Simply Reflecting : Why Self-Care and Self-Love Practices on the Daily are a MUST.

Hello! Welcome Back! Today’s post is going to be the second installment of my podcast reflection series. You can find the first post from this series here, it’s all about calling BS on the Diet Industry and Diet Culture. I mentioned in that post that most of these reflections are going to be on episodes from The Girl Kind Podcast, which is the case today. The episode I will be reflecting on today is called “Why Self-Care and Self-Love practices on the daily are a MUST” with Katie Winnen. The speaker in this episode, Katie is a Body Love Coach who is on a “mission to help woman move past their insecurities and poor body image in order to gain self love and confidence.”

First and foremost let me start this reflection off by saying, that I love this episode. As I’m writing this I am listening to it for the third time because of how much it resonates with me. The year 2018 has been centered around finding self love and taking care of myself. Of course I’ve fallen off the wagon more times than I would have liked but for the first time in my life I am trying to live a life more for myself. Live kinder, live more centered, and really just be my best self on a daily basis. One of the questions that started this conversation between the host, Stephanie and the guest, Katie was if Katie has always experienced self-love. Obviously like for most of us, the answer was no. As she started to share her journey to self-love and self-acceptance, she reviled that this journey started because of poor body image issues, which is something I could relate to. I am no stranger to poor body image by any means, my poor body image is one of the reasons I started my own journey this past year of self-love. I’m sure any of you who have struggled with body image know just how absolutely exhausting it is. Unfortunately, Katie had been struggling with body image from the young age of 8 years old. She had this mindset that losing weight would equate to happiness, which as I spoke on in my last reflection is never the case. Eventually she lost weight and had essentially “fixed her problem” but she didn’t feel any different, she didn’t feel any better about herself. I feel this is something a lot of girls go through, they put in the “work” to “fix there problem” but then nothing changes on the inside. That’s because the “problem” isn’t on the outside, it’s the words we hear, the looks we get and images we see in the media that are engraved into our mind that condition us into hating ourselves from such a young age.

Katie and I actually both had similar experiences when it comes to finding love for our bodies. She was talking about how later in life she found things that made her feel good, foods and activities that weren’t restrictive and just genuinely made her feel good on the inside. However, she was still being told by her doctors that her weight was a problem and that she still needed to lose weight. I knew just how frustrated she must have been considering the same thing happened to me. This past August I went to my OBGYN and he was telling me how I need to lose weight and how my BMI was too high. This made me feel so defeated because I had fought so many battles with myself and I was finally feeling good about myself. I was doing yoga from time to time which was unlike me, I was meditating which again was unlike me and I was making progress in breaking a habit of overeating that I formed from depression. Here I am excited to say I felt good for the first time in years and I had this man telling me the same thing everyone my whole life had been telling me, that I’m too big. Best thing is he based this off the outdated practice of BMI. While listening to this podcast, Katie had mentioned she heard some interesting facts about BMI.  BMI (Body Mass Index)  was actually created in the 1800s to observe the correlation between the height and size of someone. It was never actually meant to determine the health of someone. Then once the healthcare field got a hold of this scale in the 50s or 60s they used it to determine how much they should charge a patient. Which if you ask me is kind of scary knowing insurance companies have that much power and control over who pays what. Another interesting fact that Katie shared in this podcast was that in the 90s this BMI scale that was being used by all medical professionals got shifted downwards. What that means is those who fell in the “healthy” were now considered “overweight” and those who were “underweight” were now “healthy.” That was absolutely mind blowing to me, that this scale which is meant to be used by our doctors is now forcing us into thinking that being underweight is technically healthy. I remember a time that I was at a weight I was happy with, 150lbs to be exact. For reference, I’m 5’7” and I felt skinny and good about my body at this weight but if you were to look at a BMI calculator I would have still been considered overweight.

