When You Look In The Mirror and Loathe What You See - 005

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Whether our highlight reels on social media show it or not, we all have days where we feel shame about our bodies - and then feel shame about our shame because everyone now promotes ''love your body''.

But what about the days when we struggle to?

Today's episode is an open conversation about my own battle with body image, and the 4 steps you can take to begin to rebuild your relationship with your body and boost your self-esteem to a healthier and happier place.

A healthy relationship with your body, begins with a healthy relationship with your mind. We need to greet our thoughts with compassion rather than criticism - removing self-judgement for how we are currently thinking, is only when we can truly begin to build our self esteem..
— Kate Fitzsimons

In this episode you’ll find out about:

  • My history of eating disorder and body image issues

  • Dealing with the shame when seeing fitness models on Instagram

  • Why your brain struggles to think positively about your body all the time

  • 4 small but significant mindset shifts you can make to end your body shame and build your self esteem

Show notes & resource links:

Full episode transcript:

Hey, hey, beautiful people. Episode five. Can you believe it? I can officially high five you with the number of episodes I've done so far. That is pretty awesome. You know, I was just thinking the other day how crazy it is that this podcast, like six weeks ago, was just a thought in my mind, like just a thought. What's even crazier is to think that everything that's ever been created in this world begins as just a thought. For example, like the lightbulb began just as a thought in Edison's mind or the iPhone began as just a thought in Steve Jobs's mind or Single Ladies began as just a thought in Beyonce's mind, like this podcast began as just a little thought in my mind.

Like everything begins as just a thought and like an idea, and I think it's like one of our greatest privileges as human beings to be able to take that thought and do something with it to plan and to learn and to develop and experiment and persevere and take massive action time and time again until we literally bring that thought, that idea into reality, like we literally birth it into this world and create something that, before that thought, did not exist. It's pretty mind blowing when you think about it, like the gift it is to be human where we have the ability to not only think and dream but the capacity to develop the skills we need to bring those dreams to life.

I just wanted to say that as we start this episode because I guess that is what I want you to think about: What is your podcast? Like what is that thought in your mind of what you want to create in this world? I hope you continue to listen along to my podcast so I can help you overcome everything that's stopping you from taking that thought from a concept into creation and not just for the thrill of creating but really for that fulfillment of who you'll grow to become through the process of it because, to me, like that is the purpose of our dreams, like not what we achieve but who we become of it.

Anyway, now that my little inspirational whiffle is over, which, by the way, stands for "What I Feel Like Expressing," that's what I call a whiffle, now that that's all done, let's dive into today's topic, which is actually one I hold very close to my heart. As you can see, the episode is called: "When You Look in the Mirror and You Loathe What You See."

If you've listened to earlier episodes or you've followed me for a while now, you know that I have had a history of body image issues and the eating disorder, especially in my final years of school and just after that. Working on how we can improve our self-esteems and our relationships with our body is something that means so much to me because, in today's society, the pressure to look a certain way is stronger than ever. I mean I know I don't really need to spell that out. We all feel it or see it everyday. We open up Instagram, and you could literally scroll for like the whole day and just see one perfect model after another. I'm not just speaking about the girls here. I know the pressure for you guys as well to look a certain way and be buff and strong and masculine. It really just is heavy on you, that pressure.

Today's topic though, like it's going to take a slightly different perspective on the body image issue because something I've seen emerging from this is something that I think is really very well intended, but it's actually getting to a point now where it's starting to have an opposite effect on our mental and emotional well-being from what it's aiming to achieve.

I wanted to bring it up on this show because I feel like people would see me now where I am where I, I guess, have a body which society would call fit and in shape, and you might see photos of me on Instagram and think, "Oh. I want her body. It looks so nice," because I'm sure many of you would assume that, if you did have my body, like you would just instantly be happy and comfortable and in love in your own skin.

Look. Of course, I have come a long way with my relationship with my body. At my worst, when I had my eating disorder, I weigh myself about four or five times a day. I wouldn't eat as long as the sum was up. I was just constantly obsessing over this [inaudible 00:04:51], every single little [maffle 00:04:52] that went in my mouth. I've come a very, very long way from that, but the crazy thing is I've ultimately achieved my "dream body," the body I always wanted, but you know what, guys? I still have days where I still don't feel like it's good enough.

