Why is it so Hard to Love Your Body?
Imagine you woke up tomorrow without an ounce of angst or frustration toward your body. It would be as if I waved a magic wand and the internal battle against your most loathed body part simply vanished. POOF! Would you still come and see me for your training session? Would you skip your morning cardio session? How different would your day be?
Now imagine that you lived this way for a week. You felt completely comfortable in your own skin. You loved the way you looked in all your clothes and you never felt self-conscious about any part of your body. How differently would you carry yourself throughout all your activities that week? Stretch this out to a year. How different would your life be?
Kind of fun to imagine, or is it? After the initial “weight off shoulder” reaction, did you happen to imagine your body’s appearance change in a way that would be defined as “unattractive” by social norms? In other words, did you see your body turning into a rolly polly, fat slug?
YES? Well, you are not alone. The unknown physical reaction that might possibly result from accepting and loving your body is what keeps so many people stuck in negative body image mode. Because, lets face it, if you completely loved and accepted your body why the heck would you do any of the “healthy” things you do right now anyways, right? (Yes, I am being sarcastic)
From talk shows to magazine cover, we are told to love and accept our body but no one ever really explains what this really looks like. First off we need to get out of black and white thinking. Loving your body doesn’t mean not taking care of your body. In other words, it doesn’t mean lying around all day and over eating the bon bons day in and day out. This type of habitual behavior is certainly not healthy NOR is it loving to your body.
Loving and accepting your body is a personal balance of work and play. It is staying mindful and aware of how your body is feeling in any given moment and responding to those feelings responsibly and in a kind and caring manner free of judgment and guilt. Simply put, it is reconnecting to your body and getting out of your head. This is a simple but not easy. This is done in many ways and is different for everyone. For me it’s yoga, meditation and Pilates but for others it might be taking a walk or getting a massage. The activity itself is not really important. What is important is that you find “your thing” that allows you to reconnect to your body.
The absolute first step in loving and accepting your body is to not be scared to love and accept your body in the first place. You cannot hate your body into loving it. On the other side of the fear that holds us trapped yet safe inside a world of certainty is a beautiful life waiting to be realized. POOF! The body love starts now.
“You do not need to seek freedom in a different land, for it exists with your own body, heart, mind, and soul.”