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You deserve self love.

I've been a personal trainer for six years and I don't claim to have it all figured out. I've learnt a lot about myself over the years and that has stemmed from my life as a dancer and my shift in attitude around what 'healthy' means but I still lose motivation at certain times of the year (especially when I'm stressed!) and my nutrition and training can drop off a lot during these times. Losing motivation and "falling off the wagon" was something I would always beat myself up over and it took a long time for me to accept that this is very normal and making myself feel bad about it only led to behaviours like binge eating and self sabotage.

I used to stress about weight gain BIG TIME and even after I stopped dancing as a career, I still weighed myself almost every day but as the years have gone by, I've realised that focusing on how much I weigh only causes me to become obsessive.

I've worked in two industries that have a strong focus on body image. I've been "too skinny" and "too fat," I've learnt how to live off one meal a day (and a lot of coffee) when I was dancing professionally, I've binged and I've hated my body...until now. At 29 I can finally say that I love my body. I don't stand in the mirror flexing or anything like that 😂 and I'm still critical of myself more often than I should be but I accept my body for what it is because it's strong, healthy and able and thats a lot to be grateful for!

The thing is, there's a difference between accepting yourself as you are and not looking after yourself. I do strongly believe it's important to eat well (most of the time) and exercise regularly; not to look like Ashy Bines but to keep your body in the best condition possible for living a long and sickness-free life. Loving yourself is about respecting your body but also accepting your imperfections and realising that life is full of ups and downs and your weight does not define you. As my wonderful friend and eating psychology coach, Jessica Silsby says, "care but not too much."

I'm not obsessed with exercise and healthy eating, in fact quite the opposite. I enjoy exercise for the physical and mental benefits and I enjoy eating healthy food for the same reason buuuutttttt I also love lazing about and eating donuts too! I just know I can't do that all the time. In saying that, I certainly was obsessed for a long time and not in a good way. I wasn't a "workout junkie" that couldn't get enough of burpees, I was fixated on making sure I didn't gain weight. I had a very unhealthy relationship with exercise and I felt obligated to work out rather than exercising to feel good and keep healthy.

The happiest times of my life haven't been when I weighed the least. In fact, the happiest times of my life have been when I wasn't worried about my weight at all. We can focus on training to lose weight and get stronger and there's nothing wrong with having that as a goal but happiness is an inside job and the rest, well that's just a bonus.

Here's to a happy and healthy you at whatever weight you are,

Alyssa x

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