We read this article on Connect2Mums recently and found it worthy of passing on as we are sure so many of you can relate to Taryn's message. The photo above is a link to her website and a trailer for her planned documentary. If the movie is anything like the promotional video it will be a very touching piece. For now, here's the interview with Taryn - Body Image Movement founder and inspiration for women across the globe.
I recently had a chat with body love advocate Taryn Brumfitt of the Body Image Movement about why we should love our bodies no matter what stage of life we are at and how to love ourselves more.
Taryn, tell us how your journey to begin the Body Image movement began…
Loathing your body is very consuming, I felt like I was in a big hole and everything I did, including the relationships I had with people around me was affected by the mental theatre in my head. It was no way to live, so once I had transformed (eek that word!) from a body hater to a body lover I wanted other women to feel the goodness that I felt.
We love your Before and After photos can you explain the message behind these images?
The message behind the photos is very simple, you can love your body no matter what it looks like. Women have been brainwashed into thinking that you can only love your body when it is in “perfect” condition. My message and the message behind the photos is that it doesn’t matter what your body looks like you are capable of loving your body in any condition, overweight, underweight, tall, slim, with or without surgery, hey it doesn’t matter if your pink with purple polka dots – LOVE YOUR BODY at every stage at every age.
You’re all about being healthy as opposed to being ‘perfect’ can you explain what that means in real terms?
How do you achieve being healthy amongst all of the other demands of your busy family life?
Here are my top 3 tips on how to maintain good health amongst the chaos of a busy family life.
Prioritise your needs first. You know when you’re on a plane and told to in an emergency to put your mask on before you help infants, well same applies for you in your everyday life. Women and mothers in particular need to start putting themselves first, without any guilt. Think about a time when you’ve been sick and the impact that it has had on your family, huge – right? Imagine if you became very sick ( a nasty disease or illness) imagine how your family would cope without you. We need to be very accountable to our health, our roles are so vital. To do this, we need to prioritise time for ourselves, time to engage in physical activity, time to spend in the kitchen making nutritious meals and snacks and time to breathe, meditate or whatever activity you do to relax.
Get out of bed just a teeny bit earlier and start your day off on a good note by eating a healthy balanced breakfast. Breakfast is KEY to good health and I don’t just mean grabbing a bowl of sugar laden boxed cereal. At least 3 mornings a week I scramble some eggs and enjoy with a slice of toast and avocado. Other mornings it might be oat and chia pancakes and when I am really pushed for time I grab a bowl of homemade muesli. People often say to me “ I don’t have time to make myself eggs for breakfast” , my response to that is this “ It takes no more than 5 minutes, I know this because I have timed it myself, you pop a piece of toast in the toaster, you slice some avocado, and you scramble a couple of eggs like a mad women on a mission, throw it in the pan, cook and eat. If you can’t invest 5 minutes in your own health to start the day positively then you need to look at your priorities.” Harsh but true.
You recently travelled with your kids to Disneyland did you find being ‘healthy’ challenging while travelling, how did you address this?
One of the great aspects of eating in America ( as a result of their tipping system) is that you can almost ask for anything on the menu but prepared the way you want it. As an example, for breakfast I would mix and match about 5 different menu items to make up my perfect breakfast. On many occasions I ordered scrambled egg whites with spring onions and avocado, a side of mushrooms strawberries and blueberries. The servers might look at you in a certain way but trust me they don’t care if you ordered pickles and ice-cream, for as long as you tip them well!
I think the key to healthy eating is being organised so that you are always armed with healthy options. One thing we did do each day was pack a little backpack of healthy foods (fruit, nuts and muesli bars) and lots of water. At least then we weren’t always at the mercy of the sugar filled, colourful and quite often scary treats that were on offer – EVERYWHERE we looked! ( or so it seemed!)
What tips do you have for Mums wanting to start living a more healthy lifestyle?
Here is an activity that you can do with yourself. (you might feel a little loopy doing it at first but trust me, it can be a very powerful tool to tap into).
So find some quiet time and a cuppa and have a conversation with yourself. If you are not where you want to be in terms of your wellness, lifestyle and health, ask yourself why and what it is that’s missing. (for example, it might be exercise, or time to yourself) From there you need to “road map” the steps you need to take to get to your goal. Don’t overcomplicate it, keep it really simple. On the subject of goal setting and achieving outcomes, as important as it is to have a detailed step by step plan it is as crucial to know where and how you might become unstuck along the way. Work out your pressure points, explore parts of the plan that are a little weak and ensure there is always good support and a back up strategy.
Ok so you can probably tell I am big fan of goal setting and it is something I LOVE to talk about in my presentations and workshops but I know you are after some real life practical ways to a healthier lifestyle, so in no particular order here is a bunch of my favourite tips:
- Drink green smoothies ( check out my favourite recipe on the BIM website)
- Eat protein for breakfast and throughout the day.
- Make time for yourself, don’t be a martyr, you DESERVE it!
- Have a good laugh – don’t take life too seriously, we are only here for such a short time, so let go and enjoy the ride.
- Get 8 hours sleep a night. (Pfft yeah right! No I am serious, do try! I am constantly working on this one!)
- Move that body – exercise regularly.
- Eat Clean – ditch the processed foods.
- Hydrate your body by drinking lots of water.
- Be kind to yourself. You are what you are, you have what you have, now go and be the best version of yourself that you can be!
What tips do you have for other mums who are struggling with their self-image?
On the Body Image Movement website I have prepared my top 10 tips for a positive body image, click here for more details http://bodyimagemovement.com.au/top-10-body-lovin-tips/
You’ve recently released an ebook on body image and self love, what can we expect from this guide?
I put together the ebook because I wanted to provide a “quick and easy to read guide” for all the people that wrote to me, called me and messaged me saying “ I want to love my body but I don’t know how!” I wanted to attack the body image issue with a multi disciplinary approach, the mind and the body, so I invited Dr Emma Johnston – Clinical Psychologist and Sonia Osborne – Food and Nutrition Coach to contribute to the book.
The guide is 50 pages long, it’s easy to read, (it’s pretty with lots of photos) and it’s had an overwhelmingly positive response from the women that have purchased it. Some women have written to me and said the book was life changing. (That made my heart swell!)
With the purchase of the Body Lovin’ Guide (BLG) you are given access to a private Facebook group called the BLG community. This is a safe, friendly and supportive space where women can share their goals, discuss their issues, share recipes and best of all ( said with a cheeky smile) get support and advice from Emma, Sonia and myself.
I LOVE the community we are building and the positive stories that are shared amongst the group are inspiring. The women in the BLG community are from all over the world, which makes it’s all the more interesting.
Where can we find out more about you and your story? Website?
I ask and encourage all of you to help me in this movement because I can’t do it alone and god only knows a movement is what women of the world need right now. (and especially our daughters) Please LIKE the Facebook page, sign up to the movement on the website, purchase the Body Lovin’ Guide, be kind to yourselves and love your body…starting right….NOW!
First published: 18 December 2013