Love Your Body While Working for the One You Want

June 11, 2018

Vanessa Leveille

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Welcome to the pages of my journal. I've always had a habit of writing down everything. My actual journal page contents were wildly ranging, and I still think and write the same way. So here's a snapshot of all things Vanessa— mind, body, + soul.

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Hi, I'm vanessa

Recently I posted a story on my instagram page about the ways in which how we speak to ourselves can fuel our goals. In that story, I talked about how it didn’t make sense to say things like, “I hate my body”, while working towards the body you are seeking. I wanted to touch more on this here too because it deserves more attention.

Too many times, I have seen this with other women… and, I have done this myself too. I remember constantly looking at myself in the mirror and saying how much I hated my big arms, or harshly critiquing a part of my body in pictures. I used to slave away at the gym, and then diet as much as I could, and yet still go home and look at my body in discouragement. I couldn’t understand why with everything I was doing, my body wasn’t changing into the one I had seen on the likes of Melyssa Ford, Janet Jackson and Gabrielle Union.

First of all, there was so much I clearly didn’t understand about fitness and nutrition, and there was so much wrong I was doing (*face palm emoji*) to get to a body like these women. One day, in the midst of my comparisons to other women, I came across a quote on a friend’s instagram account that read “Love the body you have, while working for the one you want”. BOOM, that was it! It had hit me like a ton of bricks. That’s the thing that was missing. You see all this time, and it was years, I was not appreciating the body I had, so how could I possibly be a better version of myself if I was starting at a deficit?

I sat with this statement, and in those moments I discovered how my self-talk was sabotaging my goals. I had initially set out on a mission to shed 50lbs and while I had successfully achieved shedding 20lbs, I still had a ways to go. I had gotten stuck! And in this moment instinctively knew that this missing piece was something I had to incorporate. So I took my newfound epiphany, and decided I was going to love the heck out of this body. Except, at the time, I didn’t know how or where I would start. I wasn’t taught how to love myself, and certainly evident in my comparisons, the media wasn’t helping me feel more loving about the body I had. I searched the world wide web for examples of self love, examples of loving your body and examples of positive self talk for shedding weight. I found a ton of information, and at the same time, also found a fun 30-day Self Love Challenge.

Although I can no longer find the source of that 30-day challenge, it was one that was truly instrumental in my transformation. Indirectly, it taught me how to go within and find my own answers. Yea…. it’s great to google things…but I had an inner google that I was neglecting. So I got in touch with my inner google, and here’s what I learned that has helped me to keep off more than 60lbs of weight in the last 4 years. You too can apply these strategies today!

1. You have an inner google:

We all have an internal compass… an inner google, if you will. You were born with all the answers because your soul knows exactly what you need. Your soul knows that you are meant for greatness, and its mission is to guide you towards that in this life. You know the presence of your soul as that gut-wrenching feeling that something is wrong, or that exhilarating high when something feels so right you have to do it! Many times, however, we ignore that guidance and do the exact opposite of what we are being guided to do. But the soul….oh, the soul, will grow louder and louder until you have no choice but to listen. When I finally recognized that my friend’s instagram post was a sign from within the depths of me, I had to listen. My soul had been trying to tell me for years that I needed to speak kinder to my body and shift my perspective in the way I saw body, but I wasn’t always listening. I learned that I also didn’t like my soul resorting to having to yell to get my attention. I could hear it in stillness. I could hear it in journaling, meditation and sitting in nature. I finally recognized its voice when I was guided to be compassionate with myself, to say I love you to my body and to feel more integrated in my body.

2. Appreciate the uniqueness of your body:

Goodness, there is no one else on this planet with my body, its contours, its shape, its complexion, its strength, its stories, its scars, its beauty marks… and that is so fucking dope! No one else is made like me. No one else has these secretly brown eyes, no one else has my nostrils that are passed down the Amado lineage… and when I realized all of this, I began to appreciate the uniqueness of me. I saw all the subtleties of my body and its features, and it looked nothing like the women I was comparing myself to. In doing so, I realized that comparing myself to other women was actually blinding me from seeing myself. I had to stop comparing myself to other women, and in fact, even changed the way I was looking at them. I no longer said things like, “I wish I had an ass like that”, and instead starting saying, “my butt is actually really cute and it doesn’t need to look like hers”. I challenged the messages in the media that didn’t align with the ones my soul wanted me to have. If it wasn’t body-positive, then I chucked it. I began following instagram accounts that encouraged body positivity and celebrating your own body uniqueness. From then on, every time I looked at myself in the mirror or in pictures I would choose a part of my body to love on and appreciate how lovely it was.

3. Know the power of words:

Your body is listening, so the words you chose to speak to it MATTERS!! What it hears, it responds with… it’s basically natural law. If you are consistently saying, “I’m fat”, then your body responds by keeping you fat. If you are saying, “my legs are so ugly”, you will only attract things in your life that will keep you feeling like your legs are ugly. Girlfriend you are so divine, and you have to begin seeing yourself as such. It starts with getting rid of any self-talk that does not align with your divinity. You are in the best body for you, so you have to treat it as though it is the best body you have. Talk to your body in loving ways. Eradicate every word in your speech that speaks poorly of your body and substitute it with positive, loving words. I have a practice that I try to do every morning, and on days I feel I need it the most, and that is talking to my body. I place my left hand on my heart and my right on my belly and I tell my body, “I love you”. I think of all the things that I love about it, and keep those in mind when I am looking at my body. It is not enough though to just say positive things, you have to truly internalize it and believe the things that you are saying. You have to know deeply within you that you are all those positive things, and don’t worry, your soul will assist you with this. When you believe it, you will see it.

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Love Your Body While Working for the One You Want

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