Does it seem hard enough to like yourself, let alone love yourself, with the body you currently have?
Maybe you try saying self-love affirmations but you only feel like you are lying to yourself? Or maybe you have spent one on one time with the mirror trying to get more comfortable with your body but eventually think “what is the point?!”, and give up?
We have all heard about the importance of loving yourself. Learning to improve how you feel about yourself is vital to work on if you want to make lasting changes to how you feel in and about your body. But sometimes it can feel impossible when you really hate how your body looks right now. It’s a catch 22. Loving yourself will help you get hot and healthy, but you don’t feel you can love yourself until you are hot and healthy.
You are hungry and want something to eat, say, a muffin. But you decide against it because you plan to lose weight and your brain quickly reminds you; muffin in the mouth = muffin over the jeans.
But you really want a muffin! So instead you have a banana. But that didn’t quite hit the spot. So you have some almond butter with rice crackers. That didn’t do it either. Next is a few squares of dark chocolate. And now you have a full tummy but also an unsatisfied, gnawing feeling. You eat a bowl of left-overs to try tame it.
Before you know it you have eaten the equivalent of 6 muffins…and you still want a muffin!
So you eat a muffin. Arggghhhhhh!
It seems like such a ridiculous scenario when I re-read it. And yet I would do versions of this very thing time and time again.
Beautiful Photo by Bhumika Bhatia (source). You can also check her out here
Having a positive body image is not about forcing yourself to love everything about your body. Or having bottomless confidence for bikini wearing. Or calling yourself curvy instead of fat. Not that there is anything wrong with doing those things, it just doesn’t encompass what body image is truly about.
Having a beneficial body image is about realising that your body is just that, an image. It is about seeing that your body is an expression of the configuration of cells and energy that make up the house for your soul.
Learning positive body image is learning to separate who you ARE from the image of your body.
Story Time! Once upon a time there was the South Beach Diet. It’s a pretty standard low carb diet; I remember there being a lot of peanut butter. I was teenager who felt fat. Peanut butter and celery sticks as snacks sounded very doable, delicious even. I got my ass on the path to South Beach. The first few days were no problem. I followed the program and felt powerful and proud. Some weight was lost.
My willpower strained to contain my desire for bread. I started to get real sick of peanut butter. I started to get hungry. I slipped off the protein powered wagon and landed in a cushy pile of soft, white and refined delights. With an over filled tummy, the wagon was long gone. The weight that I lost was re-found; plus a little extra for starvation insurance purposes (our bodies are over protective like that).
So you ate too much at Christmas. Who can resist! All your family favourites laid out before you, champagne breakfasts, dessert at lunch, huge traditional dinners. Long, hot (down here in the southern hemisphere anyway) gin and tonic afternoons with soft cheeses and those delicious crackers you love so much. Leftovers.
Is all that celebrating is still having a party on your now jiggily tummy, or bloated face, or whatever thing happens to you when you know the scales have ticked up a few points?
New Years is coming up. That means resolutions. A new hope for starting habits that will last the year through. And down here in the southern half of the globe ‘tis the season for “Get your body summer ready!” (Not a condoning, just saying).
You’ve heard about a great new diet tip. Or exercise plan. Or eating rule. You can’t wait to get started!