Loving Yourself

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To truly love anyone, you have to truly love yourself. Loving yourself starts with loving every aspect of yourself and giving yourself the best that you can and treating yourself well and with respect. Like when you love others, you have to show them, so, if yourself, you should show it to yourself. One of the ways of showing your love for yourself is to take care of yourself. I’ve learnt to love myself, in and out. I’ve learnt to love my body, by MAKING the time to feed it a wide variety of things that are good for it and working out as often as l can.

Loving your body is about giving your body life. From the food you eat, to the books you read to the songs you listen too to the thoughts you let dominate you. They all tell your body ( and it’s creator) just how much you love it and this will show in how your body presents you to the world.

Some of the ways l like to love myself are…

Music: l love music, all sorts of music except reggae and rap work for me. Depending on my mood or how l want to feel, there is a song or beat that will take me there, help me relax and reconnect.

Reading: Reading is an amazing escape and is fast becoming extinct. It helps my vocabulary, expands my creativity, imagination and teaches me about things, concepts, people, the world, life. I just read a Francine Rivers book – Redeeming love and it took me to a world of pure love, forgiveness and redemption. What are you reading?

Massage: A massage is one of the most relaxing and not necessarily expensive things you can give to your body. The oils, the smells, the snoozing….massages are an ancient method of stress relief. Great for clearing your mind, toning your muscles and skin

Working Out: I just love a good workout, sometimes when l feel like working out on my own, l skip rope for my cardio or have a Pilates moment. The sweat opens your pores, your energy levels are up, endorphins are released into your body so you are in a better mood and can handle anything. Right now l’m into group classes. The comradeance l feel working out with other ladies is just amazing, all of us working towards a goal- finish the class standing!

A Shower/Bath: As simple as this is, it is so refreshingly refreshing. Taking a long shower or bath is a time you can just relax and let the water and the process of lathering your body wash away all your worries and stress. If the weather is hot, take a cold shower, if cold, take a hot one. Or better still start with hot to relax your muscles, and open your pores and end with cold to close your pores. The main thing is to take your time, go slowly, pat (not rub) your body dry gently- lovingly.

Sauna: Are also great for relaxing and opening up the pores, remove toxins from the body so, if you have access to one make sure you take advantage.

Manicure & Pedicure: l am a lady, afterall, and love getting my nails done either by myself or professionally. For me it stress relief, I’ve been known to change my nail polish up to 4 times a week in high tension periods.

Eating Well: l love eating, however, l’ve learnt to cut certain things out of my diet – soft drinks, eat certain things in moderation – Pounded yam and native soup and trained myself to love my vegetables and fruits, no it didn’t come naturally to me but now it does and l love it. I’ve seen the difference to my skin, my hair, my mood, energy levels and health. Aim to have 2-3 snacks of fruits or veggies a day a carrot here, agbalumo there( good for lowering high blood sugar.) and include veggies ( Salad, Efo, Stirfry, etc ) with almost every meal. Eat fruits in season and try new and different ones so you don’t get bored .

Detox: Clearing out the junk is always a good thing, since we de-clutter our wardrobes and cupboards, we should regularly do the same with our insides. I sometimes go on a liquid juice diet where for 3 days l take only fresh juice and water or a fruit and veggie detox ( l haven’t been able to go past 3days) and regularly l cut out all meat for a few days. The idea is to let the system rest and rejuvenate. You’ll have more energy and feel lighter. lnvestigate which detox will work for you, chose the time carefully- a period where you can rest- weekends, holiday from work. And drink lots of water.

Home Spa: Another way l love my body is having spa moments at home. Usually after a work out and my pores are open. I cleanse my face, mix up some honey and Quaker oats and put it on my face. Sometimes l put a mud mask on it. I let this sit on my face for 15mins, the oats exfoliate my skin (removes dead skin) while the honey moisturizes, my face comes out smooth and bright. I then mix some baby oil or olive oil with a lot of salt and then use as a body scrub in the shower. My skin comes out soft and smooth and l am totally relaxed.

There, you have all my secrets. Try out as many as you can if you don’t currently have any methods of your own. You can also share what works for you. Remember, you only have one life, one body, you can’t do it all without a fully rested and healthy body. You can only give what you have. If you have life, you can give it. If you have joy you can give it, if you have love, you can give it, if you have relief from stress, you can provide solutions.

Love your body and it will love you right back.

Oyinkansola Talabi has been a fitness enthusiast for over 15 years and she is trained in Weight Management (FIE UK), Pilates ( Stott Pilates UK) and Kick boxing (Ian Fox training UK) and Performance coach ( Human Performance Institute USA). She has worked as a Personal Trainer since 2006 and founder of Bodyworks Personal Fitness Studio in Lekki Phase 1 opened in January 2009. The Studio offers personal training classes, fitness & nutrition consultations, daily group exercise classes and a personal Gym. She has featured on 96.9 Cool Fm, New dawn with Funmi Iyanda and Health Talks on Channels Television, NN24 and Studio 53 extra. She has written articles on fitness in Genevieve magazine and taken part in various True Love magazine workshops. She regularly hosts workshops for women at her studio in Lekki. she currently hosts "Living fit" on 97.3 classic FM (Mondays @ 2pm) and writes a weekly colum in The Saturday Guardian newspaper.

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