I have a confession. One that as a Holistic Nutritionist, is a pretty hard one to make. In an industry that is perceived to be full of flawless, fit, young men and women who appear to never gain a pound – there are a few (actually, quite a lot) of health professionals who have some issues when it comes to loving their bodies. And guess what? I’m one of them.
I’m a real person. And I do understand that the people in my industry are too. But for some reason, it’s been harder for me to get over this idea that I’m supposed to be, look or act a certain way. I don’t always want to work out, but I do it as much as I can. I don’t always want to eat healthy, but I do it most of the time. I’m not always a peaceful, loving, glowing being of light. I’m Catherine.
When I moved back to Ottawa, I gained a lot of weight. I immediately thought about the perception of others within my industry, my clients and our readers. “But how can she be helping others obtain optimal health if she isn’t healthy herself?”. I completely fell out of love with my body and it showed.
I stopped wearing the things I loved – mostly because they didn’t fit right anymore. I stopped wanting to go out with my friends because I was embarrassed that they would think differently of me. I stopped wanting anyone to take my picture. In general, I wasn’t doing all of the things that I loved as much as I should have been. One of those activities is yoga. It seems contradictory to think that someone who is battling with their health wouldn’t want to gravitate towards the things that make them healthy right? Well, mindset is everything and sometimes it’s just not that simple in the beginning.
One day, I decided that I was done throwing myself a pity party. I looked at my reflection in the mirror and committed to making a real change. No, not a change in my appearance, so much as a change in my perception. Who am I to just stop doing all of the things that I love? Why am I putting so much weight on the opinions of others? It was time to start loving myself again. You have to start somewhere, because somewhere is a place.
So, I started with practicing yoga again. Yoga reconnects me to myself. It allows for me to feel every part of my body in a different and unique way. It places an unaltered emphasis on mind-body connection and awareness. Among the many benefits, the one that has resonated with me the most is the calming, mental restorative aspect. I feel more aware of my body and of the incredible things that it can do.
I made a small change that had a profound effect on my well-being. But, I did have a bit of help in the form of inspiration and motivation from our friends over at Gaiam. When you obtain the tools necessary to succeed, you can achieve more than you ever thought possible. At Gaiam, they believe that positive change comes from within and that there is power in taking small steps. With a focus on personal development, health, wellness and global consciousness, they have created products that renew the spirit, the mind and the body.
The vibrant colours and patterns of the Reversible 5mm Yoga Mat transports me to a place where I feel free to release my inhibitions and to leave them on the mat after I’m done my practice. Textured for easier grip, I’m able to move freely between poses with a bit of extra support. My favourite part is the fact that I get to flip sides to whichever mood I’m feeling on the day.
The Grippy Yoga Mat Towel fits perfectly on top of my mat for extra grip support. It’s great for when I sweat a little more than usual or for those intense hot yoga sessions. It even dries twice as quick as a regular towel, so when I need to pack up and go – I’m not lugging around a pile of my own sweat.
With the Metro Gym Bag, I’m able to throw everything I need in one convenient spot so that I have no excuses to get moving. It comes with multiple pockets, on the inside and out, as well as a cinch cord to hold my yoga mat. That way I can truly focus on my practice and not worry so much about the logistics. Oh and did I mention that it’s the cutest version of a gym bag I’ve ever seen?
Just because I have a bit of extra weight, it doesn’t mean that I can’t move the way I used to. I’m still strong, I’m still flexible, I’m still beautiful. Yoga isn’t for a specific body-type, it’s for everyone. Just remember that you are not the number on your scale. You are not the size of your t-shirt. It’s up to you to decide that you are worthy. It’s your choice to take your mental, emotional and physical health into your own hands.
“Your body can do anything. It’s just your mind you need to convince”
Be sure to follow along with my Instagram account! For more information and helpful tips, make sure to stay up to date with all things Health & Nutrition on my website, Catherine’s Cabinet.
Catherine Sugrue, CNP
Photos by Catherine Sugrue