When I first glanced at this picture I loved it.
then I zoomed in.
"Ugh!" I thought to myself. "Why the fat rolls!?!"
This type of thought used to completely spin-tail me into FIX ME MODE.
- Okay, tomorrow it starts again - No! Sugar!
- I'll go to the gym tonight, tomorrow morning, AND tomorrow night.
- Where do I sign up for the next 100 crunches a day challenge?
This time though (after cycling through a feeeew more mean girl thoughts), I changed my tune.
Instead of rushing to FIX, I thought,
"Woah sister, hold up a sec. What's the truth about this moment?"
1. I have skin.
It folds when I sit. Especially when I'm not "holding it in" (And thank goodness for NOT holding it in, amiright!?).
2. I have fat.
It helps insulate me, it protects my organs, it keeps my period regular.
3. I felt bloated on this day.
Common when traveling. (Wrote about that here, so... yeah... that).
4. I'm #bodypositive, promote Body Kindness, would 100% say I LOVE my body, and I teach people how to drop the guilt/shame game around exercise...
AND I still have negative thoughts about my body sometimes.
Those negative thoughts no longer rule my universe.
I Grabbed my journal and scribbled:
What is self-kindness anyway?
For me, it's LESS about an uninspired "I love myself" in the mirror.
It's about being CURIOUS - especially in the face of un-kindness, disappointment, discouragement, discomfort, self-nagging, self flagellation.
1. Something happens + you place judgement on yourself.
2. Your brain says "Doh!"
3. You punish yourself in order to learn how to NOT do that again OR to confirm that you suck OR you rush for a quick fix.
And the cycle continues.
What if instead we got curious:
- Hmm, what's happening there?
- What's triggering these thoughts?
- How can I nourish myself right now?
- What do I want?
Tell yourself that you're okay.
Release the judgement.
Talk to yourself with gentleness.
Take an inspired, compassionate action.*
*Self-kindness isn't an excuse to keep yourself in an unhealthy state. Taking inspired, compassionate action towards something that will help your health might be the KINDEST thing you can do for yourself. Self love and wanting to change aren't mutually exclusive.
When we show kindness to strangers and friends and family and lovers, we're calling upon skills like:
Are those things we can show ourselves?
Then I got even more curious and wondered what YOU thought about self-kindness.
I asked, and you brilliantly said...
What do you think?
What does self-kindness mean to you?
Leave a comment - I'd love to hear your experience and your perspective!
With love and body kindness,
HIYA, I'M ELYSE!
I'm a personal trainer, fitness coach, and yoga teacher who gets people moving with in-person training and my signature online 21 day + Sparkes Wellness Library program. I want to help people drop the guilt/shame game around exercise and start working out with ease and kindness. When I'm not doing squats and sun salutations, I'm dressed up in vintage lindy hop dancing or gathering other Lovely Lady Entrepreneurs to talk about their careers and living their most passionate lives. Start moving with me today with these FREE stretch breaks you can do to feel more energized and aligned during your day! - stretchbreak.elysesparkes.com
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