Would you like this year to be the "Year Of Your Best Body?" Of course! Who wouldn't. No shortage of ways to achieve that right now! Maybe the route to the YOYBB might be the 6am bootcamp sign-up? Maybe it's quitting sugar? Perhaps it's the personal trainer to drive up the skill and motivation levels? Maybe it's the green juicing. Yes. YOYBB has got to be starting the day with freshly squeezed kale. For sure! The 5:2 plan is still really current isn't it? It works too, doesn't it? Or you could go paleo. How confusing is all this stuff?! So many options. How are we supposed to choose? And then, how are we supposed to stick with it, if it gets hard and boring and the YOYBB seems like a pipe dream?
It's actually so much simpler than we make it. And, it all starts with something that is free. It is this:
The Year Of Your Best Body will be the year you learn to love it, truly love it.
Not just love it when it's looking good in jeans. Or when someone gives an unexpected compliment or the zip goes all the way up.
Or when you get through the 5K without stopping. All the time. All. The. Time. Love it love it love it.
More than you love Netflix boxsets. More than you love Mum's apple pie. The Year Of Your Best Body will be the year when you love the absolute hell outta your body. All day. All the time. I mean unconditionally love it. Love it like you love your child. Your mum. Your partner. Your cat. That, right there, that will be the year of your best body. There is no other possible outcome if that love is your foundation for your health choices.
We have been working on this in my group coaching programme Wellbeing Warriors, and the stuff it's brought up for people is just incredible. The habit of continually feeling that our body is not good enough. Not doing enough. Not thin enough. Fast enough. Young enough. Strong enough. Years of feeling guilty eating. Forcing yourself to the gym and hating very moment. Never feeling good enough. Turning those perspectives around to allow women who have covered up on the beach for years to wear a swimsuit and enjoy the beach - HUGE. There have been tears wept, I can tell you, as decades of self-loathing have fallen away.
Have we done that with a strict new eating plan? With willpower to force them to the gym? No. It's so much more fundamental than that. It all starts with love.
If you can learn to love, truly, madly, deeply fall in love with your body - the rest comes easily. You will feed it well, it's precious, it would be odd not too. You will move it in ways that energise and delight, it feels great, why wouldn't you? No force, no willpower. Just simple loving and honouring of the one body we will ever get. The eating plan and the exercise regime come without willpower and force when they are driven by love, not fear.
The secret formula to The Year Of Your Best Body does not lie in someone else's formula that determines how many reps or calories or whatnot. The true secret comes from releasing old patterns of self-loathing and reconnecting to love and joy. We look after what we love and value. It's that simple.
Loving your body will always get you much further long-term than hating it ever will. Loving your body, exactly how it is, right now is the first and most vital foundation there is for everything that follows. Whatever health plan you choose (and there are many good ones), it will be far more effective if it's layered on a base of love.