I guess I really wanted to be open with you about this because what I'm seeing more and more and more now on Instagram is girls constantly posting selfies of their body with a massive smile on their face and their inspirational caption, like, "I love my body the way it is, and it's so amazing, and don't hate on your body. I'm so happy with the way I am, and you should be to," and just love, love, love, and big smiles, and it's all rainbows and daisies, and it's like they never, ever feel anything negative or bad towards their bodies ever.

I just want to preface before saying this: I am 100 percent all for loving and being kind on your body, absolutely. But what I am not all for is often the shame that we create when we don't. When we feel like we should always love our body and never feel negative about it, I don't think that's healthy because, just like everything in life, expecting perfection and for things to be 100 percent always a certain way, like it just isn't realistic. What we're doing then is creating like this cycle of shame because, when we have this idea of like, "This is how it should be," and it's not, then we start having thoughts like, "Oh. There's something wrong with me because, when I look in the mirror, all I can think of how disgusting I am or how big my thighs are or how I hate what I see," and then it just gives us like one more reason to like loathe and hate on ourselves.

I know this because it was me, and, guys, some days it still is me. Not only is it like then when we see not only the photos on Instagram but then like the inspirational caption, it suddenly becomes just like, "Why can't I look like her?" It becomes like, "Why can't I be positive like her?" "Why can't I think like her?"

Now, look. I know I'm not speaking to all of the population here. Perhaps there are some of you who 100 percent love on your body every single day, and, if that is you, then I hope you go out there and keep loving the crap out of your body with as much joy and confidence as you've got, but, if that's not you, if you still have days where you look in the mirror and you loathe what you see, I'm talking to you.

Today's episode, we are going to walk through the four steps I talk and worked my way through to overcome my eating disorder tendencies and begin to rebuild a relationship with my body where it's not perfect but where it's healthy, where it's in a good place most of the time and, on the days where it's harder to love than others, I'm not spiraling into that cycle of shame about it. When you read that quote like, "Just love your body the way that it is," and you're not even coming close to it, it's: How do we stop ourselves compounding shame about our shame? If you can relate to this feeling, then I think you'll find these four steps really helpful to begin to rebuild your relationship with your body in the same way.

The first step that I really encourage you to take, which made a huge shift for me, was to actually give yourself permission to feel bad about your body sometimes, like it's okay. It doesn't make you less of a human than them or is there something wrong with you. It just means you're a work in progress because it's not your body itself that's really causing you to feel that shame, of course. If it literally was, it would mean that every single person who was a certain size would feel exactly the same way about their bodies, but they don't. Right? I mean we have girls who are size eight and are happy and size eight and miserable and size 22 and miserable and size 22 and happy, like same bodies but very different feelings and relationships with them because it's all coming from their own thoughts and beliefs and values about their body.

Given how they're feeling towards their bodies is coming from their own minds, then it makes sense that we're not going to totally feel madly in love with our bodies like 100 percent of the time because our brains have like so many crazy biases and ingrained functions going on and so much social conditioning where, as much as the media's trying to pretend it's cleaning up its act, it really does continue to promote a certain type of body, that a certain type of body equals happiness, and fitness equals health, and, if we don't fit that mold, then your brain's naturally going to be inclined to begin to question your worth.

It's like a survival thing still like, as I said, our brain is designed for one thing: to keep you alive. Back in our ancestors' day, that meant fitting in with the tribe. Right? Otherwise, we [look to 00:09:42] being left out in the field to be eaten by a tiger. Not a good idea. In a world where you're likely probably spending hours scrolling Instagram and seeing images of women's bodies, looking fit and smiling and happy, your brain's going to default to like, "Wait. Wait a minute. You don't look that way. You don't feel that way about your body. What's wrong with you? Why are you so negative? Why can't you be more like her?" Then, not only are you hating on your body but then you're hating on your mind. Right?

So, so many women are saying, "Be kind to your body," and I'm saying, "Be kind to your mind," because so many of those initial subconscious thoughts that are triggered are so way outdated and not useful anymore in our subconscious, things like skinny equals happy. We're grown-up but seeing that as kids. Remember I said most of our subconscious thoughts were formed around when we were like six, seven years old, and so we have to now go through this whole process. Now, we're at this age where we can begin to understand our own thinking, we have to go through this whole process of unlearning and working through conditioned, limiting beliefs, and that takes time and practice.

