“Dear You, Make peace with the mirror and watch your reflection change.” – Sohini
Did you know that you don’t have to like everything about your body to love it? Are you giving yourself permission to acknowledge that your body is never going to be perfect? Do you know that your value and worth has absolutely nothing to do with your body appearance? If you answered yes to these questions then you are practicing some serious body love – high five! When is the last time you told yourself that you love your body or specific parts of your body? Sadly, for most of us, it has probably been weeks, months or years or maybe you don’t even remember.
My shameful secret.
I’m going to share a big secret with you that most people don’t know. I have been ashamed of my body for over twenty years and used to abuse it in so many unhealthy ways (I still struggle talking about it). It got to the point where I couldn’t get through the day without crying in the shower or collapsing in my closet feeling overwhelmed by what to wear to hide all of my imperfections. Feeling utter disgust and hatred toward my body was ruining my life and I was suffering in silence. I desperately needed help. I walked myself into an eating disorder outpatient treatment center when I was 42 and have finally started to practice learning to love my body (with a lot of practice and professional support) and I hope you will too.
Bring some clarity to exactly where you are in your body loving practice.
When you look at your body in the mirror, where does your gaze go? If you’re like most women, your eyes are instantly drawn to the parts of yourself you want to change, the parts you hate. Because we’ve been practicing this for so long, we have unconsciously trained our brains to go right to those flaws every time we think about our body. And, we live in a culture so obsessed with body size, we judge and compare ourselves horribly. This can really be detrimental to our body image and we can end up practicing harmful behaviors. For example, starving, stuffing, over exercising, ignoring, and the list of abuse goes on. And all for what? To meet someone else’s expectations?
You are beautiful today (yes, right this very moment) and you matter every day. It’s time to open up and truly see and feel the incredible body that you have. Turn that body bashing into body loving. Flabby, shapely, perky, firm, fit, little or big, your body is marvelous and it’s time to start loving it for a change!
1. Your body is hands down one of the most amazing instruments you will ever own.
“Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you will ever own.” – Kurt Vonnegut
Our body is so much more than cosmetic. It houses all of our vital organs and is responsible for our thoughts, feelings and memory storage. Our body knows how to defend us against harmful bacteria and viruses. It regulates our body temperature, digests our food and gets rid of the things we don’t need. What’s even more miraculous? Our body can create another human being! No matter how many times we shame it, judge it, call it names or try to ignore it, it continues to work without interruption. It carries out specific functions necessary for everyday living. Wow! I’d say that’s worthy of some serious body love and gratitude!
2. It’s your only partner for life.
“Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live.” -Jim Rohn
Your body is the only life-long partner you will ever have. It works hard to house your mind, psyche and soul. Without fail it is there for you, behind the scenes, working 24 hours a day. That’s some serious dedication and commitment. Why wouldn’t you want to love your body and all of it’s loyalty to just you?
3. There are so many things unique to just your body.
“Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.” -Margaret Mead
Your smell, backside, skull, fingernails, pores on your nose and the way you walk are all things that are totally unique to you (to name a few). I empower you to own these things because you are like no one else!
As I get older, I have really come to appreciate my own unique assets and it has been such a freeing process. I used to spend so much of my time trying to shape and change my body into something it never was, never once pausing to appreciate its uniqueness. I was consumed by this need to conform to society’s ideal body type and it was a painful experience telling myself I didn’t measure up. Well, you know what? I don’t want to choose to feel that way because I do measure up and so do you. Fall in love with the uniqueness of your body and see how it feels for you.
4. It’s perfect just the way it is.
“You are imperfect, permanently, and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.” -Amy Bloom
There is not a wrong way to have a body. I want you to really hear this -THERE IS NO WRONG WAY TO HAVE A BODY! Wherever your body is today, it is perfect. Accept and acknowledge the reality of what is – too wrinkly, too short, too tall, too skinny, too big, whatever. This is where you are right now. Allow your mind and heart to rest peacefully in that. All of your quirks and imperfections may not be appealing to mass media but who cares? Your body is perfect just the way it is and I encourage you to celebrate that, not shame, judge or compare it!
5. You are your own brand of sexy.
“Your personality is what makes you sexy.” -Mollie King
That’s right! You are sexy in your own very unique and special way. Every part of you, all the way down to your toes. Sexy is not a size or shape. Sexy does not fall into a one size fits all. Our bodies are miraculous, no doubt, but our attitudes about our body is what defines sexy. The way your face lights up when you are doing something you love, the way you listen to someone in need, the way you walk into a room with confidence and the way you nourish and treat your body. These are the things that make you sexy as hell!
If you are working on loving your body I just want to acknowledge how hard it is. You are not alone and it’s not a perfect journey. I’m so proud of you! Loving your body is a process that takes patience and courage and it is so worth it. You are so brave – keep going!