Finding Big Love and Breaking Through Body Shame

I didn’t always love and accept my body.  I used to spend large amounts of time in front of the mirror metaphorically ripping my body to shreds.  This was a daily ritual for years as my body fluctuated from large to small and back again.



A Letter From Elle Foley



Failing to Measure-Up and Self-Medicating

It really never mattered what size my waist and thighs were….the bottom line was that I believed I just didn’t measure up.

I didn’t measure up to what society deemed beautiful.
I didn’t measure up to what I believed my body should look like.
I couldn’t fathom accepting what I saw in the mirror.

I was desperate for love and acceptance.
I knew exactly where I could numb the pain of loneliness.
The fastest way to numb the pain was to eat sweet and salty foods in large quantities.
Sugary and fried foods were my drug of choice, a way to escape the pain.
It was safer to overeat than to ask for the love and the help that I so desperately desired.

I had given up on living a life filled with happiness, love and lots of dancing.
I believed it could only happen if I finally “got it together” and lost weight.
I knew that I was letting my body shame hold me back.
I was playing small and betraying myself.

My “Wakeup Call”

A few days before my 21st birthday my big brother, Christopher, passed away.  It was sudden, unexpected and it totally brought me to my knees.

This was a breakdown that brought my whole world to a screeching STOP.

My brother Christopher was only 30 years old and I just couldn’t believe his life was over. My brother and I shared a special bond and we struggled in many of the same ways.  He had a big heart for other people but struggled with loving and accepting himself.

I was sad for a long time after Christopher died but it made me appreciate my life more.
I began learning how to love myself, and accept my body.
I knew that my brother would have wanted me to be confident and own my greatness.
I began to want these things for myself, and I began to build them up without the limiting belief I had used as a “requirement” for achieving those things.

My Breakthrough

I learned that my purpose required me to stop playing small and start taking action.
It started with going dancing with friends, wearing clothes that made me feel beautiful, taking time to care for my mind, body and soul.

My passion for life and living in my power eventually evolved into teaching women how to integrate self-care and body-loving rituals into daily life.

Learning how to leave the body-shame and the self-hatred behind is not about repeating a self-love mantra over and over again.

It’s about replacing the negative thought patterns with positive ones and taking inspired actions which affirm the truth about who you are:

 

Honesty
+
Action
+
Commitment
=
BIG LOVE  

 

Inspired Action

You are an amazing, beautiful, unique woman who is worthy of BIG LOVE.  You are going to be with your body, mind and soul until the day that you die. It’s time that you start pouring love and caring into your relationship with yourself.  One of my mentors, Lisa Nichols teaches about why this is such a necessary love to begin building.

“I am the first example of how the world is supposed
to love me.  And I have to give them the best example.”
- Lisa Nichols, Motivational Speaker and Breakthrough Specialist

You only get one life, one body, and one chance to use each breath you’re given to bring your special gifts to the world. It’s time for you to start stepping up and allowing others to celebrate your greatness with you.

There’s only one you.
You are worthy, right now.
You’re have all the right ingredients to build your ideal life, right now.
You are capable of having BIG LOVE for your body, right now.

I’d like to challenge you to make a commitment to be honest with yourself about the kind of relationship you’ve been building with your body and taking the actions necessary to build a loving relationship with your body, start living in the now and playing BIG.

 

Dip Your Toes Into Your Dream Life and Escape From Overwhelm



Simple Things



Deciding to make changes in your life can be overwhelming, especially when we’re talking about weight loss and getting fit.  It can be a stretch to wrap your head around all of the things that you think you “should be doing” and the things you “know you should do” to lose weight and finally get the body of your dreams.

There is a whole world of difference between knowing what you need to do and actually doing it.  The bridge between these two worlds looks different for each person and coaching is one way to get out of your head and start doing the things that are going to bring you the health, happiness and self-confidence that you desire.

I know first-hand how overwhelming it can be to create long-term goals and short-term goals and create lists of all the things that I need to accomplish…. and then feel as if I am swimming in a sea of despair because I don’t even know where to start.
So we quit before we even begin.

 

How To Beat Overwhelm

I challenge my clients to take on one action each day that is going to begin building your confidence and your new habits into your daily routine.   You may find that some days you’ll do more than one thing.

