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It’s time to stop hating your body

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Many of you will be raising your hands, nodding your head, or clapping to this topic and the things I talk about in this blog.  You are going to feel heard in this!  This is all about SELF-LOVE or overcoming self-hatred.  How many of us have looked in the mirror and pointed to a body part and said, “Oh, I wish this was a perfect way.”?  Well, guess what… I have someone who has overcome that, and I know many of you are struggling to overcome this. We feel like we take a few steps forward, but something always drags us back into that self-hatred, self-loathing part of us.  So, I want you to read on. Because there is a way out and through this, my recent guest, Rachel Lavin will help you start the ball rolling! 

1x

 
Rachel Lavin is the  author of The Doughnut Diaries, Certified Health Coach, and Certified Personal Trainer. When Rachel turned forty, the expression, “I got sick and tired of being sick and tired” hit home and she made a decision to take her power back and heal from decades of negative thinking and self-sabotage. Rachel began to do the work on my mind, body, and soul. Writing her book was her way of sharing my message to women that they are not alone! Now using her book Rachel wants to help people who have had or a still experiencing negative body image.  “My mission is to create a safe space for all women to feel whole in their own bodies.” – Rachel Lavin
 
I can’t think of a woman out there, regardless of age, who hasn’t looked in the mirror and hasn’t said something awful about herself.  The first thing that pops into our head is automatically to think something negative about our bodies because it’s ingrained in us to find flaws.  We are all beautiful no matter our shape and size!  You don’t have to try and look like someone else… Let’s embrace your body and what it looks like and let it be the best version of that!
 
Let’s look at the approach, what is the process you have to get to that point, and do you like it? Are you happy? If the answer is no, then you have to start looking at it differently. Is living on broccoli and chicken worth it? If someone tells me again that I can’t eat this or that, I don’t know what I would do! (probably murder someone!!) But if we are not happy, why are we doing it?
 
So many women do not know what makes them happy… It’s sad that many of us have to have our rock bottom crying in our closet. What was your rock bottom moment?

I had just turned 40 years old. I went to work one day, and something was weighing soooo heavy on me, I found an empty group fitness room and I was just bawling uncontrollably.  And I remember looking at this beautiful, gorgeous woman in the mirror and it was me! And the connection of OMG that is me, I was always this amazing woman, but I never saw it. And I let go of all the stuff holding me down… That was 10 years ago.  And although I am happy every single day of my life, there ARE things in my life that disrupt that temporarily.  At the end of the day, I go to bed knowing I am happy. I love myself and I love the life I have created for myself, but it is a continual process!
 
This process is a practice and some days it’s an easy practice and some days it’s really freaking hard. I think people want magic…. And I feel like in health and fitness there is no magic, you are the magic.  If we can just recognize and realize we have spent all this time looking for the right pill, etc. The magic this or that…. The magic is within us.
 
As a personal trainer, did you feel like you had to have this image to feel worthy of being a personal trainer, and get clients before your breakdown?
Absolutely!!! I just completed a 90 challenge that my gym forced me to participate in because I was 170 pounds as a personal trainer. I was told many times in my career I didn’t have a body that matched what I did.  So, when I was having this emotional breakdown, I just lost 50 pounds and I was a size 0 and so freaking miserable!  I’ve been a size 0 and a size 12 and everything in between. And to be honest, size 0 didn’t feel like home. I was not happy.
 
When it comes to body image, it is like a swing. Why does it have to be all the way on one side “getting everything out of your diet, complete restrictions”, or on the other side “if it’s not nailed down to something I’m eating it.” Why do we have to take these wild swings? But that is where self-loathing comes from.  It’s the self-loathing piece that brings us these wild wings.  You’re restricting and that is why we have these swings from one end of the pendulum to the other instead of staying right here at homeostasis.  The restriction of what we do to ourselves because we heard not this or that is the marketing of the stupid, hateful, and evil diet industry! And if you just allowed your body to have as many nutrients as possible, you would never have to diet again!
 
“The minute I stopped restricting my food to any group I stopped binging. And when I have a craving for a donut or whatever, I have the dang donut. And then I am done with it!  If I just have it, I don’t think about it for months…  It really has literally saved my life and my brain. And it saves the time and energy I have spent on dieting!”
 
Was your breakdown moment, the moment you said you can’t diet anymore? Or was it just a moment in time?
No, that was not my end-all-be-all diet moment. That was more my, “I am looking for everything else outside of me at the moment” that led to the continuation and work.
 
