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Aug 28, 2011 BY Joy McCarthy

How to Make Peace with Your Body

—  found in  Well-being  —

Hello Beauties!

Before I share my tips for making peace with your body, I want to tell you a personal story.

For a few years in my late teens and early 20's, I wanted to be physically perfect. My ideal "perfect" was a completely flat belly, jiggle-free buns and toothpick skinny arms. I would weigh myself every single day. As for my diet, I would control my food intake like a prison guard.

I would eat phood-like substances such as chemical-rich fat-free nutrient-dead salad dressing because I thought I could save some calories. I would pour artificial sweeteners into my tea, even though it gave me wicked headaches and then for dinner I would eat Lean Cuisines full of over-processed almost plastic-looking veggies. I was completely nutrient-deficient and my imbalanced hormones were the end result of my deprivation and unkindness to my body.

Yes, I had a problem.

I was completely miserable. I was absolutely obsessed with what my body looked like, I had no energy, I constantly had digestive issues, my hair was thinning, my skin was dry, I didn't get my period for months at a time. However, with a little personal work, consulting a nutritionist and a naturopathic doctor, the clouds lifted and I came out of it. It wasn't overnight, it took time, commitment, facing my fears and... most importantly, I addressed my health from a holistic perspective. I made peace with my body first and foremost. And you can too. Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Avoid reading celebrity gossip magazines and websites.

Seriously, this is TRASH for your mind. Striving to look like something that isn't real is only going to bring your self-worth down. You are beautiful and perfect just the way you are!

2. When you eat, think about how it's nourishing every single cell of your wonderful body.

Think about how every morsel is going to literally turn into you. Think about how that good fat from that avocado you eat is going to feed your skin a gorgeous glow, how that protein from the quinoa or fish you eat is going to feed those happy brain chemicals and grow strong healthy hair and how the complex carbs from the brown rice, sweet potato is literally your brain food that's going to help you think and propel you forward in each step you take.

3. Don't compare yourself to others.

The second you find yourself doing this, STOP. This is not going to serve any purpose other than make you feel miserable. There is always going to be someone with nicer hair, clearer skin, a smaller booty (and there's nothing wrong with having a nice round booty - fyi). So love yourself for all your imperfections because they make you, you! In fact, your imperfections are what make you an original and that is beautiful.

4. Avoid "nutritionalizing" your food! 

Don't memorize the nutrition panel, in fact, avoid foods that even have a label ie. packaged goods. Real food doesn't need a label or a package or a health claim. Real food doesn't have a list of ingredients or any item that you cannot pronounce or recognize. Eat food that is as close to it's natural state as possible. Ask yourself: "How long did it take for this food to get from mama earth to my dinner plate". When you eat more simple, wholesome, real foods, you will eat more nourishing foods and truly feed your cells. And guess what that results in? A happier you!

5. Surround yourself with loving people - those you admire and who admire you in return.

I must sound like a broken record the number of times I write this or talk about it with my clients. But the importance of it, simply cannot be underestimated. Baby steps is how you do this. Are you in a dead-end relationship, do you hang out with an abusive, unkind friend? Evaluate ALL your relationships and really ask yourself if they are bringing you good health or they are like a parasite. This was absolutely one of the most important aspects of my healing journey. Lucky for me, I have a loving family, but if you don't, then you absolutely need to make it priority to make sure your friends are.

6. Find a creative outlet for your emotions, particularly if you are always complaining to others.

Even though I talk about the importance of relationships in my previous point, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure you are happy at the end of the day. If you feel bitchy and irritable, instead of taking it out on someone - write, paint, go for a walk. This is empowering when you realize that you have the power to turn your entire day around if it starts out rough.

7. Manifest what you want to happen/be/do/achieve.

Every night before you go to bed, write down one thing you want to achieve the next day. Put it under your pillow and read it first thing in the morning. It can be something as simple as, make a delicious smoothie for breakfast.

13 years later, I might once in a while notice my booty jiggles a bit, but guess what, my body is strong, my digestion is fabulous and I feel joyous. You CAN have this too.

I love food, enjoy cooking and being directly involved in creating my meals. I LOVE food (yes, I just said that twice).

I never ever in a million years thought I would love food. It was my enemy for SO long.

I share this story with you in hopes that it gives you a little ray of sunshine to know that you are not alone if you struggle with this and you can make peace with your body, if you try, just a little each day.

Be joyous,

Joy

Aug 28, 2011 BY Joy McCarthy
32 Comments
Laura   •   August 28, 2011

AMAZING POST <3

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Cynthia   •   August 28, 2011

Absolutely FABULOUS

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Cynthia   •   August 28, 2011

Absolutely FABULOUS blog! This will be printed out and posted on my wall. thanks Joy!

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Joy McCarthy   •   August 28, 2011

Ashley   •   August 28, 2011

Joy, you are always real and genuine, and provide inspiration for all of us holistic nutritionists out there who want to inspire our clients in the same way. Thanks for always providing fun and interesting posts to read!

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Joy McCarthy   •   August 28, 2011

Kelsey (Happyolks)   •   August 28, 2011

I've printed this, put it on the fridge, and will read it every morning. Love this. Thank you, Joy.