I want to challenge you to think about your health and wellness in terms of dreams instead of goals. Imagine how you will feel when you are living your dream.

Doing one thing each day to work toward your dream will help you feel like you’re living your dream today.

 

Here’s how you can get started turning your health and fitness dreams into reality today.

 

  1. Turn up the feel good tunes, light a scented candle and get in touch with how you want to feel in your body.
  2. Close your eyes and imagine what your dream body feels and looks like.
  3. Write down this “vision” and include as much detail as possible.  Infuse it with all the emotional and “intangible” feelings.
  4. Ask yourself:  “What small steps start taking now to begin feeling healthy and fit?”
  5. Start making plans around these small steps choosing one to accomplish each day.  Note: If a fear of failure comes up and threatens to keep you from accomplishing your goal for the day, it’s okay to pick something more manageable. All movement forward counts!
  6. Get support: This is where a coach or accountability partner comes in.  It can be the difference between you sticking with your positive life changes or quitting prematurely.

Clarity and Taking Action

 

If you’re thinking about losing 20 pounds or 100, don’t get paralyzed by overwhelm or the fear of failure.   Remember that you need to gain some clarity around your dream body and life.

“Clarity comes from action, not thought.” – Marie Forleo

Once you’ve started taking one small step each day for a a few months, revisit your dream body visualization and see if it’s changed.  Taking action will help you get clear on the practices, foods, exercise and self-care activities you really want to bring into your life.  There are no rules here, you build the body and life of your dreams on your terms!

In the comments below I want you to take action and answer this question:
What is one action that you can take today to begin moving toward your dream body and life?

Ditch Destructive New Year’s Resolutions & Toss Your Scale



Elle Foley Holistic Health Coach



Creating my New Year’s resolutions for weight loss used to look something like this: I would find myself in front of a scale with a long list of reasons why I needed to punish myself with restrictive diets and excessive exercise.  I would spend weeks and sometimes months beating myself up about my weight, my worth and my life as an undesirable woman.

These destructive practices were proof that I had allowed my weight to control me. I surrendered control over my mind, my heart and large portions of my soul to my obsession with my body and weight.

The desperation surrounding my weight and the power that I gave this number on the scale revealed a spiritual sickness that I had allowed to overtake me. I would often deal with bouts of depression that would drive me to emotional eating and gaining even more weight.

The extra weight I carried was not only physically weighing me down but spiritually weighing on my soul.  This constant repetition of untruths about my value as a woman weighed heavy on my heart.

I knew that God had called me to live a life filled with freedom but I was living as a slave to my disordered eating and obsession with my weight.  The bible speaks about how destructive this sort of idolatry is for the mind, body and soul and even refers to it as slavery:

Galatians 5:1 states that “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (NIV)

I wanted freedom so I stopped weighing myself about five years ago. I knew that I needed to remove the scale from my life, the scale was a sort of altar at which I would surrender my worth in exchange for a number that would determine how I would dress and interact with the world.

When I stopped using a scale I learned exactly how much of my life I had not lived because of the numbers that I obsessed over.  There was nothing different about the depth of God’s love for me or my inherent value as a person that changed after I stepped on the scale and my weight was revealed.

Once I decided it was time to let go of this obsession and surrender it to God, positive changes in my life began to take place.  Within a few weeks I began to feel like the woman I had beat up and buried deep down inside was beginning to emerge.  The compulsions around food and emotional eating began to become less and less a part of my life as I learned to let go.

I meditated on this verse and began to have faith that God would teach me his unforced rhythms of grace:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Laying down the obsessions with your weight and trusting in the Lord to help heal your relationship with food sounds counter intuitive when we have been programmed by our society that we should not trust our bodies and look to the latest diet pills fad diet.  Focus on enjoying the body that you have and learning to nourish yourself with healthy foods, pleasurable movement and healthy relationships.

God programmed your body to know exactly what you need to eat, you may have forgotten how to listen.

Every person has unique dietary needs, and you don’t need to sift through diet books and weight loss programs in order to find the perfect diet for you.  Your body will speak to you, but you must first quiet your mind and listen.

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