Darlings, today we have Michelle Spadafora the founder of Faithful Workouts. She has been in the fitness industry for 35 years and is passionate about helping people get strong physically and spiritually. In this blog, she talks about self-love, and how we can take care of our beautiful bodies. Enjoy!
The Hard Journey Of Self-Love
Self-love is a popular topic right now among women. It seems that women are longing to love themselves, but they are unable to successfully navigate the path to self-love. Many women find ourselves at this crossroads. Because of the culture we live in, self-love can oftentimes feel like an impossible task to accomplish. We all want to love ourselves and see the value we bring to the world. However, when we compare what we see in the mirror to the flawless and healthy young bodies gracing the covers of magazines and Instagram. Lies come pushing into our minds and we feel defeated.
As a woman over 50 myself who has spent over 30-years in the health and fitness industry, I hear all too often how much women struggle with self-love. I see women question their worth because they ate unhealthy food. Or doubt their value because they don’t look at how they want to look in the mirror after working out. It breaks my heart. So today, my goal is to shed some light on what self-love truly is, so you can begin to live your life in self-love rather than in self-hate.
Our Thoughts Direct Our Actions
Our thoughts direct our actions, which in turn directs our life. Imagine if you stopped comparing yourself to others? What if you set goals based on what you and God value in your life, rather than on what the world tells you should be valued? What if when you look in the mirror, you give thanks for the wrinkle by your mouth because it reminds you of all the laughter and smiles you’ve had? God tells us we are loved, beautiful, and valuable. When we believe and accept that we are loved unconditionally in this way, it makes it so much easier to take that love and let it radiate throughout our own day.
By definition, self-love is “a regard for one’s own well-being and happiness.” When it comes to our well being and happiness, one of the best things we can do for our bodies and minds is to make our health a priority. If we don’t take care of the vessel we occupy, how can we ever expect to feel happy?
3 Effective Ways To Care For Your Overall Wellbeing
For over 30 years, I’ve helped women accomplish their goals on their journey to better health and loving themselves. There are many ways we can practice self-love, but today, I want to share with you 3 effective ways that will help you care for your overall well being and boost your happiness.
#1 – Strength Train
I know this may surprise you as a way to love yourself, but when you understand how important it is to your overall health, you’ll want to jump into it in no time.
As women over 50 age, we become at risk for bone deterioration, osteoporosis, weight gain, brain fog, and injuries. However, by adding strength training to your exercise routine, you can help your bones grow stronger, and even reduce or slow the effects of osteoporosis! Strength training also increases your metabolism. As we age, we naturally lose muscle, and this plays a huge part in unwanted weight gain. When we lose muscle, our metabolism slows down, and the number on the scale goes up. When you strength train, you add lean muscle to your body. Since muscle burns more calories than fat, strength training ultimately increases the rate of your metabolism, which makes it easier to maintain and/or lose weight!
Strength training certain areas of the body to achieve a specific look is not the right way to strength train. It may be somewhat beneficial, but it will not yield the overall health benefits you really want to achieve as you age. Don’t focus on the look, focus on health! When you focus on strengthening your body from head to toe, your balance and posture improve, plus your joints become more stable. All of these improvements can reduce chronic pain that many women our age struggle with, as well as prevent injuries to our joints.
I want to challenge you to add strength training to your exercise routine. If you are new to strength training, you can join this free 5-day strength training challenge to help get you started. It includes important information and great workout videos for all fitness levels. I promise that after doing this, you will be amazed at how much stronger and confident you feel about your body.
#2 – Reduce Your Stress
I know that just hearing about how we need to reduce stress can make us feel more stressed (funny, isn’t it?), but please read on. Stress is damaging to all areas of our health. Long term stress takes energy from your immune system and digestive system, and this can make you prone to many chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and stroke… not good.
In my own life, a big step I took to decrease stress was letting go of my desire to please people. The truth is, we will never make everyone around us happy because everyone has different opinions on what happiness is. This is where self-love comes in. When we decide to love ourselves, we can begin to let go of the desire to please others. Accepting God’s love means you don’t have to be liked by everyone because you know you’ve got all the love you’ll ever need. Stop bending over backward to be liked by everyone, and you will be amazed at how fast your stress level decreases.
Many women feel stressed because our bodies don’t look and perform as they did in our twenties and thirties. But remember, aging is a privilege that many don’t get to experience. So, each day, week, month, or year we are given to live, remember that this is something to celebrate and be grateful for!
Like I said earlier, our thoughts make a huge difference in our lives. There is something very empowering about saying “I am loved and I love the woman I am becoming. I may not be as far along as I want to be, but I am proud of how far I’ve come!” I want to challenge you over the next week to look at yourself in the mirror and speak positive words and affirmations. By the end of the week, you will be amazed at how much more content you feel about who you are.
#3 – Sleep
As we age, our hormones fluctuate, and getting a restful night’s sleep can be a challenge. Many of us struggle with menopausal hot flashes and racing minds because of demanding careers, overstretched volunteer schedules, and concern for aging parents. All of these issues can make a peaceful night’s sleep almost impossible to come by.
While reducing stress can definitely help with achieving a peaceful night’s sleep, it’s also important to have a solid routine for your body so it can rest well once the day is over. For the next week, I want to challenge you to create a night time self-care ritual. Having a consistent bedtime routine also helps tremendously with getting a good night’s sleep. Take a warm bath, read in bed, avoid screen time, pray, and try tucking yourself in around the same time each evening. Whatever the routine, see how having one can help your sleep pattern.
A Healthy Self-Love Relationship
With these three tips, it’s my hope you can practice acts of self-love. A healthy self-love isn’t selfish or self-centered. Loving yourself in a positive way is about self-compassion, self-care, and self-forgiveness so you can live a happier and healthier life. At this stage of your life my friend, you deserve it!
If you are looking for additional help on your journey to better health we offer an online membership that includes an app. Our resources will help you to bring health to your body and soul! www.faithfulworkoutsplan.com
Do you feel you have a healthy relationship with self-love? Let us know in the comments below. We want to hear from you!
Michelle Spadafora is the founder of Faithful Workouts. She has been in the fitness industry for 35 years and is passionate about helping people get strong physically and spiritually. She loves to exercise and cook, and even more so, she loves talking about Jesus and helping others come to know His truth and love. Faithful Workouts is her happy place because it combines her passions into one program. She is married to Jeff, the mom of 3 kids and 3 dogs!