I know what you are thinking when reading that line, ‘Oh how self indulgent and up her own arse” but seriously, if you’re a regular reader of these blogs you’ll know that well I’ve lived the best part of 40 years loathing myself, so bear with me while I explain that headline. It’s also completely coincidental that today is International Women’s Day, so this one is dedicated to all the absolutely kick ass women across the world, many of whom need to fall in love with themselves a little more.
A few days ago I did something very unlike the old me, I shared a picture of myself, on Instagram, wearing just my bra and knickers to show how the scale isn’t the be all and end all of healthy living. It’s been a continuation of the new found comfortable in my skin me. I’m still feeling bloody good, so I think I’ve finally shut ole Pandora up.
I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about ‘detox with this’, ‘have more energy with this tablet’, ‘lose fat with this concoction of chemicals’ and what very few (if any) of these posts include are what the person has changed in their food choices or exercise regimen. The quick fix is never the answer.
Most of the time, the real reason we hit the excuses and opt for the quick fix is because we honestly do not think we are deserving of self love. No seriously, most people I know give off an outer air of confidence but are screaming on the inside and hoping the ground will swallow them whole. Those who own their insecurities and make no apologies for them have my absolute respect. I’ve never viewed that self indulgent but more of absolute bravery. Imagine being scared about who are you and baring it to the world? Now imagine being that scared about yourself and your own worthlessness that you hide it away and put a sticker over the top hoping no one will see? I still felt that scared of my own insecurities of not being good enough, not being worthy of the love my family and friends give me, and utterly nothing of myself until about late January of this year. I still hated how I looked on the run up to Christmas last year, was still coming up with excuses as to why the weight I desperately wanted to lose wasn’t coming off etc. Telling myself that I can’t be a good coach to my clients because I’m not leading by example, I’m not able to do what I ask them to do (what a tit) and ironically hitting the chocolate with great gusto.
Hi I’m Krissie and I’m a chocoholic!
Last year I became very ill due to an allergic reaction to free from products (quite ironic when I can’t eat wheat and dairy either, you can read my blog about it here) so I ditched them from my diet. I lost a little water weight and was a lot less inflamed than I had been but the massive upside was that I felt vastly better. This year I have actively combatted my sweet tooth and those who know me know I don’t jest when I say I called chocolate a food group! My personal diet has undergone a bit of a shift of late mainly due to doing competition prep with a client. I won’t put my clients through anything I’m not prepared to experience and it’s been eye opening. It’s also proved something to myself. Gone are starches with every single main meal. Nowadays I favour lots of lean meats, fish, veg, fruit and nuts. Sometimes I’ll have a portion of rice (I do love a good curry), other times it might be potato or sweet potato but generally they appear once or twice a week at most. Something I realised was that I would automatically go for chocolate as my go to snack every single day.
Think about that for a moment – every day I’d have chocolate. While a couple of squares of dark chocolate aren’t THAT bad in the grand scheme of things it was in addition to other things that made my refined sugar intake skyrocket and I was having it every day. Surely chocolate is rare treat and should be viewed as such? When did my idea of that become so skewed? Then I’d have rice or potato with every meal except breakfast. When I sat down and looked at what I ate, I added extra sugar in most places. Ketchup, mayonnaise, relish, etc the sugar increase in the diet suddenly starts to increase. Yes, we need a certain amount of sugar in our diets, but they should always come from fruit and veg first and foremost. Carbohydrate isn’t the enemy, the type of carbohydrate is the issue and we need to look for more natural sources to fuel our systems. I also didn’t drink anywhere near enough water (that’s now changed) and so I found that simply refining my dietary intake and teaching my body to stop craving shit, that my shape has changed dramatically. I’m almost two dress sizes smaller than I was 6 months ago. I also can’t stand mayo anymore….who’d a thunk?
This picture shows a 3lb difference. 3 pounds….that’s it! But look at the shape, I’m so much smaller, I’m also stronger. Yes there is a muscle mass increase so the scale is telling me I’ve only moved 3lbs, my weight did increase over the start of the year so I’ve actually lost 7lbs in just under three weeks, but the Sept is the only picture I can find that has this side view that I took at a similar weight to where I am now.
