Tuesday, January 19, 2016

your best phyisical self.

a few months ago i was accepted as a write/blogger for BE WISE MAGAZINE. BE WISE is a magazine that focus's on uplifting others and inspiring the readers to recognize their self worth. each month of 2016 BE WISE will launch a new issue of their "BE YOUR BEST SELF" magazine. january's topic is "PHYSICALLY" i was honored to have my first article written published in this magazine. you can download the first 26 pages of BE YOUR BEST SELF PHYSICALLY for free here.

i ended up being really proud of my article - probably because this is a topic that i am passionate about. since i hold this topic so near and dear to my heart, i wanted to share my article over here too:

{“Generally when you see the topic “be your best self physically.” You probably jump to the thought of “getting healthy and fit” which generally leads to an assumption that we’re about to read an article about the newest diet, how to lose weight, how to tone up, and how to look like a supermodel, because that is what this world likes to target. Think about it for a minute, what do these articles do for us? Do they really make us “better physically?” Maybe occasionally for a day, or a week. But majority of the time it does nothing for us physically, and instead hurts emotionally, leaving our self esteem at a new level of low. Lets be honest, who can really wake up at 5 am everyday to run 6 miles before school or work, still show up looking perfect, then to get home and eat green leaves for every meal, with never indulging in a favorite treat? Chances are, very few people, and the ones who can probably have more serious problems. The people that seem like they have it all together, the perfect diet, the best exercise routines, ect. I can guarantee they don’t. Thinking that we can have it all together leads us to ‘fail’ at ‘perfection’ leaving us feeling worse about ourselves then we did in the first place.
Sure, eating our fruits and veggies is important, but eating our cake and ice cream is important too. Yes, exercising and "movement" are good for us, but rest is good for us too. This society has a very skewed view on health. Health isn’t starving ourselves, ignoring our cravings, and pushing our bodies past their limits in cardio. Physical Health is satisfying cravings, honoring our hunger, allowing ourselves to rest, and trusting our bodies to tell us what they need.

One main point that i want to be clear on, is we need to take care of ourselves. We need to be gentle, kind, and patient with ourselves. We need to speak to our selves in a more compassionate tone. I believe that we can not be our best physically if we’re focused on changing our bodies. Before passing up the chocolate and reaching for carrots instead, ask yourself “what are my motives?” Before putting on your nikes and heading out for a run instead of watching a movie with the family, ask yourself, “what’s fueling this decision?” Are you motivated because you love your body, and want to take care of it? Or are you motivated because you hate your body and you’re trying to slim down? I’ve realized the hard way, that if we think we’ll be happy with ourselves as soon as we reach our goal weight, or as soon as we tone our stomachs, we’re wrong! When our lives are based around changing our appearance, we’ll never be satisfied, and we’ll never know when enough is enough. If we want to love ourselves, we need to put our time and energy into embracing and accepting our bodies, not changing them.
We often think we can mold and shape our bodies as if they’re lumps of clay, but it isn’t true. Each body is different, each body is made up of different genetics. One common mistake this society makes is comparing, you wouldn’t compare a tuna sandwich to a PB&J, so why compare yourself (or more specifically your body) to another? No two people were created to look the exact same, we were creatd to look EXACTLY how god intended for each of us - individually - to look. We should embrace the fact that we weren’t built to look like the girl next to us, it makes us unique and special.

I believe that in order to be our best selves physically, we need to be intuitive eaters. In the book “Intuitive Eating” written by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, they give us 10 steps to becoming intuitive eaters, a few of those steps that I especially cherish are: rejecting the diet mentality, make peace with food, and discover the satisfaction factor.
Food is meant to be enjoyed, no one is going to be happy living with a “food police” on their shoulder. With each new diet we  attempt, we fuel that food police more & more.
If we want to be our healthiest self, we need to shift from a diet approach, to a self care approach.
Although it may be hard to believe, dieting is one of the worst things we can do to ourselves.
Sure, sometimes we’ll lose weight from the latest diet, but the only thing that weight loss actually gives us is false sense of control and confidence, in reality, body acceptance rarely improves. On top of that, as soon as we’re off the diet we’ll end up gaining all the weight back, plus 10%. Unless we make lifestyle changes nothing is going to permanently change, there is no quick and easy when it comes to our weight and that’s because our each person has a “natural set point”.  Our bodies know what weight it’s comfiest at, and our bodies will fight to stay there, even if it does require speeding up, or slowly down our metabolism.
Often times our attempt to diet and to restrict certain food groups is what leads us to overeating, and then gaining weight. Think about it, when you start a diet, what do you do? Spend the whole day beforehand eating all the things you soon won’t allow yourself to have. If you tell yourself “I’m only going to eat two more bites of ice-cream” you’ll probably end up eating the two biggest bites of ice-cream you’ve ever had…. and then sneaking a third. If your mom is making cookies and you promise yourself not to eat one single cookie, you’ll probably eat mass amounts of cookie dough. As soon as we make something “off-limits” we will suddenly want it much more, this will make watching our calories much harder to achieve. So, why not make all foods available options when snack time rolls around? Why not let our cravings make the decision, instead of the food police?
Our bodies are really incredible and we don’t give them the credit they deserve. Our body knows what it wants, and it naturally craves the things it needs. There’s a reason everyone thinks they are “always craving carbs”, and that’s because our body needs a lot of carbs each and every day, after all, it is our body's main source of energy. We burn through them quickly, which leaves us wanting more, but that’s okay, because they are our fuel.
The thought of truly allowing ourselves to eat what we crave, when we crave it, is scary. This is only scary because it’s so foreign, we’re surrounded by people telling us what to eat, when to eat it, what to never eat, ect. We’re constantly being told that listening to our bodies is wrong, and it will lead to weight gain, but I promise, trusting your body may just turn into the best decision you’ve ever made. You’ll never know the power your body has until you give it a chance to prove itself. We might think “if i give myself permission to eat what i’m craving, i’ll eat cookies all day!” but take a step back, if you only ate cookies all day, you’d get sick of them real quick and soon enough you would be craving a crisp salad, or a juicy apple. Our bodies know what they want, and they know what to do with the food we give it. Food fuels our metabolism, and keeps it running.
It’s time we put down the diet books, and take off our fitbit’s. Exercise doesn’t have to be a miserable time on the treadmill, it can be running around in the back yard with your nieces, it can be a bike ride around a lake with your best friend, it can be playing ‘Just Dance’ against your dad. Eating a favorite treat doesn’t have to be ‘earned’ and indulging doesn't have to lead to guilt, and regret.
If we want to be at our physical prime, we need to stop trying to “get there,” and start considering that maybe we already are there. If we wait until we “look better” to accept ourselves, we’ll spend a long, tiring, depressing life at war with ourselves. There’s no better time to start accepting ourselves then today, right this second. It’s time to get rid of our diet rules, and to instead, just trust ourselves. We need to step back, and accept what is, we need to embrace ourselves, flaws and all, and trust our god given machine.”}

don't forget to check out the be wise website, blog, and magazine. also, make sure you download the first pages of the best be your best self PHYSICALLY magazine here.