This topic has become more and more prevalent with the growth of the health and wellness industry. There is more awareness now than ever before about taking care of our bodies, fueling our bodies with healthy food, moving our bodies regularly, and attempting to find balance. Although all of these components are incredible and long overdue for us to be addressing, it also comes with an expectation. That when we do these things we will fall in love with our bodies and exude confidence. In some cases, this may be true, and in others, it may be a bit more of a challenge to achieve this thing we consider self love and more specifically body love.
“Working in the health and wellness industry I have felt an extreme amount of pressure to have the “perfect body”. I believed that it was a package deal. No one will want to work with me if I don’t have the perfect body. Right? Wrong. But deep down that was what I believed when I entered this career. It’s funny the expectations we put on ourselves that have nothing to do with other people.”
Maybe no one else expected this of me, but I expected it of myself. I started working out harder to achieve that “perfect body”. I started going to extremes to attempt to make the outside look perfect. But what I found, was that no matter how hard I worked out, how clean I ate, or how much I talked about body love, I hadn’t fully connected to what that truly is. I had no idea that it had nothing to do with the way I looked, but everything to do with how I viewed my body and others as well.
When I began to realize this, my ideas started to shift.
We are accustomed to judging ourselves so harshly. To attempt to live up to the impossible standards the media sets for us, that we lose sight of the beauty that we possess. Once I realized that, my vision started to change. I started to move my body because it felt good and I loved the release that it allowed for not only my body, but for my mind. I started to eat well, because it felt good to fuel my body with food that made me feel good. I started to treat my body the way that I treated others, with love, kindness, and compassion.
I started this exercise where I wrote affirmations on post it notes and placed them on every mirror in my house.
I knew that was the first place I would pick myself apart and therefore I had something to immediately change my perspective if I went to that place. Instead of looking in the mirror and saying “this should be different, you can do better in this area” etc. I started looking at my affirmations that read:
“You are perfect in the skin you’re in”
“You are worthy”
“You are beautiful”
I started setting intentions at the beginning of everyday to love my body, to treat it well, and to be kind to myself. Those affirmations were always there when I needed them, but at this point my perspective was beginning to change. If I wanted to criticize my legs, I would repeat that these legs allow me to spin, run, and move freely. I am lucky to have legs that move and work. If I wanted to criticize those few extra pounds, I would change the conversation in my head to: this is where I live freely and enjoy my life. This shift in perspective allowed me to find a sincere gratitude and appreciation for my body.
“It allowed me to be grateful for the things I picked apart for years.”
Our bodies are magical and allow us to do so many incredible things, so why are we so quick to pick them apart?
Loving our bodies and positive self talk is not easy everyday. It doesn’t happen overnight and some days are easier than others, but once the perspective has changed, we can view our bodies differently.
We can find gratitude for our bodies. For the amazing things that they do for us every single day. I wouldn’t have my dream job if I didn’t have my body. Flaws and all.
So take a moment today. Tell yourself something you love about your body. Even if it’s small. We all have to start somewhere. Allow yourself to truly connect to the gratitude and love that you have for that part of your body. And go from there!
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