Great Health Guide - - FRONT PAGE - Words Leanne Allen De­sign Olek­san­dra Zuieva

Why is it that so many peo­ple need to weigh them­selves so of­ten and be­come so at­tached to their scales? There is only one an­swer and that is the me­dia who per­pe­trate ‘the body rules’.

Imag­ine a world where you and ev­ery­one else, loved their bod­ies. Imag­ine if no one told you that you are two ki­los or 20 ki­los over­weight and there­fore you are some­how less than per­fect. Imag­ine if you could ac­cept that what­ever your body shape is, you have a right to feel ac­cepted, loved and re­spected.

Imag­ine if to­day could be the day that you made the de­ci­sion not to let your scales dic­tate what you did with your day and in­stead you de­cided to ac­cept, love and re­spect your­self? You ate well be­cause you en­joy food and be­cause you cher­ish your body. You choose to eat well be­cause you love your­self and not be­cause some­one tells you that you should.

Imag­ine the day that you looked in the mir­ror and no­ticed that your body is an amaz­ing vessel that works in sync; it breaths, sees, hears, smells and feels with­out you do­ing too much. Your heart pumps au­to­mat­i­cally with­out you do­ing any­thing! It all works per­fectly in beau­ti­ful har­mony. And with this har­mony comes the pos­si­bil­ity of lov­ing who you are and let­ting go of the harsh crit­i­cisms.

As a psy­chol­o­gist, un­for­tu­nately I see all too of­ten where this is not the case. Peo­ple, in­clud­ing men, women and sadly chil­dren, tend to mea­sure their sense of worth based on how slim they are. And this is very clearly per­pet­u­ated by me­dia and body sham­ing.

Get started on your jour­ney to love your­self and not your scales. Here are some tips to help you: 1. Put the scales away.

Some­where that is not too easy to get them out. It might be hard at first, but give it a few days and the habit of daily weigh­ing will dis­ap­pear.

2. Eat healthy food and no­tice how you feel af­ter.

Do you feel that you have given your body fuel to go? Let go of the no­tion of healthy food as be­ing a pun­ish­ment or chore, in­stead you are re­ward­ing your­self by lov­ing your body rather than sab­o­tag­ing your­self! Ev­i­dence shows that what you put into your body af­fects your men­tal health too.

Peo­ple tend to mea­sure their sense of worth Based on how slim they are.

3. Treat your­self oc­ca­sion­ally.

This is im­por­tant how­ever don’t use food as a re­ward. Rather choose the food sim­ply be­cause you en­joy it and choose to eat it that day.

4. Avoid food that does not agree with you.

Make a note to your­self to re­spect your body and avoid that food next time This can be very chal­leng­ing es­pe­cially if it’s a food you love, but it is worth it!

5. Look in the mir­ror and no­tice at least five things that you like about your body.

Be very spe­cific. ‘I love my skin, I love my eye­lashes, I love my breasts, I love the way my waist curves, I love my fin­ger­nails’. No­tice how it feels to fo­cus on what you DO love and not on what you DON’T love.

6. Re­mem­ber no one is per­fect.

Even with photo-shop, lay­ers of makeup, pro­fes­sional stylists and snap chat, un­der­neath all those fil­ters is a real per­son with real im­per­fec­tions.

7. Start the revo­lu­tion of lov­ing your own body.

You must also let go of the crit­i­cism of other peo­ple’s bod­ies. No more body sham­ing, no more com­ments born from jeal­ousy or envy, just al­low love into your body and mind for every­body. As Ed Sheeran says you are ‘per­fect im­per­fec­tion!’

If you give these tips a go and find a lot of emo­tion stir­ring, or you just can’t do it, you may wish to talk to a pro­fes­sional psy­chol­o­gist, coun­sel­lor or coach in your area. Per­sonal body sham­ing can of­ten re­flect self-worth and it does not have to be that way. In fact, with the right help you can truly learn to love the body that you are in…or at least like it!

Leanne Allen (BA Psych), Is the prin­ci­ple psy­chol­o­gist at Re­con­nect Psy­chol­ogy and Coach­ing Ser­vices with two of­fices, one in River­stone and Windsor area (www. re­con­ She has trained in Sand­play Ther­apy, NLP and CBT. Leanne has also just com­pleted train­ing as a life coach. Her ap­proach is to look for­ward while re­leas­ing the trauma of the past. If there is some­thing that you would like to know about please feel free to leave a com­ment on her Face­book

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