I'm going to share in a few steps some of the bridging thoughts and beliefs I have trained my mind to redirect to now, but, in the meantime, and even once you've built up a better belief system about yourself, like your brain every so often is going to go back to being that toddler with a permanent marker in a white lounge room unsupervised, like it's going to cause havoc if you don't pay attention because it's just naturally going to default back to the deeply ingrained biases, like the negativity bias of always looking for what's wrong about you and the confirmation bias. If you listen to episode three, if you don't know what I'm talking about, this will explain it way more deeply, but basically your brain is going to default back to the beliefs you were conditioned to believe growing up about beauty and the ideal body and how much happier you would be if your body was more like someone on Instagram. Like nothing in life is 100 percent all of the time, especially not your brain.

Our brains are beautiful, but they are a little bit crazy sometimes because they just love making patterns and jumping to conclusions, and sometimes it's just not helpful. It's got a pattern though where your subconscious beliefs are always going to come up first, so plan on that, and allow space for it. Allow space for it to be like, "Eh, yeah, but you don't look like that girl on Instagram," or, "You don't look like her," like, "Her thighs don't look like yours," or, "You don't fit in that size eight anymore." You need to let all of those negative like not helpful thoughts come up but not make it mean that, "I'm such a horrible person." "I'm such a negative Nancy." "I'm not being able to have like loving, nourishing thoughts about my body 24/7."

Like, really, you need to realize that this means nothing more than you're a human being with a human brain that is naturally, unsupervised, going to dwell on the negatives and question your worth, and that's all okay. It doesn't make you more or less of a good person. It just is an ingrained bias in our brain, so we'll always be a work in progress with that. Allow grey days. We've got to get rid of this all or nothing mentality. "I either love my body or I hate my body." Some days, it's just we have a body. It may be harder to love on it than others, and that's okay. Allow yourself to be humans. With humans, sometimes we have negative thoughts that cause negative feelings if we believe them instead of questioning them, and that's okay. It's all okay.

Now, we're clear on that. The next step that we really need to take in order to begin to properly rebuild a true relationship with our bodies is to let go of your story about the girl on Instagram. All right? You know what I'm talking about. Like I want you to think about someone you follow on Instagram who you think has a really nice body, is really pretty, or just like looks how you just wish you could look. Now, pay attention to the story you subconsciously think after you think about her, like, "Oh. She's so skinny. She must be so happy and have such a better life and a better boyfriend and more popular and brighter future ahead of her, like, whatever it is, we've all got that one girl who's just living like her ideal life. Right? Even though we only see pictures, we've got it all planned out about how hunky dory it all is.

PART 1 OF 3 ENDS [00:14:04]

And though we've only seen pictures we've got it all planned out about how hunky dory it all may be. This story of how ideally and perfect those perfect looking Instagram models are, but we need to recognize all that for what it is. Just a story. Like, literally a story, just like a made up idea in our head that in reality has no truth to it, because social media is not reality.

It's just someone's representation of it, and then our interpretation of it. That's it. It's all subjective. It's just like this story made up in our head, and although that model may post 50 inspirational quotes, and smiley pics, it's A, does not mean her life is all rainbows and daisies.

Social media only shows the external world of someone and not their internal world, and we really don't know for sure how happy, or unhappy, that person is but I think we need to be mature enough to just not let our brains write this fantasy story that places a model on a pedestal, and recognize that, we're only seeing just part of their world, and although I do generally hope every single one of them is happy in life, you need to recognize that you're judging a human life to an online life.

That's not fair on either of you, because I'm sure they have insecurities just like you, and maybe they're not always up on display but it doesn't mean that they're not there, especially because they have a human brain, like, just like you. I really feel that this ingrained feeling that we all have as humans is this idea that we're not enough.

I think we all battle with that in one way, or another, throughout our lives. Next time your brain tries to sell you on this story that girl you're following, and admiring, for your abs has this perfect life, and your brain will because it's a damn good salesperson and get plenty of evidence for its belief, just really stop and listen and just go, is this true?

How can I know for 100% sure that this is all true, and the answer is you don't. I think you'll feel a whole lot more at peace if you remind yourself that you're human and so is that girl that you're admiring online. We all face struggles whether we're tan, tall, and skinny or short, frumpy, and overweight. It might not look that way in the social media world but in the real world it's true.