Get me, actually putting up a picture that has me in my smalls!! Who is this newly found woman??
As I documented previously, I’m super comfortable in my skin these days because that is the one thing in my life I CAN control. Yet, I always thought I couldn’t and would often use food and exercise as a reward system or coping mechanism. What changed?
It was quite simple really, but it’s brutal and it’s something you have to be 100% honest with yourself over. You have to look at yourself in harsh light. You have to ask yourself what is more important? Yes the mental shift from going to the easy to reach chocolate bar because it makes you feel good to having a handful of nuts is hard, no really if you’ve not felt that shift and the lure of the sweet goodness…. it is fucking hard (apologies for swearing but the emphasis is required). Scientifically we’ve educated our system to crave that high, there is plenty of research out there on the effects of sugar and the science of habit – Charles Duhigg’s book ‘The Power of Habit’ is a fascinating read. However, for those who say ‘all you lack is discipline’ and they’ve never been obese…..if this shit was easy we coaches would be out of a job in a week. It is not easy to change your habits and it takes some serious amounts of dogged determination. That said, to my friends reading this who are saying yes it’s hard and I don’t think I can do it, your resolve is so much stronger than you realise and you have to ask what you want more? You HAVE to start switching your thinking and keep at it. It doesn’t happen overnight and there is categorically NO QUICK FIX. I’ve been on this journey for 11 years now, and I still have moments where I think ‘fuck it’. You honestly do HAVE to start looking at the one factor that is stopping your change and that is usually you. I’m not talking about those with medical reasons here, that is a different ballgame completely. I am talking about people like myself who genuinely have absolutely no excuse. So what do you want more? To feel good in your skin, feel comfortable with you OR the chocolate bar, the milkshake, the happy meal and the seconds of the sugary high that will give you and make you feel bad about yourself afterwards?
This is what I did, post my revelation that I was actually comfortable in my skin for the first time in forever. I looked at myself in just my bra and knickers and told myself what I did’t like. Give it a try. It’s horrifying how we speak to ourselves and since when did it become OK to be ashamed and horrified by our own bodies? That is not on, folks. not on at all. Once you’ve realised how you talk to yourself, immediately tell yourself all the things you like about you and say sorry to you for being so fucking hard on you. I did that for a few days, and every day it got easier and the things I disliked about myself reduced to the point where all I want to do is see how strong I can become. The only thing I have left that I’m a bit ‘meh’ about is the obvious body fat I’ve always had around my midriff and I can control that by sorting my addiction to chocolate and wine gums out. So that’s what I’m doing and I cut myself some slack when I really REALLY want the sweet stuff. I allow myself a treat day and then ditch the crap again the following day because THAT is what is going to make me stronger physically. It’s also making me stronger mentally.
You can’t control what’s going on in work and outside the four walls of your home half the time, but you can control your eating, your go to triggers, your movement or lack of it, and how you view YOU! So cut yourself a bit of slack, and give yourself a break. You are awesome, and stop putting shit in your system… that includes the detox crap. If you feel you’re not getting enough of a particular vitamin, use a multi vit and leave it at that. Move, oh please, move even if it’s just a walk to the shop to pick up some veg etc for dinner, the fresh air and the action itself will leave you feeling so much better.
Something I never thought I would ever say, is that I love both versions of me in that picture. I’m sorry I’ve put myself through so much bullshit in the past. I’ve apologised to myself an awful lot for that and now I even look at my old 18 stone self and love her immensely. She always was and she still is beautiful, regardless what anyone else thinks.
I am more than a number on the scale. I am a finely tuned piece of evolutionary engineering. I am a marvel.
We ALL are
So you, yes you, stop being tough on yourself and stop poisoning your system and your own self image with negativity and falling for the sweet devils that trick us into thinking they’re our friends, re-evaluate your relationship with good food, you’ll thank yourself for it in the long term and most of all, fall in love with yourself every single day.
As always, be kind to yourself, you ROCK!