To me the most powerful and inspirational stories are not the ones that happen on the other side of the globe or the ones we see on TV. The most inspirational stories are those of the people around us. The stories that happen right before our eyes. Then we get to see not only the beginning and the end, but also the entire journey. All the efforts that are made, the transformation that occurs – not just on the outside, but also on the inside. That was why I decided to give you a part of my inspiration. If you ask me what inspires me, it is the women that I will introduce to you today. They are just a part of the women I am in touch with every day. With some of them I work online. Others train in the IFS gym. Still others are a part of the IFS Bootcamp, while some belong to our inspirational culinary group. The most important thing is that they are all a part of my world.
I asked each of them what she would say to her former Self – to the one that was not fit and kept looking for answers and felt it would never achieve its goals. Here’s what they shared with me.
Hi, Petya, This is your future Self – a little wiser (or not really), a little more conscious, constantly evolving and still searching for itself. You went through a lot until you realized that being healthy and feeling good in your skin is a lot more than defined abs and what everybody else is doing. Health means being full of strength, with a head overflowing with ideas and not with thoughts about what your next meal will consist of and where on your body it will end up, it means being able to effortlessly carry your bag when on vacation (all girls will understand ) and being happy with yourself, wherever you go! The advice I would give you in order to stop you from making the same mistakes over and over again is this:
1. Health starts with what happens in your head. Your thoughts create your reality.
2. Learn to express your feelings instead of feeding them carbs.
3. More never means better. When your body wants rest, you should give it to it.
4. Never be afraid of trying new things, they are the driving force to your evolution. Even if you fall on your head while trying to do a hand-stand… the worst thing that could happen is for your brain to find its right place! 5. I left this for the end, but pay the most attention to it – LOVE YOURSELF. I know what you are thinking… And no, this isn’t selfish. It is mandatory so you can also love other people, help them and get the same thing in return. You know that you get what you give. You are not the chocolate you ate, nor that piece of cake, you are something much bigger – a whole infinite universe that you must give yourself the chance to get to know!
And this is actually the advice I would give to any girl in the world. Everyone knows in their heart of hearts what is right for them, they only need to listen more carefully!
Inspirational, wonderful and one of a kind – Valentina
And her transformation
Hi, my fat, unhealthy 42-year old self,
I am not going to pep you and persuade you to believe in yourself or prove to yourself or to other people what you are and what you can do. I am only going to help you imagine another life you can have where you feel light, happy, full of energy, almost never tired and having time for everything. Trust me, your problem is not your children and your job. As soon as you start making time for yourself, all of a sudden time and possibilities for a lot of things will appear. Exercise will teach you to be organized, exercise will become a pleasure, exercise will show you real food and the pleasure from a handful of nuts with cocoa powder and dates will go beyond even the most incredible cakes you have had in your life. You will fly in your imagination, you will fly in your real life too and you will suddenly find how a jog with a friend is a hundred times superior to ten dinners at the best restaurants. Before you know it, you will be happy with yourself, wanting more and more, but surprisingly life will keep giving you more and more. You will be happy, you will see that you are also making the people around you happy. Well, isn’t that worth a try? Only the first step is hard, as clichéd as that may sound. Be an example for your children!
Hi, my former Self,
I know you are feeling awful and it seems like there’s no way you can live another life and achieve your goals. I know you see yourself as a victim and feel like you have no control. But I want to tell you something. Look at me – this can be you when you realize that your choices determine who you are. When you realize what it means to live and that life is first and foremost about the health of your body and mind. When you are conscious of every action you take and start choosing what is best for yourself. You will start eating well when you stop thinking about diets and start thinking about yourself. When every choice you make is about feeling good and feeling alive. Food is not a prerequisite – it is a consequence of the choice you make yourself.
Incredible Vesi and her progress
I am 35 years old. And for the first time in my life I like myself. You have wasted so much time not liking yourself, not wearing shorts and resigning yourself. Don’t waste so many years in resignation. Start now and don’t stop. Start taking care of yourself and stop thinking that anything will change on its own. Please, don’t waste so many years of your life to realize you need to make an effort in order to like yourself.
Hard work, persistence, planning and efforts. Every day. Efforts that are worth it. Efforts that will make you feel important to yourself. They will even make you think higher of yourself. And when your efforts produce results, you realize how much you can do and how much you are actually capable of in every aspect of life. Knowing you can do it and believing in yourself is not a one-way process, it repays you in hundreds of other ways, every day, in everything you undertake.
