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Have you ever found yourself putting all your energy into loving or caring about others and then turning around and insulting or constantly finding ways to criticize yourself? Do you find yourself looking for affirmations from others in order to feel like you are looking good or doing your best rather than trusting your own judgement? While I am not saying you should become a narcissist, learning to love yourself for you who are, physically and mentality, is a crucial part of a thriving, healthy lifestyle. Many times, when we are lacking confidence in our own bodies and minds, it tends to be difficult to thrive in most aspects of our lives- it is hard to maintain a relationship with others, succeed in work, succeed with balanced healthy eating and exercise, and maintaining a good group of healthy friends.  As a Registered Dietitian, I find the ability to love yourself so crucial as, when you don’t, your health inevitability begins to suffer.  I have a favorite quote that I find truly fitting with Valentine’s Day coming up that says,

“Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.”

Why I love this quote so much because it is a really great reminder that the more confident and positive you are about yourself, the more you are able to thrive in your relationship with others! So this Valentine’s Day, whether you are single or in a relationship, I challenge you to begin working on loving yourself and your body so you can optimize your relationship with yourself and the special people in your lives. If you accept my challenge, I have provided you with some key tips to get you started on the road to successfully gaining confidence in yourself and loving your body!

  1. Start your morning off with a positive affirmation. Many times we find it difficult to come up with positive thoughts about ourselves. Come up with a list (even if it means using some internet examples) of positive affirmations and begin using at least one every morning. The more you say it the more you will believe it.
  2. STOP body checking and START body complimenting. We tend to spend too much time looking in the mirror and finding something to criticize about ourselves. Try only using the mirror to make sure you are put together and don’t have food in your teeth. If you are going to check your body out in the mirror, make sure you have a compliment ready for yourself.
  3. Begin Practicing a Healthy, Balanced Eating LifestyleEliminate DIETING from your vocabulary. Dieting tends to bring up the connotation of something restrictive, based on a goal  that is non-sustainable and usually not healthy long term, so take the word out of your vocabulary. Instead, work on developing a healthy, well balanced eating lifestyle focusing on moderation and variety (to get clearer guidance on this I highly recommend working with a registered dietitian to ensure you are not being mislead by a lot of false information out there). By creating a healthy eating lifestyle, eating balanced and varied meals every 3-4 hours, you will likely notice your energy levels improve, your mental clarity improving, and your ability to maintain a healthy weight range/body structure.
  4. Incorporate physical activity into your routine. It is recommended to do, on average, 150-300 minutes of physical activity a week, with moderate to high intensity strength/weight bearing related activities two days a week. Ensuring you find a balance between weight bearing exercise and cardio is also important for body structure and well-being. Finding activities you love and keeping it interesting makes it easier to maintain exercise routines- try dancing, boxing, yoga, swimming or walking, and then maybe mix in the occasional pilates, resistant band workout or low weight exercise class (if you do love the gym, just make sure to get a good balance of weights and cardio). Exercising doesn’t only influence your physical structure, but has also been shown to release endorphins that improve overall mood!

“Work out because you love your body, not because you hate it.”- Katie Goulet

5. Weight is just a number- get rid of it’s emphasis. While weight is used as something to measure and track our growth and sometimes used to track health status, it can vary from scale to scale is not an end all be all and is absolutely not the best indicator of your worth and overall health. So get rid of your scale! More important than the number on the scale is that you are practicing a healthy eating lifestyle, exercising in reasonable amounts, have energy, and your lab values are healthy. Feel good in your clothes and your body- create a healthy mind, body, and spirit; don’t let any one of those suffer.  

6. Take the phrase: “Do I look fat?” out of your vocabulary.  The person your asking takes this as a lose-lose situation knowing if they say no you are likely going to question them further or if they say yes, inevitably upsetting you. While you can ask whether or not something matches, have the confidence in what you put on to say, “this is what I want to wear today and I look good!” Own your look and honor your knowledge that you are rocking the body you are in!

7. Don’t let social media determine how you should look. Tv shows, movies, magazines, Instagram, and other forms of media are great at promoting false, photoshopped filters of what the ideal man or woman should look like that the person they used is barely recognizable in person. Don’t let these forms of media determine what healthy and confident looks like for you. Be your own version of strong and sexy and rock it!

I hope you enjoyed these tips to begin falling in love with yourself and your body this Valentine’s Day. I would love to hear some ideas of things you may do to help you feel like the best version of yourself!

I hope you have a fantastic Valentine’s Day and are able to spend it with someone you love- whether it be a significant other, a parent, a child, or even yourself!

If you are looking for extra help with your nutrition and health and health goals and need help making a healthy lifestyle as easy and enjoyable as possible, CONTACT US today and SCHEDULE your first appointment toward taking control of your health!

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Wishing you a week filled with love, health, and happiness,

-Ricci-Lee Hotz, MS, RDN

Denver’s Dancing Dietitian

A Taste of Health, LLC

“Improving Quality of life one bite at a time”

www.denversdancingdietitian.com