The 4 Keys to Lovin the Skin You’re In

While anyone is susceptible to body image, perception or self esteem issues, females seem to be most affected.  My opinion is that it has to do with the constant bombardment in the media of what is “IN” right now.  One minute it’s all about curves but underneath it all the common sentiment is thin is in. It’s no wonder women beat themselves up as they attempt to conform to sometimes unattainable standards. There is no single right way to be because everyone is unique and that’s how we are supposed to be. One thing is for certain — life is rough being a woman! Throughout my life I’ve noticed that being female almost always equates to being not entirely thrilled about your appearance. This isn’t stressing over a little premenstrual bloating or a bad hair day, I’m talking about a true loathing over one’s body, hair, facial features etc.

The first key is to STOP COMPARING YOURSELF to anyone. I don’t care if it’s your best friend or someone famous. Stop right now. You are YOU – big hips or small hips; large breasts, small breasts, tall, short, etc. Unless you’re going to resort to extreme surgery to “fix” your issues – suck it up or in a gentler way — find acceptance! If it helps you to feel better, realize the most sought after individuals are those that “broke the mold” so to speak. They found what worked for them and wore it proudly.
The second key is to BE THE BEST YOU that you can be. Take care of yourself, nurture yourself – in essence love yourself.  Once you find acceptance, truly appreciate what you have – make the most of it.  Instead of dreading the thighs that you wish were smaller – love them for the way they make you stronger! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not promoting letting one’s self go. Part of being the best you can be is taking care of your body with exercise and eating right. No way to get around that, once that is out of the way work on your mind – how you perceive yourself.
I am a firm believer in what you think – you believe – what you believe – you become! The mind is a powerful thing. Now if you believe you’re wonder woman, please don’t expect to suddenly become a tall well endowed brunette with a golden lasso.  his is more about your perception of yourself affecting your attitude, what you put out into the world, you get back. EXACTLY – if you face the world lacking confidence in yourself, you certainly can’t expect anyone to have confidence in you. If you start your day with a sullen attitude, dull expression – don’t you dare wonder why you aren’t greeted with smiles and cheeriness.
The third key is to CHANGE YOUR LANGUAGE. Nope, not Rosetta stone, but change your thoughts and what you say to yourself. Face it — we all speak to ourselves whether out loud or subliminally. I just overheard a women in a fitting room the other day say “Ughhhh I HATE my hips” Well if you hate your hips they will hate you back! Record how often you think or say something negative about your body; you will be astounded. Your challenge is to take a week (yes a full 7 days) and each day at least five times compliment yourself.  I know, sounds a bit hokey – but really try it. Look into a mirror and say (or think) things like “I look FABULOUS” or “I LOVE THE WAY THIS ______ (dress, pants, etc) LOOKS ON ME” and really mean it.
 
The fourth key is to BE YOURSELF –  once you begin to accept yourself and start being the best you possible dishing out daily compliments – be brave to show the world exactly who you are.  For instance, I’m a girly girl – I wear it proudly. This is the “real” me – sure sometimes I may look out of place all dressed up when the world is in jeans, but that’s OK because I’m being me.  This is how I feel comfortable and I really don’t care what people think and you know what – I’m accepted for it. I find people really aren’t sizing others up as much as we think they are – they in fact are probably too worried about themselves.
There you have it — my four keys to feeling a bit more comfortable in your skin. Come up with a game plan on how to put these keys into action.  I have a few steps every day that help me BE THE BEST ME I CAN BE (sorry for Seussism). Find what works for you. Mine are simple – I find nurturing myself with health supporting tasks make me feel my best.  I love myself by jumping on my mini trampoline, practicingyoga, implementing dry skin brushing so my skin looks and feels its best (while standing naked in a mirror – true acceptance there) and drinking lots of green juice.

NO Label Required – Listen to your body!

A common trap many health conscious individuals fall into is donning a label — Vegan, Raw Vegan, Vegetarian, Omnivore, Pescetarian, Fruitarian and so on. And let’s not forget adding in percentages —“Well, I’m 90% raw vegan 11.2% of the time and the other 88.8% I’m an omnivore.”

While this is a gross exaggeration, it really isn’t that far-fetched – I’ve heard numerous people try to break down what, how and when they eat! No one owes anyone an explanation of their dietary habits. There is no prize for those that stick to strict regimented menus. My humble opinion — LABELS ARE FOR JARS, CANS, BOXES AND BOTTLES, NOT PEOPLE!!
Many people I know stick to a completely raw vegan diet and it works wonderful for them. Then there are others that have dabbled in it (me being one of them) or have no desire to subscribe to just one way of eating for any length of time. My one caveat is I’m gluten free, unprocessed and organic; however, I don’t throw these “labels” around nor let them define who I am. The danger with this whole characterization by what one consumes is the pressure to always to stick to it. How frequent have you seen a raw vegan being practically crucified for taking a bite of something not raw vegan?
Lately, I’ve noticed more and more of the onetime-hardcore raw gurus switching gears BIG time and incorporating cooked foods and even, dare I say, flesh foods into their diet. They’ve come to the realization that their bodies weren’t performing  their best, and even not performing at all – many were facing health issues that have been remedied by a change in diet. This is in no way saying that what they were doing was wrong – it just wasn’t right for them and I applaud them for listening to the cues their body was telling them. I also feel it was extremely brave of them to come out, so to speak, and document their journeys. There is NO shame in saying, “Hey, I thought this was the best thing for me but it turns out it wasn’t.” Geez, it’s not like they’ve turned to a life of drugs and alcohol – they’re just eating some “real” foods.
I am a big proponent of listening to your body and doing what works for you as an individual.  I don’t make a big to-do about what I eat, and when asked I usually just say I eat organic, unprocessed. That’s pretty broad, but then again, WHY do I have to be specific?  That alone garners way to much attention. Sometimes I get a snide remark such as “You don’t eat real food.” To this I reply “Oh, but I do just that. I eat real food that doesn’t come from a box, bag, jar or can. I might be the ONLY person you know actually eating REAL food.” This usually quiets someone down real quick 🙂
The only label I wear is one that says I’m a person in touch with my body and its needs. I love my greenjuices and big green salads; however, I find that in the winter months they just don’t cut it for me – my body craves more warmth. I still consume my green juices but I add lots of warming spices such as ginger and sometimes the occasion sprinkle of cayenne. I eat cooked veggies (seriously THE world may just end!) and some cooked grains (my go-to is quinoa followed by brown rice and millet) and I love lentils and adzuki beans. I juice my beets and carrots in addition to roasting them and I love them just the same both ways and they are equally health promoting and nourishing to my body – in different ways of course.
While I fantasize about the Fruitarian lifestyle, I know for me it wouldn’t work! My mantra for the New Year is to “BE GENTLE.”  If you’re a raw vegan feeling a bit not yourself , add some cooked veggies or grains or whatever is your thing. If you’re a vegetarian and not satisfied, maybe add some raw dairy. Just don’t ignore your body because you’ve labeled yourself something and certain healthy sustenance may not fall under that labeling!