What do you see when you look in the mirror? If something critical is the first thing that comes to mind, today’s post is for you.
I know we spend a lot of time here at Sublime Reflection talking about health and fitness, and often that seems to be focused on the outside. However, if you’ve been around here long, I’m sure you’ve heard me say a thousand times that my mission is to help you discover yourself from the INSIDE out. Part of that is realizing that you are MUCH MORE than your body.
This month, my favorite local lifestyle television program, Studio 5, has been promoting “body love.” Watch this fun, quick video!
Love Hate History
I have a long history of hating my body. Growing up, I was always bigger than my friends. Part of it was that I matured earlier, and I was always taller than all of them, and even taller than most the boys. It didn’t help that my mom constantly told me I needed to watch my weight. She’s tiny and never had to struggle with weight, so she doesn’t get what it’s like, and to this day, she doesn’t realize how much her words have hurt me. I was also a victim of sexual abuse as a child. It forever changed who I am, and affected how I feel about myself, and particularly how I feel about my body.
I can’t honestly say that I love my body yet, but I’m working on it, and there are certain things I do like. I like my hair, my eyes, and my smile. I like that even at my highest weight, I still had a shapely figure. I also like the intangible things. Even though I’m not that strong yet, my body allows me to workout every day. My hands are able to brush my daughter’s hair and hold my husband’s hand, and every time I look at my beautiful children I marvel that my body had a part in creating those amazing human beings.
If you are struggling to love your body, here are a few ideas that might help:
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others – I have a bad habit of walking into a room and checking to see if I’m the fattest one there. When you find yourself making these kind of comparisons, stop and think about all the things you love about yourself instead. For more on this, check out my article, Six Steps to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others.
Look at Exercise in a Different Way – If one of your goals is to lose weight, the food you eat has a far greater impact than exercise does. Don’t stop exercising, but change your mindset and do it because you love it, because it relieves stress, or because you love the aftertaste! Ultimately, the greatest benefit of exercise is that it makes your body healthy. Have that be your focus.
Set Realistic Expectations – The models you see on the covers of magazines are NOT realistic. They are airbrushed, photoshopped imitations of the real thing. There are so many amazing health and fitness bloggers online who are true sources of inspiration. There are also many inspiring transformations on Instagram, but as with all kinds of media, there’s unrealistic images there as well. Be careful of the media you choose to consume.
Learn to Accept Compliments – My husband tells me often that he wishes I could see myself through his eyes. You need to let the positive feedback in, and stop the negative self-talk. Believe what others tell you and focus on finding positive attributes in others as well. It will help you recognize positive things about yourself.
Dress your Best – There have been periods in my life where I’ve hung around in sweat pants and T-shirts because it was more comfortable than shopping for a bigger-sized pair of jeans. Buy clothes that fit your body, but don’t dress sloppy. You deserve to feel pretty no matter what you weigh. Take extra care to do your hair and makeup and you’ll feel better about yourself.
It’s important to remember that loving your body now doesn’t mean giving up on it. In fact, it means the opposite!
Join in the Fun!
Studio 5 is also promoting their body love project on Instagram. Do you want to join in? Take a picture of something you love about your body and post it on Instagram and tag it with #bodylove and #stopthefatchat. Also tag me @sublimereflection so I can check it out! You can see my Instagram post here.
If you’re interested in reading some other blog posts about the body love project, check out these awesome blogs:
If you’d like to read more on the subject of body love, I’ve heard great things about Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Self-acceptance by Rosie Molinary. The book incorporates practical techniques into a 365-day action plan that empowers you to regain a healthy self-image and start on the path to learning to love yourself and others.
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