Learn to Love You

How critical are you when it comes to your own body? Probably a lot more than you are about anyone else’s in your life. And no wonder. Despite campaigns to get glossy women’s magazines to stop touching up images and for fashion designers to start hiring larger sized models to wear their clothes, we’re still being bombarded with beautiful female bodies on a regular basis. And then there’s all those photo-shopped selfies on social media.

Even though we tell ourselves they’re not real, a little part of ourselves believes the images of these beautiful women just might be, and that we obviously fall short of ‘the ideal’. If this is you then read on…

Carry on disliking your body – ‘hating’ it, if that sounds more appropriate – and there’s every chance you’ll begin to regularly abuse it with ‘get thin quick’ diets. At the same time you’ll end up spending a fortune on make-up that makes you go into a cold sweat when forced to check your bank balance. In other words, body hate can quickly become an unhealthy and expensive obsession.
There’s a better way to look great, feel slim and energised and be left with cash in your purse at the end of the month. I know, because I’m living proof.

How I got my life back

After months of suffering from eczema, inexplicable weight gain, poor sleep and breathlessness when running for a bus, I knew I had to change something in my life. And quick.

There was nothing ‘medically’ wrong. It was the way I was treating my body that I had to rethink. So, in a nutshell, I changed my diet from a high sugar, high fat and meat one, to a healthy, colourful vegetarian one. This made me feel so much better within just a short period of time and eventually I became a devotee of veganism. It wasn’t just because juicing greens saw my eczema disappear within days, but also because my head felt clearer and I had so much more energy.

But it wasn’t just my diet I changed. I did a U-turn with my lifestyle too. This wasn’t difficult because I was feeling so healthy that I didn’t want to lose it by returning to the old one. Meditation became a mainstay of my day. I was amazed to find myself really relaxing for the first time in years. I lost 20 kilos in weight. And, happily, I always managed to catch that bus.

Meet the new ‘me’

Old friends I meet nowadays barely recognise me. They’re shocked when they see the old Dominica, who would die of exhaustion rather than miss a deadline, tell them she needs time out to meditate. I still get the work done – the difference is I’m calmer when I do it and my head’s clearer. And I haven’t needed a sugar-laden chocolate bar to keep me going because my blood sugar levels were plummeting.

Other things that have changed? I stop eating when I’m hungry, rather than push on to finish my plate. When I wake up in the morning and last thing at night I always take some quiet time for myself to do something I love, such as read a fab book, listen to some amazing music or have a soothing bath with aromatherapy oils. Or even all three!

In learning to love my own body I’ve learned to love others more in the sense I’m less judgemental. Friends and family love and appreciate me because of who I am and how I treat them – not how I look or how successful I am. And yours will be exactly the same, I’m absolutely certain of it.

did you find these stories inspiring?