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The first thing that jumped out at me in my Inbox this morning was an article by Kate James from Total Balance; Nurture Your Health without the Guilt , about how much pressure we can put ourselves under to do everything ‘just right’.

Kate talks about how guilty you can feel if you think you’re not doing it right and I agree wholeheartedly. A book I’ve just read, ‘Dying to Be Me’ by Anita Moorjani highlighted that until you can be comfortable and accepting within and really nurture and nourish yourself, you will be always searching for external ways to make you feel better. It seems we need continual reminders!

‘Love yourself first and everything else falls into place’ ~ LUCILLE BALL

There are 15 great tips offered by Kate in Nurture Your Health without the Guilt. I’d like to add to these after I share a little bit of my story.

As a perfectionist I had always tried to do the right thing, even if I felt it was against what I truly wanted. In my twenties I went on the ‘low fat everything’ band wagon and even remember freaking out when my Mum was cooking with olive oil. There was no 80/20 rule in my mind! My poor Mum. I can still recall trying to tell her that she should be using non-stick pans and no fat at all. How wrong I was! It wasn’t only myself I was putting under stress, but also those around me as I was trying to instill in them what I believed to be the ‘right’ thing.

The stress of trying to do the right thing was possibly worse than the stress I put my body under by being ‘fat free’ for so long. It’s little wonder I needed to have my gallbladder removed after my 2nd baby came along. My body hadn’t had fat to digest for way too long and my gallbladder gave up! This wasn’t the only instance of my ‘trying to be healthy no matter what’ journey.

I was stressed because (I now realise) I was living in a place of fear instead of a place of love. It wasn’t just the ‘low fat’ phase. Then there was the chemicals, the gluten, the dairy, the processed food, alcohol not to mention worrying if I was doing enough exercise or the right kind of exercise and was it for the right amount of time. Letting my body guide me wasn’t something I’d ever heard of, doing what was right for ME.

‘A miracle is a shift in perception from fear to love’ ~ MARIANNE WILLIAMSON

Fear was a big driver in my desire to ‘do the right thing’, whatever that was at the time. This fear places us under so much stress and guilt comes along for the journey.

My own journey has been a big learning curve and it wasn’t until I read Kate’s blog post that I thought, FAR OUT, that was ME! And still is if I let fear get in the way. My motto is now ‘Done is better than perfect’ and being gentle on myself, loving and forgiving is a great way to live.

So here are some more tips on how to how to nurture yourself when enough is enough

1. ‘Give yourself permission to be imperfect’ Kate suggests. Say this to yourself every morning, seriously!

2. Rick Kausman’s ‘If Not Dieting, Then What’ book is great (as Kate mentions) and there’s also instant stuff you can glean from his website here.

3. Every evening before bed write down 3 things you loved about yourself that day. Keep a journal just for this.

4. Put the scales away. Scales are for fish. They are no measure of your health. Check out the Merry Maker sisters here for an inspirational story on weight and health.

5. Make health and happiness a priority over your weight and repeat number 1 OFTEN.

6. Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle

7. Connect with nature and really feel your presence in that space. The air on your skin, the sound of the earth under your feet, the movement of the plants in the breeze.

8. Schedule time every day to do the fun stuff. If you don’t put it in your calendar it probably won’t happen.

9. Is your use of Social Media making you feel good or not so good? Do more of the good and less of the not so good.

10. Turn your lips up at the edges. Lots of times. Every day. Even when you are feeling blerk.

11.Write down everything you have going on in your life and think about (then action) what you can let go of to make more time for you, to nurture you.

12.Talk about this stuff openly. To your friends, male and female. The more we share the more we can change the world and make it a more awesome place.Loving and nurturing yourself is the key.

Putting yourself first is not selfish. If in doubt,check out ‘5 Reason’s Self Love is Not Selfish‘, by Dani DiPirro.

Kate had 15 tips and on how to nurture yourself without the guilt and I’ve added 12. Pick one thing to do today to create new habits in your life and let go of the toxic emotion that guilt is. I’d love to know which one you choose, which one jumps out at you and says ‘pick me’? If you can think of more tips, please let me know.

Thanks Kate @ Total Balance for an insightful article, Nurture Your Health without the Guilt. It gave me lots of reminders and I’d love to share these tips with as many people as I can.