On a recent trip to Italy I learned a lot about food, life and balance. Some say the Mediterranean diet is the healthiest, what I observed was much more than simply food. I noticed how comfortable people were in their own skin. On a leisurely day on the beach I saw women of all sizes and shapes having fun without being concerned with their appearance. I watched while women everywhere seemed to care less about a wrinkle, sagging, extra body fat and it was extremely refreshing to say the least.

We as women have been so conditioned to believe we need to be perfect instead of loving and accepting ourselves for who we are. This mindset keeps industries alive and thriving while our confidence and health is failing. I admired all the women who felt confident without makeup, surgery, and all the bells and whistles we are told we need in order to be considered beautiful. And you know what? Those women were the most beautiful women I have ever seen because they love and accept who they are. They didn't try to change or fit into a model that has been designed to keep us depressed and searching for unattainable ideals.

Loving and accepting ourselves is a key component to being healthy. We can eat all the kale in the world and still not be healthy if we look in the mirror and feel the need to alter our appearance in order to be happy. It causes stress and a disconnect from ourselves and that is not a foundation for healing or wellness.

So how do we make a shift as women and learn to love ourselves more?

First know that you are enough. You already have everything you need inside of you. It's society that has distorted our image of self. Learn to trust yourself and honor the real you.

When we love and accept ourselves, our body and mind have a greater capacity for health and vibrancy. Allow yourself to be authentically you. Honoring all the parts that make you who you are is extremely healing.

Place value in yourself. Try to take the focus off how others view you and pay close attention to how you view yourself. How we speak to ourselves is incredibly important. Our bodies do not have a chose they believe what our minds tell them. Speak to yourself with loving words each day and watch how your body responds with love and trust.

In order for the body to heal and have vibrant health as a whole our mental health has to be placed as a high priority.

Each day do something that makes you feel loved and honored for the unique being that you are. Something simple such as making the bed, a warming cup of tea, smiling at yourself in the mirror sends a positive message to yourself that you are important.

The results of practicing self love are endless and will infuse your life with joy and appreciation.

So, if you were to ask me my thoughts on the Mediterranean diet I would say its the lifestyle with the practice of self love and acceptance that truly equates to optimal health.

The beauty lies in the perfectly imperfect.

Xo Jessica Rose

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