The happiness you're seeking isn't gonna be found in looking like that model on Instagram, and I know this guys, because I have won fitness model competitions before. I've literally won Australian championships as a bikini model. That pretty much tells me like, yep, you've got one of the best bodies in Australia, and I still had to work on my confidence in my relationship even when I looked that way.

When your brain tries to tell you no, no, no that really all fit people are just happy people and life is better when you're fit, you have no problems, and I'd be happier if I looked that way, when it tries to convince you it's so [inaudible 00:16:48] of that story, like, just remember my story then, and when I tell you that I still battle those same insecurities, and I'm a work-in-progress with you it is the honest truth.

We are all in this together and you do need to let go of that story about the girl you have on Instagram if you want to begin to rewrite your story and your relationship with your body.

The next step from this, number three, that I found really important in taking to begin to improve my self-esteem and my body image was to really stop trying to run before you can walk. By that I mean avoid making the mistake of trying to jump straight to the super happy positive place where it's all rainbows and daisies, and my thighs are perfect, and I'm so beautiful, and I'm amazing, and I love my body, because if you listen again to episode three with that confirmation bias you know that your brain is going to outright reject it or not even close to even being able to see it because it doesn't align with your current beliefs.

That cognitive dissonance is just way ... your brain's like what? If you literally loathe yourself and think you're disgusting your mind is just not going to latch onto I'm so beautiful at all. It's gonna be like don't think so champ.

We have to kind coax our brain there. Just like if any of you ever had a dog you tried to coax outside when you're leaving home in a rush, and its just like too damn stubborn it's like, yeah, I ain't going anywhere, so you get like a trial of treats to try and get it outside, and yes Scuba, I'm looking at you. That's my beautiful Labrador who's as stubborn as all hell when he wants to be.

Anyway, you have to kinda take baby steps there. We have to take baby steps with our brains to begin to interrupt it's negative thought patterns and get it focusing more towards what we do want to believe. It's also like climbing a ladder to better thinking and feelings thoughts where ... okay so imagine the bottom rung is your current thought which is I hate my body, it's disgusting, and then you have your like dream ideal thought of I love my body the way it is, it's perfect.

In between there baby step thoughts that are going to help you bridge where your thoughts are now to where you want them to be because your brain, as I'm gonna explain is gonna be able to latch on and believe them, and kinda stair step your way up there.

I'm gonna share some of the most helpful bridging thoughts I found to build up my relationship with my body. The first one, it doesn't sound like much of a shift but it changed everything for me. For so long I thought, I felt, ashamed and insecure because my body wasn't good enough. The big thing for me was recognizing I'm feeling shame because I'm thinking my body isn't good enough.

Recognizing that it is not a circumstance, that my body is just what it is, it is this many kilos, it is this dress size, it is whatever height it is, it is whatever body fat percentage it is. That is a circumstance of how I think about it, and what I make it mean, and so that is what is really determined how we feel about it, and the relationship which we have with our body.

The first part is we need to recognize this is just a belief. A belief is just a thought you thought so often it's in your subconscious so that you don't even recognize you're thinking it. That is why the first thought we need to shift to is I notice I keep thinking.

I notice I keep thinking that my body isn't good enough. I notice I keep thinking my stomach isn't flat enough. I notice I keep thinking my thighs are too bad, my arms are too fat, like, whatever it is, I notice I keep thinking is something you can attach to the beginning of that thought to remind you that it is just a thought, and not a truth.

Therefore, you can begin to stop identifying with your thoughts and stop reacting to them so strongly. We need to remember you are not your thoughts. You are the watcher of them. You can choose your response to them rather than just instantly believing and latching onto them, and so I notice I keep thinking my body is disgusting, I'm too fat, my arms aren't tight enough.

Attaching that, and then at the end of that, and that's okay. Accepting that it's just a thought and it's okay to think these thoughts sometimes. That doesn't make you any less of a worthy positive person. Accepting that just reduces that shame around it, rather than like, I shouldn't be thinking this, immediately we go into that place of shame and blame, but just accepting that this is where my brain's going today.

Of course, we can work on redirecting that, but sometimes at the end of the day, and you're tired, or you're emotional, or it's just like whatever. You've had one of those days. It's that time of the month and your brain it's just like I can't be bothered to go there sometimes, and like, oh, I noticed I'm thinking my body's not looking good today, and that's okay. That's just the way of it.

