6 Steps to a Fit Mind & Body

How to Start Loving Your Body in 5 Simple Steps

I’ve always had a great relationship with exercise and my body - for the most part.


Growing up I was always involved with some kind of sport; Soccer, Volleyball, Swimming, Yoga, Dance...if there was something I could do to feel strong and move my body, I was up for it. 


Then at 16 I was in a car accident...and suddenly I couldn’t exercise the way I wanted to. 


Through my recovery process my chiropractor discovered I had spondylolisthesis - a slipping of the vertebrae in my lumbar spine. 


That meant - no bending at the waist, no twisting & no hyperextension. What?! 


But I’m a dancer & yogi?! 


I was gutted. 


But instead of focusing on my body’s limitations, I decided to focus on what my body would allow. 


Don’t get hung up on the way your body looks - focus on how you feel


My car accident was the catalyst that launched me into my early career in fitness. I became fascinated by anatomy and discovering more about what our bodies are capable of. 


My focus in fitness has always been stability, strength & stamina. Aesthetics have never been super important to me. 


But as I was pulled more into teaching fitness at 25 years old - I began to feel judged for my body’s appearance. 


Was I a reputable instructor if I didn’t look a certain way or have specific features - 6 pack abs, a big butt, or a thin frame…? 


Over the years it’s been tough to market, focus on & advise others on how to engage in fitness with the intent of function over weight loss. But I’ve come to realize that it’s a little bit of both. 


I still want to feel sexy in my body & appealing to my husband. I want to dance around naked & feel confident in my own skin. That means embracing the stretch marks, the acne, the belly rolls & the little flab that’s developing in my upper arms. 


I’m still working out, I’m still strong & capable… but bodies are bodies & the more we celebrate them - the more we eventually come to accept or love them.


Don’t measure your health by your weight


When it comes to our bodies, it’s easy to focus on the numbers. It’s easy to become obsessed with the number on the scale. But those numbers don't always reveal the truth of the matter.


Your health is not just about the numbers - it's your feelings, your thoughts, your mobility and efficiency. There are so many different ways to gauge a person’s health. 


BUT, I want you to understand what personal trainers, gyms or other health professionals are talking about when it comes to these terms;


  • BMI (Body Mass Index): A person's weight in kilograms (kg) divided by his or her height in meters squared. This can be a deceiving number, because you could have a short bodybuilder & they would be deemed overweight as their muscular bodies are heavier than their height “allows.”  BMI is not a reliable count of health or weight.


  • Body Fat Percentage: The total mass of fat divided by total body mass, times 100; body fat includes essential body fat & storage body fat. We have essential body fat that is necessary to maintain life & reproductive functions to survive. For women, we need at least 10-13% body fat. 


  • Weight: In my opinion, the most arbitrary number you can assess for health. Although we do have healthy weight ranges suggested, weight is not a great measure of our health currently or as we start to make changes in health. Our weight fluctuates as much as 10 pounds in a day - depending on hydration, food consumption, muscle/fat composition, time of day, & many other factors! 


If you're beginning to eat well & move your body, fat loss will happen, but usually not as fast or in the places you may want right away. We cannot “spot treat” fat, choosing to lose it from our abdomen or thighs in particular. Our body loses fat all over & certain areas may be more noticeable than others!


Whether your goals include weight loss or not, it's important to understand how our bodies are being measured & better yet, what we choose to pay attention to and what we choose to ignore.

My Body Love Shower Ritual


I’m going to share my shower routine with you in hopes that you pick up something similar. The reason I’m sharing this with you is that we often distance ourselves mentally from the physicality of our bodies and our shapes. 


Like the credit card bills we don’t like to acknowledge, we tend to put the recognition of our shapely features out of our minds, so we don’t have to deal with how our bellies bulge, our upper arms wiggle and the stretch marks we’ve had for years.


If I don’t see it, it’s not there, right?


Well I’d like to take you through how I acknowledge the flaws and beautiful curves of my frame each and every day. How this process has made me feel gorgeous in my own skin and how you can too.


This is my shower routine:

  1. In the shower, I use a hand scrubby – one that fits like a glove – to gently scrub small circles all over my body with a tea-tree oil based body wash.
  2. After the shower, I towel lightly and then dry brush my whole body. Depending on what you need at the time, dry brushing can accomplish different benefits in the body – some of which I’ve listed below. But the important point here is to take your time. Spend care going over each part of your beautiful body.
  3. Following dry brushing, use your favorite body oil – mine is organic coconut. And massage in small circles all over that sweet sweet bod. While you massage, look at every inch of your body. Pay careful attention to stretch marks, scars and any other admonished feature you feel you have.


While you do this, be mindful of the thoughts streaming through your head. Everything running through that mind should be positive. At least that’s our goal. 

When we first get started, it’s easy to start thinking too much about how imperfect this body is or how we wish we didn’t have stretch marks. But the more you practice, the more you’ll be able to find positive thoughts.

Yay for your boobies!

Thoughts to start with:

"Thank you feet, you carry me around all day and without you I’d be nowhere. Literally."


"Oh calves, you are strong as can be – thanks for always lifting me up."


"Dang, these thighs are killer. Oh hello cellulite. I know why you’re here, but you may not always be, so don’t get used to hanging around."


"Now, this booty of mine is BEAUTIFUL. You get the brunt of all my weight as I sit throughout the day. A little lift, a soft scrub and I appreciate you booty."


"Belly – I will nurture you and massage you, and boy am I thankful you hold in all my most important parts."


"Breasts! Yay boobies. You are a huge expression of my womanhood and I thank you for representing me so well."


"Arms, my extension, and contact with the world! Like whoa, how much I put you through – thank you for cradling my life."


Now, this is just a place to start. And you may certainly feel silly getting started saying these things. Maybe first in your head, then hopefully out loud as you appreciate each inch of your body as you move along.

Why does this help with loving your body you ask?

The more you begin to connect with your body by physically touching it, the more you will accept it – flaws and all. 

If you can dig in deep to each curve of your being with physical touch, radiating appreciation and gratitude you can’t help but start to see the beauty in each of your features. By adding in the mental energy, we attach thought to the physicality of our process. 

What we think and what we say impacts how we feel about ourselves in the eyes of others, how we present ourselves, what we eat, whether we work out or not, and ultimately how we feel.

Our thoughts impact our physical reality. In order to build a healthy self-esteem and self-confidence, we must acknowledge our body, love our body and be comfortable in our bodies. We only get one. 

You have the choice of how you treat it, the energy you use to fuel it, and what you do in it from day-to-day. It’s time to be present, it’s time to recognize and it’s time to share this beautiful form with the world through appreciation.

You’re going to want to analyze everything more closely and scrutinize the imperfections along the way. Try to hold off from doing so. If these thoughts arise, let them come up and fade away – replacing them with new, healthy positive thoughts of appreciation and love.

*The most common practice of dry brushing begins at the limbs and moves towards the heart with soft, gentle strokes. Starting with the hands and the feet, work your way in towards the trunk with sweeping strokes and switch to small circular motions over the trunk.

Some benefits to Dry Brushing: (not scientifically supported necessarily, but you decide how you feel)

  • Stimulating the lymphatic system to assist with detoxification in the body
  • Encouraging circulation and increasing energy
  • Exfoliating the whole body – sloughing off dead skin cells
  • Reducing the appearance of cellulite and tightening up appearance of the skin

Regardless of whether these are true for you or not – when practiced regularly, the value of taking time with your physical beauty is unparalleled. 

Let me know in the comments if you have any other ways of loving on your bod or if this practice is something you’d like to start!

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