Episode 69: End Your Body War with Nina Manolson
Nina Manolson, is a Body-Peace® coach. Nina helps people end the war with food, body and finally feel truly at home in their body as it is.
Nina shares with us wisdom from her 30 year journey in this inspiring and open conversation. There were definitely moments of common ground and I am sure you will relate to our conversation too. Nina shares that her journey began as she didn't have a positive or healthy relationship with her body, which lead to her taking her personal healing journey and transforming it to a professional journey also.
Nina expresses that it was a combination of working as a body massage therapist and coming into contact with women and their body concerns everyday, training as a therapist to understand more about our inner thoughts and feelings towards our bodies and then training as a nutritionist to understand more about the foods we are physically eating which lead to these aspects coming together to become the "nourishment dynamic" to enable others to create body peace. Nina shares the importance of understanding that it's not about just what we eat or how we are feeling about our body, it is a combination of everything.
I'm sure we can all relate to looking into the mirror and having negative thoughts about an area of our body, or eating a certain food and feeling shame or anger towards ourselves. This is also known as "body war". This can affect our mood, our mental health and increase our feelings of anxiety and unhappiness. Culturally and socially it is common to think about or discuss our body in a negative way without even realizing, but this can change. Body peace is where we can be present and accepting of our bodies and thinking about what we need to fulfil our body in that moment whilst focusing on appreciation and kindness towards ourselves.
Our body is the only body we have, the relationship we have with ourselves is the longest relationship we will ever have. If we consider the type of relationship we have with others and compare that to the inner relationship we have with ourselves, it's usually a huge contrast! Nina goes on to share that one of the largest factor that many of us are often trying to counteract is the diet culture, a 72 billion dollar industry filling us with knowledge of how to improve and fix our body. She also shares the importance of connecting with ourselves and being open to discover what our bodies actually want and need.
One method to enable us to take a step towards retuning and getting back in touch with our body is simply by taking your hand and placing it on your heart, then practice trying to breath gently while moving your hand. This will bring your awareness back into your mind and into your body. You can also say 'hello' to yourself and your body. This powerful method can open you up to listen and hear your body and create some space for your inner thoughts and feelings. You can also follow the link here to Nina's website and begin the inner conversation with yourself with her free body-peace journal.
For those who have children or younger family members it is so important to have a positive relationship with your body, we're modelling the thoughts for the future generations that their size and appearance does not affect their worth. There is so much more to us all than our appearance's.
Nina explains that there is a perfect middle ground we can reach between a restrictive, calorie counting diet culture driven relationship and the complete opposite of an over-indulgent, out of control relationship with our body where we can meet in the middle with ease, feel in control and comfortable in our own skin. Many people find themselves feeling fearful or worried if they are not restricting themselves and may find themselves going back into the cycle of dieting and not nourishing their body effectively. The amount of energy you may be putting in to obsessing over your body image or what you should or shouldn't be eating can take its toll on your physical and mental health.
I also wanted to ask Nina to share her wisdom around body image and ageing, I like to think that ageing is a beautiful and natural process but I know many of us struggle with the process of watching our body change over time. I loved Nina's approach of focusing on 'pro-ageing' rather than 'anti-ageing', we can focus on ageing well with vitality and enjoying the process along the way rather than comparing ourselves to our past body image. It's important to remember that our bodies are always changing, it's easy to feel fearful or resentful of these changes. The most positive way to approach this change is to be 'body current' and accept the way your body is in this present moment and delve into how you can best look after your current self. Nina also touched on the process of embracing her now beautiful silver coloured hair, she reflects on her own Mother's hair turning silver over time and encouraging her to fall in love with it in all it's natural beauty before moving forward to have that same conversation with herself years later.
I wanted to wrap up our conversation by understanding Nina's viewpoint on the connection with anxiety and how this all links in with our body image and sometimes unhealthy food habits. When we are feeling stressed, over-stimulated, or anxious, our nervous system is heightened and we're more irritable which may then lead to us being comforted or relaxed with food. This can easily lead to binge eating or using food as a coping method rather than to nourish our bodies. Working towards body peace can also help us to work towards balancing our nervous system and create new, healthy methods which will enable us to relax our bodies in the most supportive ways. We all deserve to feel safe and at home in our own bodies which is something myself and Nina are both extremely passionate about.
I really hope you've enjoyed this conversation as much as I have.
If you would like to listen in to the 50 minute podcast episode, you can click here. You can also Download your FREE Body-Peace Journal here. Plus, you can check out Nina's Instagram page and website.
Love, Sam x