The Sparkle Coach: I have transformed how I perceive my own body
I am pear shaped, I have strong thighs which is where I tend to easily store fat and because I am leaner on the top, I am now the owner of visible biceps after consistently following an exercise programme tailored to my body type, which is mainly an endomorph, as part of my daily routine.
But my biggest transformation hasn't come in the shape of a new defined muscle, it has come from how I perceive my body by adopting a better mindset.
My ‘before and after’ shot is not a typical ‘overweight’ photo of me ‘pre-slimming’ to hitting my ‘goal weight,’ because I haven’t lost much weight and I do not follow a diet.
It is my whole life which has changed from being an unhealthy eating disorder patient to today where I feel stronger in my mind and body than ever before.
Yes, I have lost fat and built muscle over the past couple of years, but none of that really matters, what matters is how I think and feel about myself and in turn how I choose to behave.
I have always battled my body with extreme yo-yo dieting, excessive fitness regimes from running half marathons to professionally dancing around the world and actually I never won the battle with myself.
The results of diet pills, stage makeup, harming myself through long workouts and unhealthy habits meant that at times I was severely skeletal and more often than not I gained fat and a swollen face which I would eventually laden with make-up to try and ‘fix’ how much I loathed myself.
I felt well and truly out of control. In my mind I was a failure, I failed to be skinny and I failed to “embrace my curves” because I was so weak mentally from torturing myself to conform with changing trends or what I was fed as the ‘ideal’ shape and look.
My transformation didn’t happen overnight because my years of negative self-talk and compulsive behaviours led to me needing in-patient care, a lot of therapy and eventually I was able to learn how to ‘add’ to my life rather than ‘extract’ things as the dieting industry led me to believe I needed to do.
My in-house personal trainer and partner describes the problems with diets well: “A diet indicates an ending point, whereas being healthy inside out is a lifestyle and an ongoing journey.”
When I made the decision to take positive control of my mind and body, I began small by adding simple activities to my daily routine such as exercising each morning as soon as the alarm went off. I was allowed one 10 minute snooze and then I had to get up brush my teeth put on my activewear I had laid out next to my bed and I either jogged to a gym class or I did a live workout I had booked online if I had the kids with me.
I used my inner fire that I had previously used as an energy to berate myself and instead put this into something positive. I would then make sure that after my workout I would listen to a self-development podcast whilst getting ready, which was my 10 minutes of self-care before facing work or the school run.
I then was able to eat more intuitively and I felt more motivated to focus on work and even to ‘add in’ more self-care activities throughout the day.
The more I moved, the stronger I felt inside out and I was able to rediscover my love of dancing and even a new found interest in outdoor pursuits and weight-lifting.
I let go of the battle on my body and I felt more connected again to my own self rather than always striving for perfection, it was about progress for me.
This compound effect of habit stacking and building up my knowledge and passion in mind and body fitness, my daily rituals and a healthier approach to how I view myself actually gave me the ‘result’ I never even knew existed. I am built a certain way due to my genetics but I am now able to accept who I am and work with what I have got rather than fight a losing battle against it.
As I always say self-love is the best love and I accept I am #perfectlyimperfect. My mantra whenever I coach women; “everybody is a perfect body.” Let’s give a gift to ourselves rather than begin a war.