Okay, ladies, it’s time for some real talk. So, have you experienced weird and strange things happening to your body? For example, you wake up and all of a sudden you have an ache that wasn’t there the day before, and the ache sticks around for like a week? Or you haven’t really changed your eating, but all of a sudden, you’re putting on weight? Or you find yourself irritable and snapping at people? Or, my favorite, you just can’t think straight, it feels like you’re trying to think through mud?
Yeah, me too. Our bodies change. And that’s what this episode is all about; how to deal with our changing bodies with a lot of love, a lot of compassion, and a lot of grace.
Bonjour, and welcome to The French Kiss Life Podcast, where personal development meets style. I’m Tonya Leigh, certified master life coach and the hostess of this party, where we explore how to live artfully and well. Each week, I’ll be sharing inspiring stories, practical tips, and timeless wisdom on how to elevate the quality of your everyday and celebrate along the way. Let’s dive into today’s episode.
It is time for a Community Spotlight, the part of the show where I get to spotlight one of you who has benefitted from the French Kiss Lifestyle. And today’s spotlight is Tia.
She wrote a five-star review that reads this, “Life-savers and the value of a gracious life. I’ve been listening and working with Tonya’s programs for the last five years. I found Tonya’s work just after my divorce. I was craving a life that I loved, and it’s a process. But I do love the journey that I am on. Some of it is crazy. Some is glorious. And some is downright ridiculous. Tonya’s work and this podcast is like a real good friend that has been walking there beside you.”
Oh my god, Tia, I love walking with all of you on this journey of life, being a witness to each other’s growth, experiencing the glorious and the ridiculousness together. It truly is part of my big why, having this incredible community. And so, it’s been an honor. Lady. Five years, how crazy is that? And I’m looking forward to many, many more with you and this amazing and beautiful community.
So, listen, if you haven’t left a review, what in the world? Head over to iTunes or Stitcher and let me know how this podcast has touched your life.
Hello, my beautiful friends. I am so glad that you are here. I am going through an interesting time in my life and I want to talk about it on today’s episode because I feel like so many of you can relate. I feel like I’m going to be getting some amens from the congregation.
So, I am in my mid-40s and I am in the best shape of my life in terms of mental, spiritual, and emotional health. Now, do not take that to mean that I don’t have hard days. Do not take that to mean I don’t have my challenges. I’m just so much better at navigating them and managing them.
But physically, ladies, my body is doing things that feel out of control. Let’s see, the things my body is doing. I am experiencing brain fog for the first time in my life. That’s fun. I’m also not as energetic. There are certain days of the month where I just want to go take a nap, I just want to rest.
There are things happening like I don’t eat that much. I definitely follow eating until elegantly satisfied, and even still, like, things are depositing on my body in strange ways. And probably the most disturbing of my symptoms – there are some other ones too, but I’m just listing the big ones.
But the most disturbing is definitely the brain fog, but it’s also that three days out of the month, I go extremely dark with my thinking. It just feels like this shade comes down on my life and I’m looking through dark-colored glasses. That’s what’s going on with me.
And I found myself getting frustrated because, again, I’m at a time in my life where I feel so free. I’m at a time in my life where I have so many goals. I am so ready in a way I’ve never been ready before because I really do believe that life can get better and better as we get older. And I’m dealing with the realities of what my body is doing right now.
And so, I found myself being frustrated. And then, I also noticed that I was starting to have health anxiety. When your body is not functioning the way that you’re accustomed to it functioning, you start to hyper-focus on it and you start to spend a lot of time and energy thinking about it. Your attention is there, and so that’s all you experience.
And so, I’ve been watching myself do this for the last few months. And then finally, this past week, I was talking to a colleague and I realized what I was doing. I was making it worse by my thoughts about it and by giving it so much time and attention and focus.
Now, that does not mean that I’m ignoring it. It does not mean that I’m going to pretend it’s not there. But in every moment of our lives, we can spend time focusing on the parts that we don’t like, or we can spend time nurturing the parts that we do. And I’ve been applying that same principle to my health and to what is going on in my body and the changes that I’m experiencing.
So, the first step for me is to accept my body and how it’s showing up in this moment. and this one is hard because I want to change it. I want it to be different than what it is. I don’t want the brain fog. I don’t want the irritability. I don’t want to go dark a few days out of the month. I’m not happy about the extra weight that I’m carrying in my midsection.
I want to change it. But what I know from experience, from years of struggling with my body and my weight, fighting it never works. If you want to change something, you must first accept it. Because if you don’t accept it, what you’re going to end up doing is spending all of your energy fighting and being at war with your body, versus being in alignment with your body, being friends with your body.
I don’t want to be at war with this vessel that takes me throughout my day, this home and this world. And so, the first step for me is to accept it. The second step is for me to be friends with it, to love it, to be compassionate with it. And what that looks like for me is checking in with my body and asking it, what do you need right now?
And sometimes, it does need a nap. Sometimes, it needs to go on a walk. Sometimes, it needs a smoothie. Sometimes, it needs me to just let it be what it is being in that moment without judgment. But once you accept your body and how it’s showing up in this moment and then you befriend it, then you begin to have a conversation with it.
