Breaking destructive chains

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It’s an epidemic: the number of young girls, teenagers and women of all ages who profess to hate their bodies and beat themselves up with negative self-loathing statements.

You’ve all heard it – or said it.  “My arms are so fat and wobbly.  I’ve got a belly roll.  I can’t wear that – I’m too fat for it.  God my thighs are enormous.  I’ve got to lose weight before I can … (you fill in the rest of this proclamation)!”

It goes on and on and it’s such a huge issue because not only are we damaging ourselves, we’re teaching young girls (and boys) that it’s not ok to love your body exactly how it is; that there’s something wrong if you don’t look like the air-brushed, half-starved models and actresses in magazines and on our screens.

Check out this blog post at Hello Giggles.  It illustrates exactly what I’m talking about.

It’s certainly not only the younger generation either – I know women in their sixties and seventies who complain about their belly roll and, sadly, who still hate their body after all these years living in it!

Hand in hand with the obesity epidemic has been the growth of the diet industry and society’s fixation with being thin.  And yet, we’ve continued to become fatter and unhappier.

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I’ve got to say that this image (which comes from the amazing Eat Breathe Thrive team) pretty much sums it up but the real question is, how?

How do we learn to stop hating our bodies and start living our lives in contentment?

There are heaps of tools out there and I’ve got to say, I’ve tried a goodly proportion of them.  Having spent the biggest part of my 44 years beating myself up physically and mentally because I too loathed my body, I’ve at last found Santosha – contentment – with my body.

While some of the tools that I’ve used in the past (for example, the Jon Gabriel method), have helped me sort through the emotional contributors to my food issues, most are still focused on losing weight as opposed to loving your body.

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Too true!

So, what has made the difference?

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And change my life it has!

Now I’m not talking the turning yourself into a pretzel yoga as a manic exercise regime that’s currently becoming a worldwide marketing craze.  I’m talking about the philosophy of yoga – the lessons it teaches as a way of living that enable you to recognise the peace, beauty and contentment there is to be had in your life.

And this includes your body.

Exciting?  Yes.  Do-able? Definitely.  You mean anyone can do it?  Yep!  What’s more; it doesn’t cost a thing and there’s NO DIETING involved.

Let me repeat that for the hard of hearing.

There is no dieting involved!  No dieting.  No dieting.  No dieting.

(I thought I’d repeat it a few times so you get the importance of this concept.)

Yoga provides the tools you need to break the chains of addictive behaviours.  It helps you to find the blessings in your life and to celebrate those every single day.  It rekindles a sense of wonder and gratefulness in your unique body – regardless of your size and shape.  And then see what happens.  It’s pretty amazing.

In my next blog post I’ll start breaking it down for you – from ahimsa to tapas and all the other weird Sanskrit words that will make a difference to your life if you let them.  If you’re interested in working with me to find Santosha – contentment – in your life (and that definitely includes your body), then email me at joce@santoshalifecoach.com and we’ll run through some simple questions to see if I can help.

There is a way out of the self-loathing, crazy dieting and exercise regimes and food-related issues.  There is a way to find Santosha – contentment in all things.

Namaste

PS – if I’ve used an image that belongs to you and have not attributed it, I apologise.  Most are pinned to my Pinterest page because I’m in love with them and they portray all that I stand for at Santosha Life Coach.  Please let me know if it’s your image and I’ll attribute it and include a link to your website or blog.

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