ABOUT KIMBERLEY RECORD
A wise mentor recently advised me that, if I’m going to write a book about body image (which I’m currently in process of doing), I should be prepared to talk about that topic for the next 20 years.
Well I’m happy to share with you that I’m not only prepared to do that, I’m totally fired up about it!
It’s a topic that’s already consumed over 20 years of my life – just from the wrong perspective: the negative, all-consuming, life-limiting one.
Thankfully I’ve come out on the other side, and I’m committed to reaching out and pulling as many women (and even men!) as I can over with me.
I’m a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) and Body Love Coach; I love food and the pleasure of eating; I haven’t touched a diet book in over 5 years; I can confidently don a swimsuit all year round; and I’m proud to say that I have absolutely no idea how much I weigh.
But it wasn’t always that way!
Although I’ve never (by medical standards) been overweight, my emotional relationship with food and my body image was a HUGE, distracting struggle for me from a very early age. One might even say it was a problem I was born with…
From the time I was 3 years old, I was insecure about my body (seriously, not an exaggeration – my Mom says I was probably the only 3yr-old ever to complain incessantly of having fat thighs). I tried my first diet at 11, and became a model at 15.
Modelling actually helped me to build my self-confidence for a short time (or so I thought), until I met with a reputable agency at 17. At a healthy 137 lbs on my 5’8½” frame, I was told that in order to succeed, I would need to lose 12 lbs, grow by a ½ inch, and get braces for my “imperfect” teeth.
In under 15 minutes, my self-esteem and my self-worth were shattered.
This marked the end of my modelling pursuit, but it was the beginning of many years of body-weight obsession, calorie-counting and a relentless focus on my imperfections. Unhealthy habits, like weighing myself up to 6-7 times a day (!!!) and embarking on countless new diets, became a regular part of my life for almost the next 15 years. My weight (and accordingly, my self-esteem) fluctuated constantly, and interestingly, I gained instead of lost the 12 lbs.
ALL areas of my life suffered, and it was only when I realized that my life was on hold because I’d subscribed to someone else’s standards that things began to turn around. It didn’t happen overnight, but taking the first step was the first step towards my freedom. In fact, with that very first step towards discovering my own standards, I realized that:
There’s no such thing as the perfect body; and the only way to truly love our bodies is to first love who we are.
My body became a secondary focus to learning about who I was, what I was passionate about, and what kind of life I wanted to create for myself. However, each step closer I got to feeling my true self, my body did indeed change – as nutrition, fitness and good mental, emotional and spiritual health became foundational elements for helping me move forward.
Each step I took, especially in the beginning, required more energy, focus and strength than I even knew was possible, and I learned that I needed to support my body so that it could support me through them.
Leaving a depressing corporate marketing job to pursue full-time nutrition studies was the first step; followed by leaving an unfulfilling marriage and home with little more than my car and my cat; followed by moving across the country to start my life over again with no idea of the next step…. None of these – my first, pivotal, self-discovery and life-changing steps – would have been possible without my health.
Nor would any step I’ve taken since, and there’ve been many to get me where I am today – which is now a mom, partner, entrepreneur and Vancouver Islander who gets to enjoy watching the sunrise over the ocean and mountains without even stepping out of bed! I assure you, I wouldn’t be here if I was still allowing my body image to define my self-worth.
My body is my vehicle, not my identity
Today, I know that my body is nothing more than the physical vehicle that transports me through my life’s journey. I respect it for the role it plays in helping me express who I am, but it’s not who I am.
Though this mindset requires on-going maintenance (I’m still human after all!), it’s been worth the effort to develop the right maintenance tools – especially now as a mom and role model to my 7-year-old daughter, Eve.
Amidst societal pressures, I want her to grow up with the tools that allow her to separate her size from her self-worth; to nourish her body because she loves it; to enjoy and appreciate nutritious food; and to be confident in who she is, no matter what opinion anyone may express about her looks.
And I don’t just want that for her – I want that for all women, of all ages.
This is my vision for a new definition of beauty for our future:
I love helping my daughter build up her own “Body Love toolbox”. Let me help you create, sharpen, and maximize your tools! Contact me for your free introductory laser coaching session to find out if this is the right solution for you.
P.S. Some of my favourite tools in my own toolbox include: yoga, writing/journaling, beach walks, morning snuggles, gratitude, smoothies, running outdoors, hot/cold water therapy, inspirational books, dedicated “play” days, family movie-nights, and a firm belief in angels and miracles…and of course, there’s always room for more – which I love to share regularly on my blog.
P.P.S. If you’re like me, and want to help make a difference in the self-esteem, future and quality of life of young girls everywhere, I highly recommend checking out my favourite global campaign for this cause: Because I am a Girl