If you’re at war with it, there’s no room for discussion. There’s no room for understanding. There’s no room for curiosity as to what is happening. And so, I want to be friends with my body, no matter what. No matter if I’m gaining weight. No matter if I’m irritable. No matter if I can’t think straight. I still want to love this body that I’ve been blessed with, even when it’s changing.
And I feel like even more so when it’s changing. I feel like that’s when my body needs me the most, just like any relationship that we have. We enjoy and love the relationships that are full of kindness and understanding and curiosity and love.
And so, we are in relationships with our bodies. So, the question becomes, can you love your body the way it is in this moment and the way that it’s showing up? So, accept it. Befriend it. And then, the third thing that I’m doing is I’m just noticing my thoughts about it.
Because my body is neutral. Having brain fog is neutral. Having extra weight around my midsection is neutral. Being irritable can be neutral. But if I tell myself stories like, “This shouldn’t be happening. I don’t want this. This is the end of my life. This is only going to get worse. This shouldn’t be happening…” I think I already said that one. You can tell that’s one that often comes up for me, “this shouldn’t be happening…” well obviously it should because it’s happening, right?
But I like to monitor my thinking about what my body is doing because I can either think about it in a way that empowers me, that offers me relief, that feels a little bit better, that creates determination and commitment and hopefulness and love and kindness, or I can think about it in a way that creates more anxiety, more fear, more self-loathing, more resistance. And we need to be very mindful of what we are creating energetically in our lives.
The way I like to think about it is if I’m already having physical symptoms that are uncomfortable, the last thing that I need to do is to add layers of emotional resistance on top of that. It’s only going to make the physical symptoms even bigger because our body is always responding to our thoughts and our thoughts are always responding to our body.
So, for me, by accepting it, by befriending it, and by being mindful of the thoughts that I have about it and not nurturing thoughts that don’t serve me, I’m able to relax into what is. And that’s when I get all of my power back. Because just because you accept something, doesn’t mean you don’t change it.
But to change it, the first step is accepting it and befriending it and being curious about it. So, for me right now, I’ve moved into that stage of, “What am I going to do about it?” and my actions are coming from such a place of love, not from a place of fear and resistance and self-loathing. Can you see the difference?
Because that’s how most of us go about changing, especially our bodies. We think we have to be hard on our bodies, we have to hate our bodies, we have to resist our bodies to change them. And that’s just ow how it works.
And one of the things that I know to be true is that you can take an action out of fear, or you can take an action out of love. and you may end up with similar results. But how you feel is going to be so different. I know this from my whole weight loss journey.
There were many years where I beat myself into weight loss. And you all that have tried to lose weight know what I’m talking about, right? It’s like, you restrict yourself, you deprive yourself, you try to work out. And you can lose weight doing that, but at what cost?
You still didn’t take care of the real issue, which is you being mean to your body. Equally, you can cut back and eat healthy foods and do it from a place of love. and that way, when you do it from that energy, you end up creating results. But it’s a result that you love so much more because, number one, it’s sustainable. And number two, you didn’t have to hate yourself to create that for yourself.
And so, that’s sort of the way I’m thinking about this new physical journey that I’m on with my body. I’m looking at how I finally lost the weight and kept it off and I’m applying those same principles to understanding what’s happening in my body now. And so, in terms of things that I’m doing, one of the things that I have noticed, ladies, is that I cannot drink wine the way I used to.
Not that I was ever a big drinker. But I was someone that could have a glass of wine every night. Or on the weekends, I could have two or three glasses of wine and it really didn’t bother my physically. But now, I can feel it.
One glass of wine, I’m okay. But if I do one glass of wine every night, it’s like the cumulative effect of that, I can start to feel it in my body. And so, I’ve cut back on my wine consumption.
The other thing that I am doing is really paying attention to how foods feel in my body because, here’s the thing, when your body feels great, you don’t really pay attention. It’s when things start to break down a little bit and you’re like, “Oh, I need to check in and see what’s going on.”
And so, I’m just noticing, do I feel better with carbs? Do I feel better without carbs? What type of carbs feel better? Do I feel better with meat and protein? Do I feel better with more fat? I’m just staying curious with my body and just paying attention to what gives me vitality, and then what takes away my vitality.
And it’s really easy for us to fall into this mindset of deprivation. And I hear this a lot, especially from my women who want to lose weight. They’re like, “But I feel so deprived.” But I don’t see it that way at all.
If I have to give up certain foods for health and vitality, that doesn’t make me feel deprived. It makes me feel alive. It gives me strength. It gives me health. And so, you can see just by looking at it differently, you can begin to embrace whatever changes that your body is asking of you and not run the story that you’re deprived. It’s all about mindset.
The other thing that I’m doing is I’m giving myself permission to rest, which actually is hard for me. I’ve never really been one of those people that can take siestas in the middle of the day. I mean, it sounds lovely, and I’ve attempted. But until now, I’ve been an energizer bunny.
