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When I was 15 years old, a boy made a nasty, off-the-cuff comment about the shape of my body. To be honest, it hit me pretty hard and was something I carried with me for a long time. And because I allowed it to, the sentiment reinforced a belief I’d long held that because I wasn’t the ‘ideal’ body shape, I wasn’t good enough for much else, either.



When I was 15 years old, a boy made a nasty, off-the-cuff comment about the shape of my body. To be honest, it hit me pretty hard and was something I carried with me for a long time. And because I allowed it to, the sentiment reinforced a belief I’d long held that because I wasn’t the ‘ideal’ body shape, I wasn’t good enough for much else, either. Enter years of anguished dieting, raucous self-loathing and fierce, frustrating comparison. And that’s where the trouble lies. Body image marks so much more than your height, shape and size. For many, it’s the container for your relationship with yourself and has the unbridled capacity to influence your level of self-worth. I compared myself with everyone: my sister, my friends, ‘pretty girls’ 2

at school, university and later on in my corporate career. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, I’d despairingly compare myself to anyone who looked like a model because I thought I too should, to be someone worth loving, listened to and respected. This kind of comparison was a self-perpetuating trap, courtesy of my ego. I created it – it wasn’t real. Projections of the ego never are. Ego thoughts are only as strong as we allow them to be. To dismiss it, you can acknowledge your choice to think in such a way, then choose to believe in love. As you developed, you were most likely led to believe that body shape and size was the yardstick for happiness, career success and meaningful relationships. Con-

versely, not fitting within the ideal meant not having any of that, of being unworthy and small, with little to offer. Unfortunately, society places a collective value on looks in general and chooses not to value your merits, your academic ability, or your innate kindness and compassion. And the media has a role too – it absolutely does. Though tackling both society and the media here won’t help you by any measure. We all feel like we’re being held back by an invisible rope, but the truth is we are the only ones holding ourselves back. Real change starts from within, by challenging the critical belief systems your ego has latched onto. How you choose to see yourself is what matters most. When you wholly, deeply love and respect

your body and thus yourself, the rest has a way of sorting itself out.

And what’s not to love? In the last year or so I have overcome my personal body demons by firstly acknowledging that my measure of self-worth was largely based on the way I looked, and that this was a {false} projection, stemming from my ego. Then, because I had the choice to either continue to believe my ego, or practice thinking thoughts from a natural place of love, I became willing to release the ego thoughts from my mind. I want to empower you to believe you have the power to choose the thoughts you feed your mind. And if you’re willing to think positively and let go of the ones that don’t serve you, the release will occur.

Finally, I want to remind you to love your body. Whatever her shape or size at this particular point in time, you’ll have her for life and she’s got your back. Feed her good food and good thoughts. Move her. Pamper her. Only then will she most gladly, thankfully, devotedly love you back.

What does body image mean to you?


Hayley Richardson Hayley Richardson is a writer, speaker, coach and author with a love of vibrant florals and juicy adjectives. Hayley arms passionate women with the-know how and perspective to cultivate a lifestyle designed around health, happiness and satisfying success. Her Crazy Big Idea is that when you’re happy, healthy and doing work you truly love, the world is a much nicer place to live. FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR LIFE AT HAYLEYRICH.COM, AND DOWNLOAD THE HAPPINESS MANIFESTO FOR FREE. CONNECT WITH HAYLEY ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM AND PINTEREST


Wheat Free


800 grams of lean turkey mince 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic 1 tsp of cumin 1 tsp of salt 1 tsp of chilli flakes 1 tsp of paprika 1/2 tsp of dry oregano 1/2 diced onion 2-3 zucchinis sliced thinly 3/4 cup of water 2-3 chopped tomatos 8 large iceberg lettuce leaves


Step 1: Brown turkey in a large pan -use a little olive oil. When no longer pink add dry seasoning & mix well. Add the onion, zucchini, water and tomatoes and cover. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes - you don’t want it to watery.

Bok choy & Chickpea & mustard salad with a tin of smoked salmon Feta Salad INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons dijon mustard 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 bunch baby bok choy, well washed. I don’t really cook it I just pour boiled water over it for about 1 - 2 minutes, then drain it. 1 tin of smoked salmon

Enough for 2 INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 can (240g / 8oz) chickpeas, drained 2-3 handfuls salad leaves e.g. a mix of rocket & spinach 200g (7oz) feta cheese, crumbled


2 small handfuls pine nuts or handful of semi sundried tomatoes

Step 2: Finely slice bok choy after drained in hot water, crosswise into bite sized pieces. Toss in the dressing.


Step 1: Combine mustard, vinegar and 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a bowl.

Step 2: Wash & dry the lettuce. Place meat in the centre of the lettuce leaf.

Step 3: Divide between 2 bowls or lunch boxes and top with the salmon. I also added some sesame seeds.

For a vegetarian option which I’ve been making lately, I use zucchinis instead of turkey mince.

This dish is equally nice with the addition of cashews and/or boiled egg. 4

Step 1: Combine lemon juice with 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a salad bowl. Season, remembering the feta will be quite salty. Step 2: Add drained chickpeas and salad leaves to the dressing. Toss. Step 3: Sprinkle feta over the salad and top with pine nuts, if using.• Serve with a cup of tea. Enjoy!



30 DAY

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Adriana Solorzano Adriana is the founder of Lean Clean Eating, a food coach, a fitness trainer, an author and a speaker. Over 6 years ago Adriana packed in a successful but totally unfulfilling career as a Senior Accountant for a large glitz CBD firm, to follow her passion for health and fitness. Now she specialises in fitness, food and health coaching. Adriana is passionate about ensuring the path is enjoyable and maintains that it’s not hard when you know what to focus on!

Download her FREE book ‘The Lean Clean Eating Plan’ at (valued $29.95) CONTRIBUTOR:

Believe: Hayley Richardson 6

Believe | Nourish | Restore (Issue #6, Feb 2014)  

Inspiring articles, delicious healthy recipes, FREE workouts, & more! It's a mini magazine to help women like you design and create a health...

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