Ellen’s note: I’m so excited to welcome Daniele Della Valle to the blog! When I met Daniele at the Ancestral Health Symposium in Seattle I was immediately drawn to her bright spirit and beautiful message of body positivity. She recently published her first book, Happy Weight, and today she’s here to help you take the first steps toward building body confidence and loving yourself. Take it away, Danielle!
Scales, pant sizes, BMI’s… Do you ever feel a nagging sense of unfairness or oppression through these numbers?
Do you ever feel like the joy of life is robbed from you because of the constant obsession with obtaining a size or number that is unrealistic?
Well you’re not wrong and sadly this feeling is all too familiar with women in today’s society.
Here in the US millions of women are affected daily by social media, magazines, commercials, and our community telling us we aren’t thin enough, pretty enough, good enough and that some way, somehow, we will become all of these things – if, and only if, we purchase something. There is always a bottom line in every diet or beauty product because they are billion dollar industries.
You, my sweet beautiful friend, have become the bottom line. The real truth in all of this is that you are perfect exactly the way you are. I know that sounds ridiculous, and you’re probably replaying the negative loop we all play daily, the loop of self-hatred, but you don’t have to anymore.
Today is a new day you gorgeous goddess of light and love, today is the day you change your narrative and find your Happy Weight. Today is the day you throw away your scale and come one a journey of self-discovery with me!
Let us begin….
Step #1: THROW AWAY YOUR SCALE
Scales are not a measure of health, most of the time they aren’t even accurate. Did you know that muscle weighs more than fat, and that fat serves as a protectant layer against disease? Numbers are unrealistic and don’t fit the diverse sizes of women. Look at this picture of women below, they all weigh exactly the same and all look completely different. They are all outstandingly gorgeous and deserve to love themselves exactly the way they are. Would you ever tell a friend she is fat and disgusting? No. So why do you tell yourself that? It’s time to love YOU without defining your worth with a number.
Step #2: ARE YOU EATING TO LIVE OR LIVING TO EAT?
When we eat like crap we feel like crap. Does this mean we need to give up fat and carbs. No. It does mean, however, that balance and mindfulness are extremely important if we want to live a fulfilled and healthful existence. This is a different interpretation for everyone, but crash dieting and calorie restriction will only destroy your metabolism long term. Some might go as far to say that Thyroid disease is often a result of yo-yo dieting. The body can’t handle extremes because the human body is an organic machine, so if you feed it processed crap or don’t fuel it properly it will fall apart like any other machine. Food is how we survive and eating intuitively changes everything, from our digestion to our cravings. We can rewire our entire existence (mind, body, & soul) with the foods we choose.
Step #3: COMPARISON ADDICTION
Social media has driven us to live in a place where we are constantly comparing ourselves to others. The perfection addiction mentality is on hyper drive. Even if we start to follow people in our own community we will have feelings of FOMO or jealousy that drive to think we aren’t good enough, or aren’t doing enough with our lives. What we have stopped doing is sharing our vulnerabilities with one another. We aren’t sharing our reality, we are sharing a curated version of “doing it for the gram.” We are all faking it, and this is what social media has done to us. What we can do to live fully in our truth and love one another without feeling that sense of comparison is to treat social media like and art gallery and focus our efforts in our real life, with real friends, and real problems that we face together as a human community. You can find self-love when you realize that we are all human and we all have faults and problems.
Step #4: REALIZING THAT NEGATIVITY IS A PROJECTION OF INSECURITY
Whenever you feel as though someone or something is a problem it is a projection of your own insecurity. What are you feeling insecure about when judging someone else? Or what is another person feeling when they judge you. Negativity isn’t always one sided, the devil is in the details. Learning more about what triggers you and being able to be honest with others is the road map to feeling balanced and secure in yourself and your daily practices. Imagine what it would feel like to be free of insecurity, what does it look like? If it is a picture and not a feeling there is some work to do. Take this moment to write down all of things in life you fear and why, this may help you to understand what keeps a wall up from truly understanding how to love yourself and accept or ask for love from others.
Step #5: REMOVE TOXICITY FROM YOUR LIFE IN ALL FORMS
Foods, relationships, jobs, habits. Any one of these can be in the way of finding your Happy Weight. The fear of change is change itself, and most of us don’t make positive changes because of a fear of the unknown. A great way to face fear and move forward is to recognize that the change needs to be made and walking fearlessly into the unknown. Fear teaches us so much about ourselves and what we are truly made of. There are no rules in this life, so try not to shame or guilt yourself, love yourself by living the life you deserve.
Step #6: BREAKING UP WITH FOODS THAT NO LONGER SERVE YOU
Finding your Happy Weight is not about creating disordered eating. It is about nourishing every part of yourself, and sometimes that involves examining the foods that are causing your body inflammation. Every BODY is so uniquely different that a “one size fits all” diet will never work. Subscribing to a “diet” can also lead to disordered eating, so choosing wisely and carefully is about choosing what work for YOU as an individual. Also keep in mind that the body changes all of the time. I was able to heal my gluten sensitivity by healing my gut, but I still choose not to mess with it because I don’t think that it is a food that personally serves me. These are choices based on personal experience and perception, not by the force of others. If you find that there is a food causing your inflammation, it might be time to examine that relationship.
Step #7: FIND YOUR TRIBE
Getting to your Happy Weight comes by way of support and love on all sides. Having amazing people in your life that love, support, compliment, and push you are worth every breath. Find your tribe, your community wherever it may be. Whether you like cross-fit or cross-stich stich, join a group! We are a communal species and we feel fulfilled when our love cup is full. Surround yourself with love, not chaos or drama.
To continue on this journey you can find comfort in Daniele’s new book Happy Weight: Unlocking Body Confidence through Bioindividual Nutrition and Mindfulness found here.
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