In fact, one of my good friends reminded me of that the other day. She was like, “I was on that Tonya train a long time ago and I just couldn’t keep up,” because she would go on vacations with me and I just had so much energy, which I don’t have right now. And that’s okay.
And all that means is that I get to rest. And doing that without guilt, doing that without running the story of, “Oh, but I should be doing this.” No, in that moment, I just need to rest. And when I listen to my body, my body is going to guide me back to health. I just know it. I know it 100%.
And so, sometimes, my body is like, “You need to rest.” Sometimes though, if I’m really paying attention, my body will tell me, “You need to get up and stretch. You need to go for a walk. You need to go to the gym. You need to do something physical.”
And so, again, it’s about me paying attention to what my body is asking for. I’m also seeing a doctor who is a specialist in hormones. Because I am convinced that most of what’s happening to me right now is hormonal. So, I want to see the data. I’m geeky like that. Maybe it’s the nurse in me.
But I want to see what is going on in my body for it to be doing these weird and crazy things. Because I refuse to believe that just because I’m getting older, it means that I’m not going to have as much energy, I’m not going to have as much vitality.
Now, in this moment, I don’t. And I’m excited to figure it out. I think life is a big experiment. I think our bodies are these amazing vessels that want us to experiment with what works and what doesn’t work. And so, I’m really excited to see this doctor next month so I can see what is going on with me hormonally.
And I know from that conversation, I’m going to have different things that I can do and probably a new protocol. I may be asked to give up certain foods that I didn’t even know I should be giving up. I don’t know what’s going to come out of it. But I am so open to all of it.
It’s like I say, bring it, I was made for this. And so was my body. And so is yours. I’ve been coaching a lot of women around health anxiety and it’s really interesting and fascinating that I’m experiencing it now as well, which I think is going to make me an even better coach when women bring me their health issues and all of the anxieties and worries that they have around it.
But what I want to leave you with, with this episode, is that all of your emotions, whether it’s worry or anxiety, or fear, or frustration, which I’ve had all of those when it comes to my health recently, what I do know to be true is that all of those emotions are being created by thoughts in your head. They’re not being created by what your body is doing or not doing, but by what you’re making that mean.
And so, if you’re experiencing health anxiety right now, number one, just love yourself through it. There’s nothing wrong with being anxious. It’s part of being a human. And when we fight the anxiety and we think it should not be there, that’s when we become even more anxious.
So, again, step number one is to accept it. But then, just look into your brain and notice the thoughts that you’re having. Because that is what is creating the health anxiety. And that, you can manage. That you can control and redirect your brain to focus on something else. So, for me right now, what that looks like is that I’m paying attention to what is going well with my body, how it is supporting me, how it is healthy.
I’m focusing on how I can walk. I’m focusing on how I still can run a business, even though I have bran fog. How amazing is that? Even though some of the things that come out of my mouth may not make a lot of sense. But I’m going to still show up. I’m going to keep on living as long as I have life within me.
And some days, that may mean that I’m living a little slower. Sometimes, that may mean that I get my words jumbled. Sometimes, that may mean that I need to take a nap. But I can promise you this; I am going to keep on living. And I want to invite you to do the same.
It is time for J’adore, the part of the show where I get to share something that I love with you. And since we’re talking about dealing with our changing bodies and loving our bodies no matter what, I wanted to share some of my favorite body products with you.
Because here’s what you may not know about me. I am like a bath time connoisseur. It is one of my favorite times of the day, when I get to just go into my bathroom, run a beautiful bath, or an amazing shower, and just take care of my body.
I am convinced that it’s these little rituals in a woman’s life that adds beauty and elegance to our everyday. It’s not just taking a bath or jumping in the shower. It’s the intention. It’s the time. It’s the slowing down, to do something for our bodies, that our bodies so deserve.
Because think about it. Our bodies work hard for us all day. Do we take the time to appreciate our bodies and put beautiful lotions on or different scrubs or bath salts? All of these little things that really do elevate our every day, and for me personally, it’s like a celebration of my body.
So, a brand that I’ve come to really enjoy is called French Girl. And they make many different products for our bodies, but the one I want to share with you today, I’ve really enjoyed using. It’s their Rose Sea Polish Smoothing Treatment. So, basically, it is a sea salt scrub with coconut oi and shea and cocoa butter that just adds so much hydration to your skin. And it also has a hint of rose, so it’s a beautiful feminine scent as well.
And it’s just the ritual of doing it, not to mention how good my skin feels after I have used it. And so, I wanted to pass that little J’adore along to you because I really want us to be ladies who honor and celebrate our bodies, no matter what. So, head over to frenchkisslife.com/frenchgirl to check out the Rose Sea Polish Smoothing Treatment.
Have a beautiful week, everyone, and don’t forget to love your body.
If you enjoyed this episode and you want to dive even deeper into the French Kiss Lifestyle, let’s start with a makeover; a mindset makeover. You can download my free training, The Three Mindset Makeovers Every Woman Needs, by visiting frenchkisslife.com/mindset. Because, after all, mindset is the new black.