If you have read the “ABOUT” section on my blog, you would have seen that it has not been an easy road for me in terms of being able to fully accept and love myself/my body. My past encompasses a lot of self torture and self doubt. I never felt in control of my myself, my body, my food or my weight. It has been my biggest challenge and it was the catalyst that inspired me to study nutrition and health to gather a better understanding of how the human body works and why I had developed such a complex relationship with food and my body. I couldn’t understand how I became my own biggest burden- just typing that brings tears to my eyes. Because now I feel so free from it. Of course I have my moments of self doubt and there are always challenges that we face but I know we are all in this together. We are all trying to achieve the same thing. We all just want love and acceptance . It comes down to loving and respecting who you are. Accepting there is no such thing as perfect. Accepting you are enough and worthy of everything you have ever wanted. Accepting and releasing the need to judge others and yourself. Accepting that we cannot blame any one or anything for our problems or our weight. Accepting that YOU! AND ONLY YOU are in control of your life and your body. Yes, you are! Accepting that you are entitled to the best possible life. I invite you to join me in accepting who you are today and releasing all harsh and negative thoughts and instead turning them into acts of self love. Making a healthy choice is self love in essence. You are enough.
Your health will blossom to then next level when you nurture the child within you.
Here are a few self love tips:
1. Love the Mind.
With the wealth of scientific data available to those seeking health, we often underestimate the power of the mind. The strength of our bodies, and our sense of wellness are so profoundly tied in with mental health. Depression, stress and fatigue can lead to a sense of despair that spirals into poor health and disease.
Feeling anxiety spikes hormones in your body that strain your organs that can make health almost impossible. We’ve all seen the gaunt, grey faced, sleep deprived corporate worker, determined to stay ‘healthy’ with aggressive exercise and diet regimes, and we’ve all seen the heart attack statistics for this demographic too.
There are a number of things we can do to create a strong wholesome mind, the foundation of lifelong wellbeing as well as physical and mental resilience. Such as:
2. Mindful Eating & Intuitive Eating
Respect your hunger + fullness
Relax with food – Make food choices that honour your health and foods that make you feel well. Food should make you feel good, even AFTER you’ve finished eating it. The instant gratification of a grease/sugar/salt bomb will be followed by queasy regret and poor energy and health outcomes.
On the other hand, be kind to yourself. Remember that you don’t have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy all day, everyday. You will not suddenly endure a nutrient deficiency or gain weight from one indulgent meal. What we’re interested in is building positive habits of mind, a sense of strong self-satisfaction and joy. We can support this journey with our dietary and lifestyle choices and in the end, it’s those habits that count. It’s what you eat consistently over time that matters. Your body is there for you- supporting you as much as possible.
3. Make Peace with Food
When you teach yourself to PAY ATTENTION to you, you can give yourself permission to eat. You can TRUST YOURSELF. If you tell yourself that you can’t or shouldn’t have a particular food, you’re treating yourself like a rebellious child – pretending that you don’t have control over your own body and its desires. This kind of split-personality thinking, where you ‘forbid’ yourself treats can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and, often, binging. I used to obsess about each and every food that passed my lips and it only ever did more harm than good. I believe that negative feelings associated with eating are worse for your health than the actual ‘bad food’ itself. Let’s work towards building a good relationship with our bodies.
Get off the ….. Diets
Say goodbye to fad diets…. They clearly don’t work! Or we would have all be on it and stayed on it right? Reject the Diet Mentality. Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently. They are all manipulative lies. They are the reason why we have a complicated relationship with food. It makes me angry! This was one of my biggest health challenges! To let go of the diet mentality.
4. Detoxed Body
I start my day with lemon water or apple cider vinegar to cleanse the liver and de-acidify my body.
Once your body is free of all the sludge that is weighing it down, it will be able to perform at its optimum. You will think better, feel better, look better, burn fat better and you will be able to listen to the real needs and wants of your body.
I’ve given up on spray tan and perfume; you’re just misting toxins into your body.
I use natural skin products (Evohe) or if you are on a budget and cannot afford the more perishable and therefore more expensive natural products, you can use organic coconut, olive or jojoba oil on your face as moisturiser and cleanser.
You can also create a cleansing mask with powdered green tea and coconut oil, or a sugar scrub to exfoliate naturally.
5. Respect your body
Give it love and praise. Like many young women, it took me a long time to achieve this. But the good news, with some self-work and self love you can do it. The second I did, my body worked in my favour; it healed itself. I nourished it with love and care. I filled it with foods from the earth and healthy flora and it has rewarded me with a feeling of health, happiness and an incredible sense of my own grounded self and my own agency in the world. I feel like I can do anything, and part of what I want to do… is share this feeling with you!
