Body Image · Fat Loss · Health · Performance · Self-Love

4 Unexpected Steps to Your Best Body (and Performance)

By Brittney Bergen

Last week I called a nutrition client out for putting herself last, and I asked you if you were doing that, too.  (I only call people out on things if it’s something I used to do).

I asked you to consider putting yourself first.

It takes courage for us to put ourselves first – but it’s the only way you’re going to achieve your goals.  Using the following four subtle shifts, you’ll get to the body you want, and you’ll be able to pour from a full cup of love, happiness, passion, and purpose into the lives of those around you.

How To Get to New Levels of Self-love, Satisfaction, and Fitness

  1. Own Your Behaviours

Ask yourself, “What are the behaviours I’m practicing that show I’m putting myself last?” Journal about them, and then own them.  Here are some examples (If you’re doing any or all of these, that’s okay.  I still dip my toes in them):

  • Undereating all week because you’re busy (or afraid of gaining weight) and then binge eating on the weekend to decompress
  • Beating yourself up after an “off meal” and sometimes letting it spiral into the entire day, week, month, or even years: you’re a perfectionist with an all or nothing attitude
  • Scheduling in workouts (or sleep) last
  • Eating fast, convenient foods (or eating out) regularly; rarely eating vegetables and eating candy or diet food more often than health supplements
  • Saying things like, “I’m too busy right now” or listing all the things going wrong in your personal life that are preventing you from achieving your health and fitness goals

Now, brainstorm the behaviours that show you’re putting yourself first.  Celebrate them!  Here are a few you might have:

  • Eating a variety of foods: some meals are fast and easy, but others are thoughtful, creative, and fun
  • Making the best whole foods choices you can when you eat out; eating out is a special occasion
  • Rarely feeling guilty about what you eat because you know you’re always in control: dusting yourself off and then jump right back “on” when you feel “off” with your nutrition; having a progress vs. perfection mentality
  • Eating vegetables with ease, and even adding in additional health food supplements
  • Although you might feel busy, making the time to put your health and goals first: scheduling in your workouts like you’re scheduling a meeting; even allowing yourself a nap if you’re tired
  1. Identify Your Core Belief

If you found more things struck a chord from the first list than the second, that’s okay.  We need to know where we’re starting from to get to where we want to be.  Put words to the core belief that’s the root of those behaviours.

Although your belief will likely fall somewhere in the middle, if you’re totally putting yourself last it might sound something like this:

“I’m not worthy of the body and life of my dreams.  If I put others first, they might make me feel worthy.  I feel powerless, fighting against outside forces that keep me in this body and this life.  I won’t be able to change until the things around me change.”

If you found more points resonated from the second list than the first, woo hoo!  You’re well on your way to living life in your dream bod.  Your core belief might sound like this:

I am worthy of the body and life of my dreams.  By putting my nutrition and fitness first, I have more energy to give to the people and obligations in my life.  I have the power to change my body and my life.”

  1. Pour on the Self-Love

To shift towards deeper self love, adopt the core belief of someone who puts herself first.  Write it out on a piece of paper and read it to yourself throughout the day.

You might also try other affirmations to shift towards self-love.  Here are my favourite options:

  • Look yourself in the eye in the mirror and tell yourself, “I love you” ten times
  • Look at your body in the mirror and say to your body, “I love you” ten times
  • Download and listen to Louise Hay’s “Love Your Body” audiobook. I used to write down one affirmation from it per day, and read it to myself throughout the day
  1. Focus on Being Rather than Becoming

Instead of thinking of the behaviours you have to do to get to the body you want, start thinking of the woman you want to be. 

Journal about this question: “Who do I need to be in order to have the body (aesthetics, performance, etc) of my dreams?”  You might list some of the behaviours that woman would have, but the motivation behind them will be out of self-love, rather than out of completing a check list in order to become enough.

When we focus on being, the results flow effortlessly.  When we focus on becoming, results feel like work.

By focussing on being, you can stay in the present moment and behave like your ideal self (e.g. choose the salad instead of the fries), instead of worry about what you need to do for the next twelve weeks (e.g. “be strict with my diet for twelve weeks”).

Start showing up as your ideal self today and you’ll be in that body before you know it.  It’s as simple as a decision to be that person, and the behaviours in the second list will flow effortlessly.

In Summary, To Get to Your Dream Bod:

  1. Own Your Behaviours
  2. Identify Your Core Belief
  3. Pour on the Self-Love
  4. Focus on Being Rather than Becoming

And the fifth step I didn’t mention?  Serve the people in your life with deeper levels of love, happiness, purpose, and passion than you were ever able to deliver from your half-full cup before (see what I did there?  You are reading a blog called Idealistic Isabel and not Pessimistic Patty, afterall.)

Now go on, and fill your cup up, buttercup.  Now go on, and fill your cup up, buttercup. via @idealistisabel

And tag me with your posts on social media that demonstrate you’re doing this (@idealisticisabel #uplifttheworld).

The world deserves to see you shining in all your brilliance

Photo credit: Keith Wong, @canadianweightlifting

Less than 7 days to preorder Idealistic Isabel hoodies or crop tops with the message “Lift Weight. Uplift the World.”  Click here to get yours now.

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