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From mindfulness to what a therapist wants you to know, our blog is filled with helpful information to get you through your day-to-day.

  • Jackie


Walk into a room of ordinary people, and how many people wish they could lose a little weight.

At least half would raise their hands.

Imagine how many are ashamed of their weight. Self-conscious? Angry for having rolls, or a pouch, or large thighs. How many do you think would raise their hand?

Now imagine you ask yourself. Do you raise your hand?

Most dieting is built around the idea that something about our bodies is wrong and needs to be

fixed. It is built on the “not good enough” belief. This is a self-destructive mindset because it is

built on the belief that we are not good enough as we are, which is the foundation of shame.

We are sucked into this shame cycle before we even realize what is going on. Our attitudes

imply “I’m not good enough as I am, so I better change my body so I can finally be accepted”.

And when we attach this shame to our weight, it can lead to certain behaviours, such as over or

under eating, isolation, a coping strategy to manage pain, and these, in turn, can contribute to

disordered eating patterns. It is a set-up for reinforcing deep rooted shame.

This shame about weight often shows up in phrases that we tell ourselves over and over,

usually without realizing.

I was born ugly.

My body will never be good enough.

No one will ever want me.

I’m so fat.

These statements are hurtful. Our body and appearance does not increase our value as a

human. There are thousands of things we can buy to help us change and manipulate how we

look, to “fix” ourselves, to get those washboard abs, that thigh gap, that perky bum, or those

toned muscles. But having those things does not make us any less superior, and not having

those things does not make us any less inferior, than anyone else.

One of the things we can do to actively loosen the shame is acknowledge the thoughts, but

rather than let them play over and over, start to replace each of the shame thoughts.

My body helps me live my life.

Right now, I am grateful my body can do [name one thing]

My body deserves love and respect.

I love my body as it is today.

My body is perfect the way it is and I honor it in this state.


Your voice and your thoughts are powerful tools that form the foundation of how you view

yourself. At first it may be awkward, and you don’t need to believe these new thoughts 100%.

The practice is in noticing the shame and countering them. This is a start to changing the

negative thinking, and begin to build a better relationship with your body. Remember, you are

challenging years of body images and negative self-talk. Take baby steps and begin with one

statement you can focus on.

We have the ability to change our mindset and changing our mindset is a million times more

effective than changing our bodies.

Remember: My worth isn’t defined by my weight. I define my worth and I am worthy.

Until next time,

Jackie

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  • Jackie


I regularly hear from people that they ‘want to be happier’. An understandable desire. However, if someone is feeling low, the next step is not to feel happy, but it is to feel. And rarely do I hear anyone say, “Can you help me feel more sadness, more anger, more fear?” along with their request to feel more happiness.

Some of the world’s most common ideas about happiness create what is referred to as a “happiness trap”. These ideas, created by Russ Harris, are misleading and when you believe them or let them rule your life, it often makes you feel shame, stress, or just plain miserable!


So what are these myths, and how do they impact you?


Myth 1: Happiness is the natural state for human beings.

This is the idea that perpetual happiness is the natural state for human beings. The myth goes that if you give a person enough food, shelter, and connection, they will feel happy all the time. The reality of being human, though, is that we experience an ever-changing flow of emotions – which is normal and natural. This is the natural state – to have a range of different experiences and emotions, from joy to despair and all the other emotions in between. No one is happy 24/7 – regardless of what we see in the world around us.

Myth 2: If you are not happy, you are defective.

For many reasons, our society assumes that any sort of mental suffering is abnormal. It’s viewed as a weakness or an illness. This means that when we do experience painful thoughts and feelings, we often criticize ourselves for this. The reality is that if you are not always happy – you are normal. Human life is difficult a lot of the time and our minds are tricky – often getting us caught up in something. Sometimes life is pleasant and we are happy, and sometimes life is hard. We are not defective or broken if we are not always happy. Our mind is just doing its job – the thing it evolved to do.

Myth 3: To create a better life, we must get rid of negative feelings.

We live in a feel-good society, a culture obsessed with finding happiness. Everywhere we look, people are happy. Social media is a “happiness reel”. So what does society tell us to do? To eliminate ‘negative’ feelings and accumulate ‘positive’ ones in their place. It’s a nice theory, because after all, who wants unpleasant feelings?

But here is the catch: the things we generally value in life bring with them a full range of feelings, both pleasant and unpleasant. Think about a relationship. Although you experience positive feelings such as love and joy, you will also inevitably experience disappointment and anger. This holds true for just about every meaningful thing we embark on.

Myth 4: You should be able to control what you think and feel.

We have much less control over our thoughts and feelings than we would like. But, it’s not that we have no control, we just have a larger amount of control over our actions. And it’s through action we create a meaningful life – which brings us happiness!


There are many approaches that teach us to identify negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones or the repetition of positive affirmations. The basic theme of these approaches is that if you challenge your negative thoughts or images with positive ones, you will find happiness. If only life were that simple. It’s not that these techniques have no effect; they can often make you feel better temporarily. But they will not get rid of negative thoughts. The same holds true for negative emotions.


Emotion, in and itself, is not the issue. It’s all of what we do to avoid, eliminate, or run from it. We don’t get to choose to only feel happy and skip over other feelings like anger or sadness. Thoughts and feelings pass – they are not permanent. It is what we do with these thoughts and feelings that break the vicious cycle. Welcome the thoughts and feelings in, be right here and now with them.


These myths set us up for a struggle we cannot win: the struggle against our own human nature. When we can see beyond these myths about happiness, we have the opportunity to connect deeply to all the aspects of our life, including the highs and lows, the ups and downs. We can live with more self-acceptance, presence, and embrace ourselves and our life – wholeheartedly.

Until next time,

Jackie

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“Your value as a human does not come from what you look like on the outside”


I can remember the countless times I would be scrolling through social media and have thoughts of “I wish I looked like that”, or “I’m so fat compared to her”. Or looking in the mirror, just full of hate towards how I looked. And sadly, I know this is more common than it is not.


Body positivity. It’s a term that thrown around a lot on social media regularly. But what does it mean? For me, initially, it simply was changing your mindset and seeing your body in a positive view rather than always thinking about it in a negative one.


Take a minute to think about what it means to you.


There are many definitions and perspectives, and over the years, I’ve learned it is much more than that.

To me, it means your worth is not dependent on what your body looks like or the number on the scale. It is a journey of learning to accept your body for what it is, and what it does for you on a daily basis so that you don’t let your insecurities or unrealistic ideals about beauty and health hold you back from living life.

It is striving to be your best self.


I believe it’s a state of mind and place of the heart where you can make choices for yourself in a place of love, rather than hate.

It’s throwing out the fashion rules of the past that force or shame us to hide and shrink away.

It’s allowing us permission to put on that two-piece bathing suit, to slay that downward dog facing position, to look in the mirror at your body, smile, and say “I love it”.

It is focusing on what you do with your body, and what the next person does with theirs does not concern you.

It’s always easier said than done. I understand that and recognize that somedays there are going to be better days than others. You are not alone in how you are feeling. Welcome to a series of blogs on everything from self-esteem and body-image of ourselves and within our relationships, to weight-shaming and body comparison. It is not an easy journey to feel confident and happy in your body, but it’s a rewarding feeling to give your body the love it deserves. It’s my hope this content will help you along your journey.


Until next time,

Jackie

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