Wonderful Darina ©
“You can do it! Whatever you believe your body is not capable of, it’s a lie. Start now, not tomorrow, and know that a fast result is no result. Remember: there may be a better feeling than waking up with a smile on your face and feeling energy and tone in every cell of your body which you want to pass on to others, but this feeling is still unknown to you.” – this is what Dari tells herself even now, because I would be a hypocrite to claim I don’t need reminders, because sometimes you make it, but the best we can do is learn how to make it next time.
Wonderful Irena ©
Hi, my former Self, I want you to know you can accomplish anything, and without self-torture too. Believe in yourself and do not expect instantaneous results. Find people who share your ideas – people who know more or less how you feel, so you can also get help from the people you are going to have fun with, while achieving your goal. Enjoy the process and your progress will come before you know it. P.S. And start lifting weights – they will be your friends on your journey to your new Self!
Deni – one of my favorite online clients ©
Ines, I for one would have been very happy, if I had met you when I was 20.
My former Self,
I want you to realize that the word “should” has always bothered you and produced a very negative impact on you. Every time you have put on weight, you have heard: “You should eat less”, “You should move more”, “You should exercise”. Feeling and looking good does not come as a result of rules, frameworks and restrictions. It comes as a result of the choice you make and of being conscious. Turn your workouts into a habit and not into something you should do. Don’t think about what you should and shouldn’t eat, but try to get to know your body and feel what it needs. Your body is constantly talking to you. Pay attention to it. You will always be disappointed and fail to achieve results, it you keep struggling against something external – advice, comments, diets, “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts”. This is unnecessary. Your body knows enough. Trust it.
The culinary guru of IFS – Lora
If I could turn back time to the point when I embarked on my eating plan, I would ask for just two things.
One is not to be in a hurry, but give my body time to catch up with the impulse of my thoughts about how I want to look.
The other one is to be more tolerant of myself, eat without feeling guilty and not fixate on food.
One of the most open-hearted and hard-working people – Mihaela
I have been through different phases – the moon diet, dining on French fries and jellybeans, huge salads (for at least 2 people), boiled eggs with butter, no meat… The list goes on and on. I have always been capable of devouring an enormous amount of food, and when I had a scan with some kind of bioresonance imaging device, they told me the appetite center in my brain was huge.
But what would I say now to my former self – the key is in balance, in the lack of restrictions and the options to choose from. Don’t forbid yourself anything, don’t exercise your will, just choose what is best for you. You will feel much better on a variety of foods, learn to cook! Don’t go to extremes, nutrition and an active lifestyle are not some weird ancient ritual, they are part of our most natural rhythm. Everything that seems difficult is a matter of planning. Be happy with yourself, you are great.
We can’t all have the bodies of the slim models in the magazines, nor do we need to. But what you can accomplish is to do your utmost with your own body every time in order to look beautiful, sexy and fit. Your utmost so you can feel good and confident in your own body. There’s no easy path to success and if you want to be healthy and good-looking, you have to be persistent. There’s no such thing as “I am plus-sized”, “it’s in my genes”, “I am big-boned”, etc. If you want the change and fight for it, sooner or later it comes. It has been 7 years during which I have been changing myself – I can tell you I have started loving what I see in the mirror. I love every part of my 70-kilogram body. I have done the best with what nature has given me. I am your future Self and I tell you that you can do it. Just love yourself.
The woman with the loveliest smile – Dili
My first advice to my “past” Self, which did not know how to appreciate itself, would be to stop for a moment and take a deep breath. Let go, if only for a second, of all rushing thoughts and not waste too much time pondering what was or what would have been, if… I would like my old Self to listen to its own voice and not let itself be guided by other people’s advice and dreams, feel unhappy as a result of its own dissatisfaction and let that unhappiness turn into self-bullying, constant anxiety and a torture of the soul and body in every possible way. My old Self made tremendous efforts and managed to step out of the vicious circle of other people’s perfectionism and find the path to itself. It is up to my new Self whether it will learn from the mistakes made by my old Self and whether it will keep enthusiastically getting out of its comfort zone, striving to develop both its inner world and to improve its appearance according to its own standards.
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