Your Beach Body Is All In Your Mind
By Caroline McGuire / The Daily Mail
It's that time of year, where you become acutely aware of how much time you have left before you have to lose the layers and squeeze your body into a bikini on your summer holiday.
As a result, diet companies and gym instructors are bombarding us with a million and one ways to tone up in time for the unveiling.
From ditching carbs to taking up pole dancing, there are endless techniques that promise to help you drop a dress size in under a month.
But two women, who call themselves The Good Witches Of The North, have come up with a way to get beach body ready that doesn't include any of that.
Their diet plan involves a series of techniques that convinces the mind it is comfortable with how the body looks in a state of semi-undress.
According to Expert Leadership Coaches Bec Howard & Dannie-Lu Carr, from Yorkshire, waiting until we look perfect is one of the biggest thieves of daily joy.
They believe that while people readily undertake both with food and fitness plans for the body, these are no good without a healthy mind.
They have come up with a five step plan to banish negative emotions and help you become comfortable with the body you have.
BEACH body ready - according to Bec and Dannie-Lu
B is for Being
E is for Embracing
A is for Accepting and Accessorising
C is for Controlling
H is for Honouring
BEING genuinely happy inside
Happiness begins from the inside and about how we feel within ourselves. All of our bodies are great because, frankly, they have so far carried us around for in our lives.
We need to start appreciating them for all that they are, in all their glory, nourishing them and acknowledging what they do for us.
Here's how: find three words that you feel represent your biggest qualities (for example, strength, warmth, courage). Repeat these words to yourself and identify where in your body you associate the words (eg strength – arms, warmth – heart, courage – stomach).
Then, find a safe space where you can create your own posture where you fully embody all three qualities simultaneously. Hold the posture for 10 seconds whilst repeating the three words out loud.
Repeat three times.
Do this twice a day, every day. Retain your sense of humour for an extra happiness boost. Now your body and mind are beach ready!
EMBRACING who we truly are
Many of us spent our time in front of the mirror full of negative commentary. We say things to ourselves like 'This isn't right', 'That doesn't look great', 'Oh my goodness, do I really look like this?!'
Seldom do we tell ourselves that something looks good or indeed that we do.
So here is how you can actively change your mindset and begin to embrace your reflection: Embrace the bit about you that you love, the bit that is uniquely you. It might be your hair, your legs, your eyes, your freckles…
Whatever it is stand in front of the mirror or reverse your image on your phone camera and say out loud, 'I have great eyes, I have strong legs,' etc.
It is very important to do this so as to get a sense of your unique self. If you find it too difficult, then do this with a good friend and help each other out.
You must believe the acknowledgements (Dannie does not particularly think her legs are great, for example, but she does have strong legs, so she can say that!).
Do this every time you look in the mirror, take the attention away from what you don't like, only put the attention on what you do like. It may take a little practise.
Speak this out loud as much as you can (probably in private or with supportive friends is best). You can even film it and play it back to yourself. In no time at all you will feel better and you will start to notice those other things about you that are wonderful that you hadn't even realised were there before now.
Remember you are totally allowed to appreciate and embrace who you fully are, in your unique glory.
ACCEPTING AND ACCESSORISING the body we have
As we grow older, we grow wiser. We have learnt from life's lessons both good and bad. This being the case, let us stop trying to dress the younger body that was ours and dress the body we have now.
Let us not try to dress the body we wish we had but the body we do have.
You wouldn't go back and wear some things we wore back in your past, so why do you think we should have a body the same either? Start to dress and adorn the body that is yours.
Find a swim suit, tankini or bikini that suits you and your personality and dress, adorn, accessorise accordingly.
Maxi dresses, sarongs, etc are excellent for the beach and there are fantastic pieces of dress jewellery, flip flops, sunglasses and hats that can make you look and feel amazing.
Enjoy the array of choices you have now and have fun shopping rather than dreading those changing cubicles because you don't look like we think you should.
You look like you and you are awesome just as you are. So there!
CONTROLLING your inner voice
Did you know we can train our inner voice? This inner voice is the one that says all sorts of cruel things to us, the things that we would never ever say to anybody else. Yet we listen to it!
If it was a friend talking to us like that we would be appalled and likely choose a different friend, to one who is more supportive.
What if we were to have a strong word or two with your negative inner voice who is giving you a hard time about your body as if it were a bad friend. What if we were to choose the more supportive voice rather than the abusive one?
You are in control of your inner voice and not the other way round. So if you don't like what your hearing, take a moment and in your mind (or out loud if you like) tell it to stop!
Tell it that you're not going to listen until it starts being more positive. Maybe change the tone or pitch of your inner voice (remember you are in control). Imagine you have a controller just like a TV remote – this has a mute button, and a button that changes the sound until it sounds just right. You get to dabble here.
Choose a voice you love and imagine it talking to you in a loving, supportive and positive way. Practise makes perfect with this one!
HONOURING your body
We can't honour our own bodies unless we honour others. We really need to stop the judgment of others as we are only projecting our own inner fears, in a vain attempt to make ourselves feel better about ourselves.
According to Research Professor, Brene Brown, we judge most where we feel we aren't doing so well ourselves but we choose to project that onto someone who is doing worse than we are with it.
So, begin by giving out compliments and acknowledgments to other people (where they are genuine). Practise receiving compliments yourself with a simple 'thank you' rather than brushing them off, which we can all be guilty of doing.
Honour your body – rest it when it is tired, nourish it with good food when it is hungry, move it when it is lethargic - go for walks, swims, whatever makes you feel good.
We are all different but know what you like to do (between us good witches, Bec prefers a swim whereas Dannie prefers her weights, for example).
This is not about losing weight – but about rewarding and nourishing your body with what it really needs.
Thanking our body for what it does for us is also a great thing to do (even if you suffer with some ailments, there will be parts of your body that always see you through).
By wrapping yourself up in snugly blankets or loungewear when you are low or feel you need a hug is also an excellent way to nourish your body. And laughter is also an excellent tonic (nothing better than snuggling on the sofa in a blanket with a Yorkshire tea and some Peter Kay!)
The main thing to remember with all of these is that perfection doesn't exist. A quest for perfection equals misery.
A quest for brilliance, well that's doable for all of us. And because brilliance is subjective we get to choose what our own form of brilliance looks like.
If we feel great then we look great because our real beauty shines through.
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