Whether it’s these BMI calculators, doctors using out of date practices or the media, so many people make so much money off us hating ourselves and it’s sickening. Just think of that for a second, think of what you’ve mentally consumed today regardless of where you received it from. Did you see or hear something today that made you feel a bit crappy about yourself? Was it a product for weight loss? Was it some celebrity endorsing waist trainers? Chances are you have seen or heard something that made you feel bad about yourself but benefited someone else’s bank account.

The journey to self-love doesn’t always have to be centered around body image. That’s just where mine and the speaker in this podcasts journeys started. Many woman have different stories on where their self hatred stems from, but that doesn’t mean you are doomed for life. Self-love is still possible. In this podcast Katie was speaking about how she helps her clients and what some of her steps are. The tip that really resonated with me was doing the work on the inside and working through where our negative beliefs come from. I work really hard on being positive, because naturally I tend to just think really negatively about myself. People always say that we are our own worst critic and at least for me personally, no truer words have been spoken. When I think of the times that I’ve repeatedly hit myself in the head because I was mad at myself for not understand a calculus problem or the times I’ve clawed at my stomaching wish that it would just disappear it brings actual tears to my eyes. I have spent so many years being just pure evil and destructive to myself and believed so many untrue things about myself that held me back for years. From things like, I was stupid and wasn’t going to graduate from college too my darkest of thoughts that God didn’t have this big plan for me because I wasn’t worthy living past 22 years old. I told myself no one loved me, that I was a failure, that no man could ever love me because I’m fat, that I am a disappointment to my family. So many things that caused me so much hurt and while those thoughts held me back, they were necessary for me to go through. If I didn’t think those things I don’t think I would have developed a passion for self-love and self-care. I don’t think I would have been able to work so hard at being kind and making sure others don’t feel the feelings I felt. I wouldn’t have been able to relate to this podcast and then share my story with you all.

The work that goes into discovering self-love is no easy task, but something important to remember is that small goals and achievements add up to big goals and big achievements. In the podcast Katie told us some really great tools to use to start the journey. Things like gratitude practices or affirmation journals can be really helpful. Affirmations in general are really helpful when you are on a journey of self-love. Think about how you repeated all those negative things to yourself until you believed they were true, it’s the same with positive affirmations. It may take longer to believe those positive affirmations depending on how long you have ingrained the negative thoughts, but the idea behind the practice is the same. If you have been struggling with self hatred for many years it’s going to take time to heal, so allow yourself that time and be kind and gentle with yourself. Over the past year self-care has become a big passion of mine. In the podcast Katie mentions how nothing is too small to be self-care and I completely agree. I’ll sometimes notice when I’m feeling anxious or just a bit on edge that I haven’t had any water that day. Something as simple as going and downing a big mason jar of ice water can contribute a lot to my mental clarity and how nice i’m being to myself. I’ve said this before, while self care isn’t always bath bombs and bubble baths sometimes it is, I have a whole post on my typical self-care night which if you’re in need of some ideas you can check out here. I use a mixture of both simple mundane tasks like cleaning my room and more “luxurious” things like bath bombs to find my perfect balance of self care.

To close off this reflection, I want to share the message that Katie used to close her conversation with Stephanie… There is nothing wrong with you. I stand by her statement 100%, no matter what your size, what your struggles are there is NOTHING wrong with you. Life is about the journey, and it’s not always pretty but when you put in the work you will find you are exactly where you’re meant to be. That all the shit you’ve been through has had meaning and turned you into the beautiful, capable, and powerful human you are today. Like last time, the episode that I have reflected on will be linked down below. I hope this post gave you some tools to help you continue on your journey of self-love or inspired you to start your own journey. I certainly don’t have it all figured out, I still have days where I revert back to saying those negative things to myself. It’s okay to have setbacks and to experiment with what works best for you. I’m always looking for new things to implement in my journey so if you have something that worked well for you, please leave it in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by…until next time,

Mich. x

Be Nice. Be Good.

The Girl Kind Podcast Ep. 14

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