A couple of days ago I posted a quote on social media “Health is not just about what you’re eating. It’s also about what you’re thinking and saying.” This my friends, is it. The holy grail. This incredibly strong message needs to be broadcasted not only to the young girls and ladies in the world but to the boys and men as well.
Today while going through the never ending boxes from moving house, I found a page in a book where I had scribbled down my measurements and weight from June, 2009. It was a neat, uniform list, with left and rights for arms and thighs, waist, hips and bust. At the bottom of the list it said…
“Weight: 61 kg FAT”
Take a minute to let that sink in.
I became overwhelmed with emotion. I cried a little bit. I felt sad for 20 year old Bridget. I felt sad for all the other 20 year olds that feel this way, as well as all the 13 year olds, the 30 year olds and the 50 year olds, the boys, the girls, the women, the men and everyone else in between.
It really got me thinking about how could 20 year old Bridget possibly get to that point where a) She thought 61kg was ‘fat’? and where b) She thought it was okay to not only think about herself that way, but write about herself like that too?
Because let’s get fucking real here. I probably weigh a good 3-5kg more than that now, not that I would know though, my scales are long gone. If you come to me to set goals around weight loss, you’ll be throwing yours out too, just FYI. My measurements in my arms and thighs have most probably increased yet I’m the healthiest and happiest I’ve ever been.
20 year old Bridget made a shit tonne of bad decisions.
- Bad decision #1… 20 year old Bridget obssessed about what other people thought of her
- Bad decision #2… 20 year old Bridget stayed in a disempowering relationship which had a huge impact on her self-respect, self-confidence and self-love
- Bad decision #3… 20 year old Bridget tried really damn hard to conform to society, she wanted to look like the girls in the magazines, she wanted to meet societies expectations of a ‘fit and healthy’ 20 year old, she wanted to be seen as ‘hot’
- Bad decision #4… 20 year old Bridget thought that if she had a Big Mac on the way home from an afternoon lecture it could be easily justified by going for a run and not having anything for dinner
- Bad decision #5… 20 year old Bridget neglected her health, in every possible way, shape and form. Her physical health, her mental health and her spiritual health. (I’m not sure that spiritual health was even on 20 year old Bridget’s radar)
“Health is not just about what you’re eating. It’s also about what you’re thinking and saying.”
So not only was I eating shit, I was thinking shit and saying shit. And you can bet I was probably fucking feeling shit as well. Now I know I’m not the only one that has been in that boat, or is still in that boat, rowing flat out trying to get to the brighter side of ‘I love my body’ life. If you’re in that boat I see you and it’s going to be okay, keep reading!!
I think it is really important to stress at this point, that it is 100% totally not your fault that you’ve ended up in that boat. Nope. Not at all. The world is full of incredibly corrupt, deceitful and money-making businesses who well and truly exploit our self-confidence and vulnerabilities. But no matter how much money you have, no matter how many life-changing products you buy, you won’t be healthy until you get your mental health in check.
“You better check yoself before you wreck yoself!” – Ice Cube
5 steps for self-love and mental health enlightenment…
- Retrain your brain. You wouldn’t talk to your best mate the way you talk to yourself. So start treating yourself like you would your best friend, actually treat yourself better than your best friend! Counteract any negative thoughts with a positive one e.g. REPLACE: Look at those fugly bags under my eyes, I LOOOOOK LIKE SHIIIITTT… WITH: I’m an amazing Mum, I’ve been up all night taking care of my babe, I’m so proud of myself because DAM I work hard. The sooner you start retraining those thoughts, the faster that positive, self-loving train of thought will become natural.
- Prioritise your mental health by starting a journal that you write in daily. I have my clients write down three things they are grateful for, three successes/achievements they have that day and three things they love about themselves.
- Listen to your body and fuel it wisely. You would be amazed at the GINORMOUS impact food has on your mental health. The other night on the way back from picking up our third load of boxes from my old place, I requested Dylan take me to get a caramel sundae from McDonalds (I know, I know, I know!!! YUCK WHAT WAS I THINKING! THAT IS NOT EVEN FOOD) This resulted in an instant headache, stinky farts and a very very very grumpy and irritable girlfriend which also proceeded to continue on throughout the next day. Sugar and I are not mates, and I should have known better. Even Dyl knew better and asked me about five times if I was sure I wanted one #hesalwaysright
- Start some self-love rituals. They’re not for everyone but worth a try. Look at yourself in the mirror every morning and tell yourself how amazing you are, tell yourself how important you are to the people around you, tell yourself you’re going to smash your goals for the day, end your self-loving with a bang by telling yourself “I love you”, blow yourself a kiss and a cheeky wink for luck.
- Three words. Yoga and Meditation. My absolute favourites are Yoga With Adriene and Headspace.
- BONUS. Exercise. Find something you love doing and do it. I start most mornings with a walk, this wakes me up, clears my head and gives me time to set my positive intentions for the day.
There we have it my babes, my guys, my Goal Diggers, a few tears, a couple of bad decisions, 5 steps to mental health enlightenment and a few too many f bombs.
I will leave you with this…
What are you going to choose to think and say?
Photo credit goes to the very talented Ray Pittman of @islandlegends