The other kind of thought that sometimes I redirect to, and have during this process of rebuilding my self-esteem, is just getting to a neutral thought. I know that doesn't feel amazing, and it doesn't, but getting to a place where it's far less charged and negative will give you huge relief.

Rather than just letting your brain beat the crap out of you by saying things like I have the most disgusting body, I hate my body, and things like that, getting to a neutral place will just be redirecting to I have a body, I have a human body. It keeps me alive. It keeps me walking. I have human thighs. It's just kinda getting to that place where you're almost like getting to just the fact of it.

It offers something else that you can distract your brain with from the current thought, like, I'm too fat, my body's isn't good enough, rather than thinking I'm the size of a house redirecting to, well, I'm a size 20. Your brain can't argue with that. It's the truth. It just kinda is neutral. It can't totally redirect it and so it's far more likely to kinda be like, yeah, that's true we can think that. It's not totally unbelievable to it because you have proof that, yeah, this is a human body. This is what we've got.

The brain can really only focus on one thought at a time, so the more you are able to redirect your brain away from the total current negative thoughts is gonna help to diminish the number of times you were feeling so damn negative about your body, because you're not thinking that negative thought quite as often.

That means less kinda shame and loathing in a day which is progress in itself. You might not feel amazing about it, but at least you're kinda, yep, this is it, it is what it is. Some days that's all I got. It is what it is.

The last kinda thought bridging tool I'm going to offer you guys is kind of just its possible kind of thought. Ultimately, we'd all like to get to a place where we feel more at peace in our body more often when we don't. It's great to have that goal thought of what you'd ultimately like to believe, and then just attach like an opener or closer phrase to the beginning of the end of the thought.

Things like if you might have the goal thought of I want to believe my body is exactly how it's supposed to be. It's the gift that I was meant to have in this world. You can put like my body's exactly how it's supposed to be is a thought I could believe one day. It's possible that my body's good enough the way it is.

These little adjustments, like the word possible, kinda opens your mind up to possibility. We're coaxing that little Labrador towards the door. It's kinda like come on its possible You might get some treats. Your brain's kinda like, hmm. It opens your mind up to believing something different and that in itself begins to inspire it to start seeking out and finding evidence for why this possibility really may be true. It's like, hey, you don't have to totally believe me yet.

You're allowed to have your doubts but just planning that seed for it, because then that subconsciously telling your mind like, hey, is this true? It's kinda gonna begin to be like, hmm, and look for other people with bodies similar to yours who look happy and fulfilled.

You just realize how much your body is amazing at helping you do certain moves in your dance class that maybe you couldn't do as well if you had a shorter toe, whatever it is, your brain at least has to open up to the possibility that your body doesn't need to be any different to what it is now to be worthy of love, and appreciation, for all that it does for you, which will help this new thought begin to feel more and more believable for you as you begin to kinda open it up to seek more and more evidence for it.

That's gonna help you climb even closer towards your goal for it. Remember, it's about learning how to walk before we run. I know these just sound like really subtle things, but it's these subtle little things that we do day in, day out, that build up to make the big difference at the end of the day.

We do ultimately want to improve our relationship with our bodies in a big way but it's these simple little baby steps and shifts we can make that make all the difference, and I know guys, because I'm living proof of it, still a work-in-progress but I am no longer crying myself to sleep about how I feel about my body, and I really want the same for everyone else out these who is struggling like I was.

The fourth kinda step that I took, which is where I'm gonna get even more vulnerable with you, and it revolves around it's so important to recognize the problem that you're really trying to solve through striving for this better body and what the real solution to it is.

Our minds are actually really designed and attracted to problem solving, like, it loves sinking its teeth into a problem that it can begin to dwell and focus on, and try and find some sort of solutions to. It gets like a dopamine hit when it finds the solutions to questions that it's asked. It's like, what is it designed to do?

Back in the day, our ancestors, they were worried about solving problems like how to find food to eat, or shelter to find, but nowadays we all have the main necessities for survival taken care of us with pretty much not much effort, right? We're not on high alert using lots of energy for survival mechanisms, but our brain I find is still hungry for problems to solve, and delve over, and I feel like it's taken all that brain juice and innocently starts trying other problems to find other problems to solve in our lives that aren't even really problems to begin with.

