When It Comes To Your Health, Self Love is #1
I was so inspired by a post that Project Heal had on their Instagram recently. It was a collage of drawings of many different women’s feet standing on a scale, but where the numbers would normally appear, there were awesome reminders of what we should be measuring in our lives like
“You are worthy,” “You are a kind and loyal friend,” and “You will figure it out whatever it is.”
My passion in life is to help our society and world unscramble the confusing body image that is tied to the fitness industry. It is currently plagued with the misconception that fitness should in some way be tied to a size or a number on a scale, that if you reach a certain number, you are healthy. That idea couldn’t be further from the truth. Fitness is, and should always be, about your health, and that means looking inwards, not at your physical appearance. The scale or the size of your jeans doesn’t determine if you have good muscle mass. They can’t tell you if your cholesterol is good. They can’t tell you if your heart is healthy. So why are we allowing them to be our judge and our jury?
I kept hearing from people I had helped to achieve their health goals in a meaningful way. That they were able to stick to their goals because I had an average body type and a supportive and loving manner. I realized that because of my normal body type and the way I approached fitness that what I was encouraging was health through self acceptance and self love- NOT through intimidation and negativity.
I realized more and more, that at the root and core of health, is self love. Self love is what enables all of us to take care of ourselves in a healthy way. Without self love, you will never be happy about yourself, no matter what you look like, no matter what size you are. The mind/body connection is very strong and forever entwined. You can’t separate them, your physical health plus your mental health is what makes you whole.
Self love is personal and there is no one measure of it for anyone. Not on a scale or in a jean size. It is something you do for yourself.
Self love is not comparing ourselves to other people. Self love begins with accepting ourselves for exactly who we are and where we are RIGHT NOW in our lives. We need to accept and love our accomplishments and our failures, our highs and lows. We need to embrace our differences from other people. It is exactly those differences that make us uniquely ourselves. This begins with the simple act of looking in the mirror or writing on a piece of paper, I LOVE MYSELF. For better or for worse, for exactly as I look, for who I am right now, today. The next step is believing what you have told yourself. For almost all of us, this is a lifelong journey and that is okay. You are worth the work.
A fact that I often marvel over is that, for the most part, we all have the same make up- 2 eyes, 2 ears, a nose, a mouth, 2 arms, etc- but even with this, with over 7 BILLION people on earth there is only ONE you! I think that is the coolest thing! Yet we are convinced often by society that we should be comparing ourselves to others.
The things that make us different are what makes us unique. It is something that should be embraced! And loved.
We should be checking in on ourselves often about our health and that means not only making sure our heart health and cholesterol and all of those things are doing well, but also our mental health. But void of judgement and void of stupid numbers that society has given us. Instead we should pay attention to the numbers that really count and that add to a positive loving image of ourselves. How many amazing friends do we have? How many things of beauty can we see around us on a daily basis? How many awesome songs do we LOVE to dance around the room to? How many amazing sunsets do we get to see?
YOU decide what numbers count. YOU decide what defines you. YOU get to decide to love yourself for exactly who you are right now- as the one and only amazingly uniquely YOU.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kat Napolitano
Kat Napolitano, founder of Love Size Me, is a certified AFAA fitness instructor and a fantastic role model for the vast population who are not a size 2, or as Kat says “regular size". With an already strong fan base from her role as the modifier in “21 Day Fix," Kat has a personality, and look that people can relate to and not feel intimidated. Her approach to fitness and health is realistic and attainable and starts with self-love. She believes in focusing on your health report, not a number on a scale. She has over 22 years of experience – from being a professional dancer and choreographer (Miami Heat Cheerleaders, Reebok Performance Team) to an on-air personality and fitness instructor. She has been in over twenty fitness videos such as 21 Day Fix, Weight Watchers, and Crunch Fitness.