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Joy McCarthy   •   August 28, 2011

Melanie   •   August 28, 2011

Love this post! Wish I lived closer and could participate in your Eat Well Feel Well course. I think it would be absolutely fabulous!

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Richelle   •   August 28, 2011

Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm going to be loking back at these tips everyday!

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Richelle   •   August 28, 2011

Lori Lynn   •   August 28, 2011

I've struggled with this almost all my life. I've been overweight since I was a child, but in the last year I've been at the lowest weight I've ever been- a size 6. I exercise and eat healthy, still struggle with emotional eating, but I've been at the same weight for about a year. I've always been very analytical when it comes to my body, but it seems I'm almost more so now, then when I was overweight. There are days/moments that I really like the way that I look, but there are other days that I still pick my body apart. I've had to really work on not being "perfect," though it's something that I think will be an unending struggle.

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Joy McCarthy   •   August 29, 2011

Jaclyn   •   August 28, 2011

Great list, Joy! So comprehensive. I'd like to echo number 1 and share how helpful it was for me, in undergrad, to stop buying magazines near the check out of the grocery store. I once thought these magazines were helping me or would contain that weightloss "secret" but they were sabotaging my self-esteem and did more harm than good. Keep spreading your message, Joy!

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Jennifer   •   August 28, 2011

Great post! It's so nice to read what you need to hear when you need to hear it. Thanks again.

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Kathi   •   August 28, 2011

Loved this!!!! Makes so much sense. The way I want to live! Thanks!!

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Michelle M Hayashi   •   August 28, 2011

Wow! What a wonderful post! You are very inspiring and honestly genuine. Many choose their profession but seems like your profession chose you. Thank you for being....Joyous!

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Joy McCarthy   •   August 29, 2011

Ryan McGinnis   •   August 29, 2011

I, too, have struggled with body image issues, and the infamous A/B (anorexia/bulimia). However, yoga, as well as my vegan lifestyle, have allowed me to connect with myself, the earth, & others by teaching me that everything is interconnected. We are a part of a living, breathing, heart-beating universe & that is so beautiful to me. Now, when I find myself kicking myself over a few lbs, or comparing myself to other yogis, I remember that my body allows me to do some kick-ass things! I may not love my dancer thighs....but I sure as heck love how they support me in my yoga practice! So I encourage others to remember what amazing things their bodies allow them to do. I think it's always good to start with the ever-expansive breath! :)

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Stephanie @ Aspiring   •   August 31, 2011

Hi, Joy! I haven't known your blog for a while, but I think this post is amazing. Thank You so much for writing this and I hope it helps many young girls who are struggling with their body image.

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Joy McCarthy   •   September 1, 2011

Jennifer Stevens   •   September 1, 2011

Joy, you constantly inspire me with your experiences and advice. I love what you said about how every morsel of food turns into us. I have battled with eating disorders my entire life, but the older I get, the more my relationship with food improves. Thinking about how the nutritious, beautiful food in front of me is going to provide me with energy, glowing skin and a longer life makes me forget about the calories. And THIS makes me feel joyous :)

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Joy McCarthy   •   September 1, 2011

Erin   •   September 5, 2011

Thank you for this great post. I too become obsessed with looking "perfect". I have recently been trying to focus more on healthy eating and exercise. My energy is wayyyy up and for the first time I ran 4.5k of my 6 km route today after starting only 4 week ago with running 60 secs and walking 90.

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How to make peace with food: 4 ways | joyoushealth.ca   •   November 26, 2011

[...] I wrote this post in August, it struck a cord with many women (and men): How To Make Peace with Your Body. And in this never ending motivation I have to bring you information that is going to help transform [...]

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Meg   •   November 26, 2011

Joy! I love this post. I followed the links her after reading "How to make peace with food: 4 ways". I am a "recovering" eating disorder survivor and your points above are so true to life. Thanks for being you! See you on Monday- I work on the Global Morning Show - it will be nice to see you in studio again!

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Joy McCarthy   •   November 27, 2011

Topping It Off « tigerslut   •   January 9, 2012

[...] Joy Mccarthy of Joyous Health wrote an article on How To Make Peace with your Body [...]

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Yadi   •   January 20, 2012

What a great blog! Its inspiration right when i needed it. The retreat to Mexico is a great deal! I wish i could make it!

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Melissa   •   May 13, 2012

Very inspirational and this post makes you relatable . I'm sure some people might think you have nothing to not be joyous about but truth is , being happy with yourself is a choice cause no one is perfect. I dont generally have to watch what I eat for fear of gaining weight but I eat healthy so I have less breakouts and for overall health. Also even skinny people have cellulite! :p food is powerful so let it be thy medicine and not thy enemy. And if u indulge in a craving every once in a while, don't beat yourself up over it because mental worry is worse than any effect the food will have on your body!

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Nicole   •   June 24, 2013

Thank you for this honest and relatable post! You're an inspiration. It's comforting to be able to relate to someone on so many levels. Self love shouldn't be a battle. You're a true mentor!

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Season of Rest… aka: I’ve been a delinquent blogger | Edible Balance   •   August 22, 2013

[…] quote courtesy of joyoushealth.ca […]

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