Like, why don't look or act like that girl on Instagram? Why don't we have her confidence? There seems to be a difference here, like, this could be a problem we should dwell, and solve, and kinda spin out over this, but what I really want you to think about ... dig deeper and recognize what we're all really crying out for here isn't six pack abs or a thigh gap, it's happiness.

PART 2 OF 3 ENDS [00:28:04]

Crying out it isn't six-pack abs or a thigh gap, it's happiness. It's pace. It's joy, it's fulfillment, it's whatever feeling it is, but it will always be a feeling that we're ultimately striving for. Feelings are what motivate us as humans. As a human being, you are either motivated to get a certain feeling or motivated to avoid certain feelings, and this is so powerful to recognize and figure out what it is you're really seeking here. As yourself ... there's this game where it's like ask yourself why three or four times in a row, and then you'll totally get to what you're really, really wanting and seeking, and I guarantee 10 times out of 10 if you dig deep enough, you'll always see you're seeking or trying to avoid a feeling.

So for example, I want to flatter stomach. Why? So I can look better in clothes. Why? So I don't feel so awkward, and that would be avoiding a feeling. Or, why? So I can feel more confident. Then it's like a wanting feeling, but may I remind you again where our feelings come from? Da, na, na, na, brownie points for anyone who gets this. Of course, our feelings come from our thoughts. Our beliefs about ourselves and the world and our worth and I know ... I used to obsess so much over my body, and looking back now I can see a lot of that obsessiveness was coming from this hunger. Hunger for something more in my life, for depth, for meaning, for understanding, just for some sort of purpose.

I remember it was like when I was finishing year 12 and I was just like ... so stuck. I didn't know what I was meant to do next. I felt like there was no real meaning for me here and I saw my sister and she was off dancing and chasing her life and my brother was off doing his business and just like seeing he knew what I was doing. I just really didn't know what I wanted to do when I finished school. I think so many of us are mistakenly trying to find that something, that purpose, that depth, some sort of fulfillment in our bodies. Like, "I don't know what I want to do with my life, but maybe I'll feel happier when I get a certain body. I'll feel confident."

Now, while our bodies may be amazing at doing many things for us, it keeps our heart beating for god's sake, but it does not give that heart meaning. It doesn't fulfill our purpose or our sense of worth because that's not what our bodies are designed to do and I know that, and I know I used to kind of buffer and distract myself with the latest food and exercise and my body and how much I weighed. It was like a way to distract myself from the true cause of my anxiety and my confusion and overwhelm, which really was being caused by my own limiting beliefs that kept me playing it safe and not really opening up to going after and learning what I really wanted to do in life.

It's almost easier ... it was easier to use my body as a scapegoat and put the burden on happiness on to that and then blame that for not being a certain way. That saying, "Well, that's why I'm so anxious or upset or don't have a healthy relationship with my body," because if you think about it, it's easier to try and solve the problem of what food is best to aide or what's the perfect diet or workout plan than to kind of tackle the bigger questions in life. What on earth do I really want to do with my life after school? Or, do I really still want to be in this relationship?

Sometimes I think we stick our head in the sand and obsess over our bodies as a scapegoat from dealing with the real internal work that needs to be done to be living a life that we're proud of and going down a track that we want to be going, because now that I do live that life, that I've dug deep and I've done the internal work I needed to break those limiting beliefs and live a life that fulfills me to my core, like yeah, having a fit body, it's nice, but it's not what keeps me up at night worrying about it like it used to. I've found a greater purpose and fulfillment in life so my brain is now kind of busy solving problems that truly are problems in this world. Like, travel safety and improving mental health, and it's so busy and focused and fulfilled on doing that that it doesn't really have time or want to distract itself away trying to problem solve over well, how many calories should I be eating to have the perfect body? Or trying to weigh myself six times a day.

I guess what I'm trying to say is if you really are spending a lot of time in the mirror obsessing over your legs or what you ate for lunch that day or what the right exercise is to do, I really encourage you to compassionately ask yourself, "Hey, you. What is it you're really hungry for here? What is it you really want? And what are the beliefs that are standing in the way for me going after this?" Because I'm telling you, I nearly feel like crying, that's the real work that needs to be done here. It's not an extra 20 crunches or a 10-kilometer run, it's the work of recognizing your limiting beliefs and reflecting upon the impact of them and putting in effort to redirect and retrain your mind to believe new empowering thoughts and purpose that inspire you to take action to achieve the goals that's not just filling up your stomach, but your heart and your sense of purpose.

