Today I am really excited to announce the contribution of Cristina Hoyt, directly from NourishMBML to The Brave-Hearted. She is a fabulous Integrative Nutrition Coach from Philadelphia, featured on MindBodyGreen and she is here to share with us the secret to having the body you love. Enjoy her awesome article!

It’s a tricky, winding road when you start to think about self love and body image.  The two are intertwined in a way that only our deepest selves can begin to comprehend.  And unfortunately, you can’t have one without the other.  How can you show yourself love if you’re body shaming? How can you have positive body image if you don’t truly love yourself?  You can’t. But I can show you a simple step that is interwoven into our daily lives that you can do every day that will move you in the direction to having both and, to me, it’s the ultimate expression of self love.

Become a conscious eater.

I’m not talking about counting calories, grams of fat, or the number of carbohydrates you’re consuming on a daily basis. That doesn’t make you conscious, It makes you obsessive. And that is not the road to self love. I’m talking about tapping into that inner voice before and after you eat something. That deep inner gut feeling that is telling you why you’re truly picking up that second cupcake and after you finish your third slice of pizza that feels remorseful and negative.  As you become more conscious of the foods that you’re eating and more importantly why you’re eating them, you’ll naturally make more mindful decisions about what you’re eating.  Slowly and surely, you’ll begin to hear what your body really needs and wants.

HAVE YOU TRULY TAPPED IN AND LISTENED TO WHAT YOUR BODY IS TELLING YOU?

Here are a few tips that you can do before each meal, snack and drink that will help you tap into that inner voice:

  1. Pause and take a moment to inhale and exhale.
  2. Ask yourself these questions:
    1. Am I really hungry?
    2. Is this really what I want to eat?
    3. If not, why am I settling for this?
    4. If yes, why do I want to eat this?
  3. If you answered no to these questions, then take another moment to evaluate why you were going to eat it. What was brought up for you?
  4. If you answered yes, then enjoy and savor it.

After you finish eating take another moment and ask yourself the following:

  1. Do I feel satisfied?
  2. Do I regret eating this? If so, why?
  3. How do I feel now – happy, sad, empowered?
  4. If you said sad, why do you feel sad, what was brought up for you? If you said happy or empowered, what about it made you feel that way?

Naturally, as you become more mindful of your food choices, you will begin to crave and start to eat foods that truly feed you and your body’s desires. You’ll start to feel more empowered by your choices.

This small shift in your daily life can ultimately impact you in the long run and set forth a spiral of self love throughout your life. You’re going to feel good eating foods that make you feel great from the inside out and that’s contagious. One meal at a time. One small act at a time. You’ll begin to see yourself and your body in a whole new way: An empowered way. A self compassionate way. And that’s the most beautiful small act of self love we can embrace.

When’s the last time you showed your body this amount of love?

 Cristina is an Integrative Nutrition Coach on a mission to help women feel fabulous in their skin. She’s bringing healthy back (and no, that doesn’t mean eating cardboard and counting calories)! Discover how you can feel amazing in your skin without a list of restrictions at www.nourishmbml.com and snag your FREE copy of her Un-Diet Guide. You can also find her on instagram.

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