Want to bring more happiness to your life? Well then be THANKFUL for what you do have, and you will attract more good things!
I wake up every morning and write down/think of 5 things I am grateful for—-can you do the same?
Also see my blog entry on the power of vision boards, which are a great way to manifest your dreams into reality. By making your wishes concrete, putting them out of your mind and in front of your eyes, you begin to see and build the path towards them.
Affirmation of the week: I love and care for my body and it cares for me.
Hi Jessica, I believe in synchronicity so when I was guided to you .on FB I was intrigued and inspired. I turned 46 last week and my husband bought me your book. I wanted to thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a beautifully presented way. My copy is now filled with tabs and post it notes with actual notes throughout. I am dairy intolerant since having my gallbladder removed 15+ years ago, I don't eat meat, very minimal gluten and was told 12 months ago my gut was not digesting my food properly so I wasn't receiving sufficient nutrients and taking supplements would be a waste of time. My weight fluctuates tending to gain rather than lose but now I believe I have a tool to help me bring my body back into balance that I need for my health and longevity of life - so again thank you. The first few steps to creating a stronger path forward for my health has found its foundation in your beautiful book, The Healthy Life.
With kindest regards Samantha
I'm writing this email because I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog and how you really helped me in my health journey. Thank you for sharing all your advices and experiences.
When I started my studies, I was drinking lots of coffee and I was eaten the wrong foods, and feel bad about it, I wasn't at my best. So I had done some research on the net but at first I didn't found advices that are for me, and then I found your blog. It was exactly what I was looking for, good advices and healthy recipes. Now I'm following your advices on rest more, and snacks between meals and prep the meals and take time for myself to reconnect with my body and let go my anxiety, etc, and I have a more balanced life and have a new relationship with food thanks to you.
I bought your book and it's honestly the best book I have ever bought. I suffer from IBS and anxiety. I have paid so much money seeing naturopaths however after reading your book and all of your tips I'm noticing so much of a difference, so simple and easy to follow. And symptoms have dramatically decreased. Also you have helped me to relax. Currently drinking the protein health smoothie! Thankyou your amazing.
Hey Jessica! I haven’t yet brought ‘The Healthy Life’, but I do have the clean life and your slim down plan! I would like to thank you so much for the knowledge your share and the message you put across about health and wellness. I’m studying Nutritional Medicine in Melbourne and absolutely love the philosophy that you share with your JSHealth community. The work you’ve done to show people that leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t boring, tasteless, difficult or depriving is amazing and hope to share the message myself one day. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog , to share the message and have taught me so many things about my own health! You should be proud of your achievements! Thank you again
I searched for help and tips through the Internet and found Jessica Sepel. This is seriously not exaggerated, but she was the reason why I have dared myself to eat again, to have snacks in between, to nourish my body. I could slowly improve my negative thoughts about my body image and my stupid anxiety of gaining weight. Besides, The Cleanest Gut was awesome too! A huge thank you! Especially from my mum. Seriously, without you I wouldn’t be where I am now!
Congratulations on your new book! It looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been following you on Instagram for a few years and you’ve inspired me to slowly but surely eat healthier without giving myself a hard time when I don’t. It made me so happy (and weirdly proud) to see the Daily Mail article on The Healthy Life. I remember trying out your recipes before you even had your eBook out! I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Keep up the great work.
Cooking in this way truly brought out the foodie in me and has instilled a huge passion for health and wellness! Life throws you hard and frustrating things sometimes but I truly believe that this is where we learn more about ourselves and what our passions in life are! Thank you for inspiring me on my journey to health and wellness!
I am a yoga teacher in Johannesburg and am thrilled to have bought your book today. I love making healthy, nutritious food for my family, friends and fellow yogis! Thank you for this book and your inspiration (had to share a pic of my book on my recipe stand in the kitchen).
I bought your beautiful book during the week and told my bestie to go out and buy it also! I love love love it. It is the book I would give to my younger self if I could (I am 41 years old). Everything is just so sensible and informative and is definitely a book all teenagers should have. This should be a text book for girls becoming teens. I will love going back and re-reading it many many times and can't wait to make more of the recipes. Thank you Jess - you are an incredibly inspiring woman and you should feel so proud
My fiancé bought your book and we have cooked some of your meals. Amazing! I love your outlook on a healthy lifestyle and your hints and tips with preparing tasty meals are fantastic. Thanks for reviving us to live a healthier lifestyle and get our bodies wedding ready.
I want to empower you to make good choices, every day. I want you to enhance your understanding of health and nutrition. I'm committed to making sure you live the best life. Because you deserve it. Are you ready to start feeling great?
Let me know your email address so I can send you an eBook '7 Days on my plate' - a little gift from me to you!