By Madelin Skinner
Madelin grew up in Santa Rosa, California and currently is a fourth year nutrition student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She will be graduating in spring of 2022, where she plans on completing a dietetic internship post grad and then aspires to become a registered dietitian. Her future goals include being able to open up her own practice one day with an emphasis on women’s health. Madelin wants to be a strong support system for her clients and wants everyone to be able to have a healthy relationship with food and their body. When Madelin is not studying, she loves learning about wine, taking neighborhood strolls, and making dinner for her friends and family.
“How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you.” – Rupi Kaur
Many people know the month of February to be a month full of love. Showing people in your life that you care about how much you love and appreciate them. What if you did something different this month and showed yourself how much you love YOU? It’s time to end the negative self-talk. When others are around you and hear you talk negatively about your body, others will hear it and start to question their own bodies. What if we decided to talk positively about our bodies? Your body deserves so much love. Maybe the goal of falling in love with yourself seems far stretched and impossible, but what if we took this month to work towards the goal of loving yourself. If you want to love your body, maybe we start with body neutrality.
Body neutrality is the idea that you can exist without having to think too much about your body positively or negatively, but instead neutrally. Body neutrality can be useful for people suffering from an eating disorder or someone who is struggling with their body image. Sometimes going from “I hate my body” to “I love my body” can feel like a huge leap. Body neutrality minimizes body negativity without forcing positive reinforcement. Body neutrality is a great place to start to try and reverse the impact of internalized negative body image. This also allows us to be able to focus on what our bodies can do, rather than what they look like. Body neutrality has changed the conversations we are having with our bodies. It allows us to emphasize the true value of ourselves rather than just appearance. An example of body neutrality would be saying something like, “I’m not feeling confident in my looks today, but it’s okay because I can love and appreciate what my body does for me.” or “
Your body cares about you more than you think. Your body protects you, acts as a mode of transportation, and is a vessel for all of your vital organs – and your SOUL! Your body does so much for you, but also think about how much less your body can do if you continue hurting it. Your eating disorder and/or negative self image can be much more damaging than you think.
A few ways we can take extra care of ourselves this month is by showing ourselves kindness. Challenge yourself to do something every day that shows your body that you care.
You could wake up in the morning and journal. You can express things you want to accomplish, write down how you are feeling about the day ahead of you, write about three things you are grateful for, or list a couple of things you like about yourself. Or maybe you want to journal at the end of the day before bed as a relaxing way to wind down and reflect on your day. If journaling isn’t for you, try going for a walk outside instead. You could go with one of your friends and catch up or maybe you go by yourself and take that time to think or meditate. A morning or evening walk is a beautiful way to get outside and move your body, while also boosting your mood with endorphins. Instead of walking, you could try staying committed to your skincare routine. Maybe you give yourself permission to eat (wink)! Self-care is so important!
However you are feeling right now, we hope this blog post inspired you to spend a little bit more time on you this month.
Sending so much love,
XOXO, Not Your Average Nutritionist