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Love your body (and look after it).

Ryan Clark - Cactus Skincare brand managerIt seems like nowadays, due to the nature of blogs and the media in general needing to strike a nerve that will either irritate or aggravate, things seem to be so polarised.

I feel like I want to weigh in here because I really think it’s important to look after yourself. For your mood, health and so you don’t need to go to the doctor twice a month once you hit 40. What you put into your body is going to affect your health. As a flow on affect, it can manifest itself in your skin’s appearance. Also depending on your diet you can find yourself carrying some extra body fat which can lead to heart disease, cancer and depression. 

I started thinking more about this after I had a conversation with a girl who is/was a part time model. She said she used to keep a picture of a Victoria’s Secret model with the goal that she would look like that one day. She made that her goal and was open about that. Only thing is that she didn’t do much research into nutrition and so would starve herself when she had a shoot coming up, then once the shoot was done she would go and pig out on all the foods she’d craved whilst she was starving herself. Which then makes your body store more calories as fat as your body has been in starvation mode so has gotten used to burning less calories.

So now, she says she doesn’t keep those photos and doesn’t strive for that anymore because it doesn’t make her happy.

But she still has a bad diet, drinks heavily on the weekends and struggles with anxiety. I just wonder if she might be happier if she was investing more time into really finding out what it takes to truly look after yourself.

Love your body

Is there a happy medium to be had?

Looking after yourself is so hard in this day and age. I get that. It takes a lot of energy to break habits, to find out exactly what your body needs in order to thrive. Bad food is everywhere (and it smells so good…) It’s also hard when everyone else is trashing their body come the weekend to keep yourself responsible. Maybe you had a hard week and you just want to forget for a bit.

I say this as someone who drank a half bottle (at least) of whisky every day for 3 years while we were building the online business for Cactus Skincare. When you have the stress of running a business and having your mind all over the place it’s very tempting to use a depressant to shut things off for a bit.

I had a bigger problem than most I reckon. I mention this just to illustrate that I totally understand that first thought of not being able to imagine a life without your chosen vice. But I did manage to make a change and I feel amazing. I barely drink at all anymore, but a nice wine over a special dinner is enjoyed so much more when I have it. I have better quality sleep and feel more peaceful inside.

It is absolutely up to each individual to decide what constitutes a healthy lifestyle and that is always a work in progress. I know it is for me. But I love learning about nutrition and experimenting with foods and exercises that make me feel better.

So what does it mean to love your body? Maybe a good way to get some fresh perspective (if needed) is to think about how you would treat your body if it were your child? Would you feed your child take out every night? How much booze would you feed your child? Would you encourage your child to play with their friends? Take up a sport?

If you do decide you want to make a change, my advice would be to take it slow. Be kind to yourself and be happy with gradual improvements in your health. You’re only competing with yourself.

What do you think? Have I missed the mark? Not considered something? Want me to go into more detail about anything? I’d love to hear your comments below