DANIELLE PASCENTE- A NOTE ON SELF LOVE
Posted on 24 February 2015
Image via @carbon38, photographed by Maggie Zulovic
What does Self Love mean to you?
I think there is SO much that goes into “Self Love.” If I had to narrow it down though, I would say self love means taking care of yourself, your body, and your health with the utmost regard. I would also say that self love means to take it easy on yourself EVEN when you don’t feel your best. Continue to practice positive comments in regards to yourself and your body.
Do you think Self Love is important? Why/why not?
I do think self love plays a big role in your mental health. If you don’t love yourself and your body, it has a way of showing itself. If you love yourself first and foremost, you become a confident individual. You don’t let each criticism get to you, you create great relationships, and you have a positive outlook on life.
What do you think is the most common reason for people not loving themselves?
I think the pressures of today have shifted SO much over the years. The ideal body type is NOT what it used to be say 20-40 years ago. There is so much hype about the model-esque waify look. But to be honest, the media hypes up just about everything. Whether you are a runway model, sports model, mother who just had a child, overweight, overweight and lost weight, underweight and gained weight…..IT DOESN'T MATTER what or who you are because the media will find a way to criticize it. This is why it is so important to have a sense of self love and know that it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks but you. People will always criticize. As long as you are happy, and you know what you are doing to your body/putting in your body is overall healthy…..then keep going!
Have you always loved your body, how did you learn to love your body?
I have always been happy with my body. I was an athlete my whole life so I loved being able to see muscles and just being strong. When I first moved out to Los Angeles, I think I struggled a little bit with finding that “perfect body type.” There were a couple years where I let the criticisms get to me. I realized though that I wasn’t an athlete anymore. I didn’t have to go to practice 2 times a day so I was being held accountable for my own workouts. I think in my head I would always be able to maintain that athletic body, but the truth is your metabolism changes as you age and you simply cannot just expect to keep doing the same things all the time. In those two years I was really able to dig deep and find what worked for me! I created a body that I truly did love and that was FUNCTIONAL. Fast forward 6 years, and I am so happy now with where I am that nobody can influence or change that. Now if someone says “your too ripped, too muscular, too tall, too lean, not muscular enough, not thin enough, the list goes on…..” It doesn’t bother me. I love the way I train and I love the way I feel. That is so much more important to me than any paycheck or job!
When you're having a bad day, or feeling like you’re missing your glow - how do you get back on track?
Oh gosh….we all have those days right?! We are all too hard on ourselves though. It is inevitable that you may wake up with those feelings on certain days and that’s OK to have them. My biggest piece of advice is DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP. Take a second to have a moment if you need. Look at yourself in the mirror and gain perspective. “You are beautiful, you are healthy, and you are loved.” Cheesy as it may sound…..it’s not the end of the world if you are having an “off” day. Instead of moping about and letting those feelings take control of you….flip the switch around. Head to the gym and get a great workout. Go take a yoga class with a friend. Go for a hike. Get outdoors. Sweat a little bit. Eat healthy foods and hit a quick restart button. The only way to get out of that head space is to CHOOSE to go elsewhere. The moment I step foot in that gym and start my workout…..I immediately gain perspective of how grateful I am for my body! It is a performance machine. It has 2 functional arms/legs. My heart is beating. My body is fully functioning. For that, I am so blessed and thankful.
Do you have a favorite thing you do to pamper yourself?
I love going to the day spa every once in a while. I will leave my phone in the locker which is so nice to disconnect even for 2-3 hours. I will go in each of the rooms the spa has to offer. My favorite is the steam room. I love the smell and just the way the heat really opens up your whole body! After long weeks of working out, my muscles thank me for doing this.
When or where do you feel most happy?
Nature! There is nothing quite like getting outdoors for a beautiful hike or run. I grew up in Arizona so hiking was a huge part of my life. When I came to Los Angeles, I made it a point to find great outdoor hikes and locations where I could run on the days when I don’t want to be in the gym! There is nothing quite like being in nature alone. It’s where I feel most at peace and most happy.
What's your favorite thing about your body? (could be feature, body part, strength, etc.)
In general, I love that my body is strong! I went through 9 months of rehab once for an injury and I couldn’t workout at all. I lost all my muscle and I hated feeling weak. Overall, I’m just truly grateful and happy that my body is strong. If I had to pick one body part I would say my legs because they are capable of a lot. Being a runner makes you seriously appreciate these babies!
Do you have a Self Love mantra or tip you can share with us?
I saw this online a few years back and I printed it out and hung it in 3 spots throughout the house to always remind me “I AM ENOUGH.”
“I am confident: being me is enough, and I choose to be the best me that I can be. I am worthy of being respected and acknowledged, and what other people say or do won’t affect the way that I view myself. I contribute things to this world that no one else can....and I will love myself day in and day out.”
Celebrate #selflove with #teamvieactive this month