A cancer diagnosis and the subsequent treatment can morph your body. It’s not easy to love the way you look as your body endures so much trauma. When I was going through treatment, I hardly recognized my body: when I looked in the mirror, that feeling was confirmed.
A life of hating my body, is not a life that I’m interested in but how do we get back to the path of self-love? I’m chatting with the Badass Life and Nutrition Coach (and my personal bestie), Lana Price-Wright, to gain some insights.
Amy: How did you start the Badass Life Coach?
Lana: I realized everything that I had been working towards in weight loss, wasn’t going to bring me happiness. The truth is that weight loss was separate from body image. They are two separate entities and you have to work on them separately - not together. When the scale goes down, it’s a temporary high but it doesn’t fix the happiness. Many people think, “if you lose weight, you’ll achieve your dream life.” But that’s not the case unless you are working on all of it.
Amy: That’s interesting. I’ve never heard anyone say that you have to work on them independently. I’ve never thought about it that way.
When you work with people on body image, what type of work do you do?
Lana: It’s about finding the root of the problem. Where is this idea coming from? Who told you that you aren’t allowed to love yourself? I think we blindly believe ourselves for a long time. Like, “cellulite is bad.” We heard that somewhere along the way and now we just assume it IS bad. Do we actually believe that to be true?
Do we actually believe we lose our beauty if we lose our hair? Of course not. We need to remove the pressure to be that perfect person and we can choose to love ourselves in every moment. That word is important “choose.” You are making a conscious choice to love yourself in this moment. You won’t love yourself 24/7 but if you can make those choices and bring awareness to those negative thoughts, that’s the first step.
Amy: I’ll often hear people say, “I want back my pre-cancer/ pre-baby/ younger body.” What do you say to someone?
Lana: You are no longer that person. You are much wiser, stronger because you have learned so much. Of course, it’s hard to think that in the moment but if you can look back and think wow I did grow a lot. I am no longer the person I was because I am so much better now. With body image it is tough.
Amy: It seems like more and more people are talking about getting botox, or getting eye lash extensions, or getting plastic surgery. What do you think about doing things like that in terms of body image?
Lana: Everyone’s on their own personal journey so chase that, get after that. But it goes back to the main question, is that inner work there as well? Are you doing something because you think you NEED it? Or because it makes you feel good? If you think you need it, then ask yourself, what or who’s standard are you trying to live up to?
Amy: For me, long hair equals beauty. What do you do if you are in that state where you simply cannot have the thing you equate to beauty?
Lana: I don’t always like comparing myself to other people but you can find other women who you admire with different hair styles and think “wow they can rock it! I can too!” Admiring someone for their beauty is such a positive thing. Then question – why does the long hair make you beautiful and why doesn’t short hair? It all comes back to questioning your beliefs.
Amy: At times, I’ve fallen into needing to have external validation. I hate that I rely on that. How do you move away from needing to have external validation?
Lana: External validation is a temporary high. I feel good in the moment but it goes away. You can learn to trust your own validation. For example, today was really hard but I made it through. I didn’t freak out or only had 4 freak outs. There is a lot of freedom in knowing you don’t need anyone else’s approval. You probably don’t validate yourself enough for all the hard work that you do. We are so hard on ourselves. We are easily kind to everyone else but ourselves.
Amy: When women go through treatment, body weight often fluctuates. Many women lose weight. Many women gain weight. What would you suggest to someone who wants to lose weight after treatment is done?
Lana: Give yourself time. Once you remove yourself from treatment and get your appetite back, you’ll be able to move more because you aren’t so fatigued. Give yourself some time. Take it slow. You have to be super kind to yourself.
Move your body in a way that feels good. Do activities that you love. It’s going to be ever changing.
Amy: Consider if you have someone who wants to change their diet for the healthier. How would you track someone’s progress without a focus on BMI or weight?
Lana: This is one of my favorite questions. There are so many markers to health and we get to choose what they are for our own journey. If you just want more energy and you know that if you take a walk at the start of the day you have more energy, then that is the first step. You can measure your success by your energy or how far you walk. How’s your mood? Did you eat a vegetable today? Did I drink enough water? Then these markers will change as you hit them. But celebrate it as you go!
Thanks so much to Lana for taking the time to share your incredible insights. If you are interested in learning more about Lana or working with her directly. You can find her on Instagram @lanapricewright
The information shared does not constitute a medical consultation and is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with your doctor or other qualified health provider for questions regarding a medical condition.
Please do not disregard professional health provider advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here. In the event of a medical emergency, call a doctor or 911 immediately