My aha moment for this dieting stuff was 2 things…  One, I found this book… my favorite word is in this book. The Fuck It Diet!   I read that book and it was such an emotional awakening for me… And I was telling my clients these things that I was reading.  Then I started researching the HAES (heath at every size) movement. All these things were in line with what I was feeling. 
 
If you are only ever thinking about yourself and your body, you are not thinking about the, “Oh this is making me happy because I am not focusing on that.” I feel that so many women struggle with the LIFE happens part..  Because we are in these extremes, either doing it or not doing it.   We are learning how to navigate that middle piece. We are learning how to eat out.  We are learning how to just workout for 30 minutes. We are learning how to give ourselves grace.  Everyone women should have this. Every woman should feel like they can go out with the girls or family and not give a flying F for a few hours!
 
How many women are out there listening, chasing that number, the dress size or number on the scale and what do you get when you get there? Is there a Mercedes? Are your kids gonna love you more? Better job?? No there’s no prize.. People are losing all this weight but are still not happy.. How many women got to the goal weight and celebrated it? Or did you find something else to bitch about?
 
When you are working through this and you said this is not it for me, I am not happy. As you look back on your journey, what are some of the milestones that knocked you right out, but it didn’t knock you out?
 
I moved from NY, and I didn’t realize how much cardio I was getting going to and from my clients in the city. I was always moving 6 days a week.  Then I came to a suburban area and drove everywhere, and I put on 30 pounds.  Back in the day I would have thrown myself on my bed and would have been like ahhhhh and made instantaneous restrictions. But instead, I said, “Oh I have to do cardio now. I have to give myself grace. It took 2 years to put on.. So, it will take that same amount of time to come off.”
 
If there were 2 things I could tell every woman in the world, it would be that:
1.  You are not alone..
2. Be grateful for the body that you do have. If you can walk, talk and see, and smell and taste every day your life is pretty great!  Look at your body and appreciate those things. Your body tells a story. Your body parts are from the women before you!

For four long decades, there were many times I had a moment of change or motivation to change, and it was just so easy to stay who I was. There were many moments that passed me by before I took notice and said no more.  I decided to take a chance on myself, and it was the best decision I ever made. And I want to reiterate for the 900th time… IT HAS NOT been easy.  It has not been easy changing who you think you are to who you want to be, and it takes work. There are many times in my life and through it that I missed the message and the window. But I don’t beat myself up for that either because it wasn’t my time!
 
We have to stay open to life’s experience and not think it’s a straight road from misery to happiness.. It’s not. It is a curvy and windy road. But if you stay open to trusting the process, that is when it becomes so beautiful. That is when the beautiful experiences start to line up and start to happen more and more and you realize you can do this, and you can stay the course.
 
I think every woman needs to read “The Untethered Soul” By Michael A Singer.  It is a really powerful book about the inner chatter that goes on, how we think we are so wrapped around this lifetime instead of experiencing life and being happy.  The ultimate goal is this!  If you want to be happy you choose that and no matter what happens you choose that every day.
 
How did you get to the point of writing a book?
I always felt in my soul that a book was something I was destined to do. Earlier it was always about “look at me”, I kept the weight off and this is how you do it…  And when I finally got to a size 0, and I have never been in my LIFE at 38/39, and at the time, that mattered. That was a big deal. And I was so afraid this weight was going to come back, so I was already setting myself up for failure. And long story short, it comes back!
 
But I was so busy working, training, and living my NYC lifestyle, I didn’t know what to do with myself when COVID happened.  So, I was talking to a friend, and she said I should write a book!  So, I took a chance on myself and this publisher and the next thing I knew my book was in the world and The Doughnut Diaries was born!
 
If you have ever felt like this, this is a process, it’s not a “wam bam thank you mam” process.  If you have had an aha moment, tag us in the socials and let me know that aha moment for you! And how we can best support you!
 
What is something that makes you feel magical?
I love when I have a great long day, I take a shower, put on a clay mask, lay on my bed in my towel, and let that nourishment soak into my skin and feel at peace! I know it sounds silly, but it makes me feel so magical!
 
LINKS
 
Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/kimbarnesjeffersoncoach
 
Facebook Group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/fitgirlmagic/
 
Website:
https://www.kimbarnesjefferson.com/
 
Podcast:
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/fit-girl-magic-healthy-living-for-women-over-40/id1476883661
 
5 Summer Fitness Mistakes To Avoid:
https://www.fitgirlmagic.com/5tipssummer-2023/
 
Rachel Lavin Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachellavinwellness/
Rachel Lavin Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/rachel.lavin

Website
https://rachellavinfitness.com/contact/
 
The Doughnut Diaries: A Personal Trainer’s Tale of Being Every Size From 12 Through 0
 

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