Sorry. A bit emotional, because I just know how much ... I just know how much I loathed myself and how hard I've worked to get to where I am today and I am so grateful for my life now and I'm just so grateful I did this work of taking the energy inside and working on my beliefs because I would not be where I am now in my life ... yeah. All right. Back on track.

I just ... well, I was about to say I really am not saying this from a judgmental point of view, which I'm sure you can feel that, because of course it's great to look and feel attractive in your body, but not when it's at the expense of your own sense of well-being and character in life. I was honestly a way less nice person to be around when I was obsessed with my body image. I was always stressed and worried and snapping at my family and taking it out on my boyfriend when I felt miserable about how I felt in my body, but guys, when my sister died and I realized that no one really gives a flying crap about your dress size, your body weight, your body fat, I did not alter in my passion for fitness and health after learning this.

I still love my weight training and all that as much as ever, but I completely altered my approach to it, because I finally realized like I could see all the ways that I was attaching my self worth to my body and to my fitness and my training, and I could recognize all the ways I needed to begin to change that and I want to give you guys the same wake-up call before it's too late.

I feel like my sister's death gave me a second chance to relearn my values, and it's something I just want to leave you thinking about as I finish up this episode. Because we're really all striving for that perfect body for approval and to feel validated and loved by others, but if you leave ... if you were to leave this world tomorrow, your body is something that goes with you. It perishes away, and your loved ones won't be celebrating how you looked but who you were as a person, and I was a selfish and quick to anger kind of girl before I lost Nicole, and although I now know I still have my moments like that, thankfully my loved ones will have a whole lot more to celebrate about me now, because I took all that energy that I was wasting obsessing over my looks and my body and channeled it into obsessing over things like how can I leave this world that little bit better than what I found it?

Honestly guys, if you want to give your brain one mission to sink its teeth into this lifetime, that's it. How can I help leave this world this little bit better than when I found it? Sometimes that looks like being kind to your mind when it says nasty things about your body, and rather than lashing out at your boyfriend about it, it's accepting that it's okay not to think and feel 100% positive 100% of the time. Let go of that all or nothing mentality. Let go of the story of that girl on Instagram and accept that sometimes my brain has a lot going on, it has negative thoughts, and that's okay. If we were all a little more kind to our minds I think we would all leave this world that little bit better than what we found it.

So that is it for me today, guys. A bit of a deep, emotional kind of, I guess, personal one for me, but it is a topic that really means so much to me and I ... I wish I could go back and give 17, 18-year-old myself a big hug and let her know that she's so much more than any number on a scale, any dress size, anything like that, and I can't go back in time, but I can continue to pass that message forward on to you guys and I'm all for fit, strong, healthy bodies, but more importantly, I'm more passionate about seeing you guys get out there and live a life that you dream of, and I'm telling you, a good body, it's fine, but a life that you're proud of, that is next level.

Big hugs to you all, guys, and remember, I am still doing my a review for a farmer, so please jump on Stitcher or iTunes, leave a review so I can donate one extra dollar to the Scrubber's Ball on the 27th of October in Baradine. Let's get behind these farmers who are struggling in drought, let them know that we're thinking about them and help this show reach more people just like you.

Until next week, remember, if you look in the mirror and loathe what you see, it's not because your body isn't good enough, it's because you're just simply thinking your body isn't good enough, and that's okay. That thought is nothing more than just a sentence in your brain that with practice and effort you can change, but right there in that moment, just accept it. It's all okay, guys. I still have those crazy thoughts right along with you, and kindness towards your body begins with kindness towards your mind. Greet every single thought it has with curiosity and compassion rather than shame and self criticism. Trust me. Change is everything.

Hey you, thanks so much for tuning into this show. If you enjoyed listening and you're thinking, "Okay, now what?" Well, besides practicing what you've learned in your own life, did you know that I can come along and speak at your school or your teen's school to help our generation become more resilient. Just visit katefitzsimons.com for more info on my school presentations, and to keep your motivation going in between episodes, be sure to follow me on Instagram at katemaree_fitz.

PART 3 OF 3 ENDS [00:39:12]

 

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