul damaging practice go. Take your thoughts to a rewarding place. Reflect on how badass you are at running, teaching, singing, cooking, making love, being a girlboss. If it makes your self-love meter rise, channel that every time nasty self-talk wants to take over your thoughts.
3. Join a spirited and fun health & wellness group online
Community is everything. It reminds you that you are not alone in your daily challenges with loving your body unconditionally. Facebook is probably your best bet for finding a rockin’ group of soul sisters that want to get fit, happy, and more gorgeous, just like you.
When you do find a group, dive in. Don’t be shy. Share your journey. Ask for feedback and suggestions on making healthy body loving changes.
It will feed your body and soul well this year.
4. Always ask “Does my body need this?” when making daily food choices
Mindfulness can be your most reliable game changer when you desire to love your body more. Food that does your body no good will always be there to tempt you. However, you don’t have to let dining anxiety take over.
Quickly ask yourself if what’s in front of you is something your body needs in order to feel more gorgeous. If leftover birthday cake is in the fridge, but an apple and almond butter are also in the fridge, choose the latter. Ask and answer out loud, too. Hearing yourself speak about your options will deepen your mindfulness. Over time, you won’t have the need to ask as often.
5. Re-shape your vocabulary about your body
Banish the word diet and replace it with healthy.
Nix overweight or skinny and say natural beauty.
Forget about ugly and loser and think, authentic.
This little practice alone can probably make the biggest impact on your body love battle in 2016. It’s simple and actionable.
Don’t give power to the words that harm how you love and feel about your body. Positive words are empowering. They will propel you in the right direction. Negative words lead to stagnation and self-sabotage that rob you of beautiful and healthy body-loving journeys.
Use this year to change up your body love story. You only have one so you might as well love it unconditionally with balanced nutrition, healthy thoughts, and motivating self-care practices.
2016 is your year to get more gorgeous and love your body from the inside out.
About the Contributing Writer:
CJ Childress is a holistic health coach, indie author and owner of a healthy meal delivery service in Houston, Texas. She began her journey with healthy living as a child by drinking green smoothies and eating organic peanut butter. But after watching her young mother die in 2012 from a rare autoimmune disease she became more convinced than ever that food really is medicine. She works with women to break their addiction to dangerous foods and heal their relationship with their bodies through a fun and focused 60-day transformational program. You can discover more and get your FREE 30-day meal plan by visiting her website HERE. Connect with CJ on Instagram, too.