This month’s SELF magazine, which focuses on the notion of finding your “happy weight,” has a great quote about body acceptance that I shared a couple weeks ago.
“Life is far too rich, interesting and short to waste on hating your body.”
I re-read the magazine in its entirety last night at the gym … and seeing that quote again just reinforced the message of really loving yourself as you are … hard as it may be for me (and so many of us) some days.
As I read, I found myself drawn in particular to two articles.
The first one (which I can’t find online) features six nude (but modestly/strategically covered up — it’s not pornographic or sexual at all) women of all different shapes, races and body types.
As I looked at each woman’s shape, I was able to see a bit of myself in each of them … in spite of their own variance.
But instead of dissecting my body and criticizing it like I might ordinarily do, while sweating it out on the Precor, I rather found myself thinking positive thoughts such as:
“Wow, my derriere is lifted, firm and toned, just like hers,” and, looking at a different woman, “my belly curves just like hers, and that little pooch is cute, not a problem-spot” and “hey, my legs are thick and strong like hers but look at how graceful she carries herself”
The things I might have previously deemed as flaws on me seemed … beautiful, empowering, strong … on these women. It was pure admiration — not self-admonition … And I think it was very neccesary for me to experience last night, in particular, after such a bad body image day.
The second article focuses on learning to love your body and the negative behavior so many women engage in called “body bashing”
The article talks about changing our thinking about our bodies so we can change our behaviors (poking our tummies, staring in the mirrors, asking our friends or significant others “do I look fat?” and other annoying habits so many women do).
I am guilty of so many of these things … and it’s not pleasant … not for me, not for my loved ones or my friends … the more I see it spelled out, the more I realize the need to change my thinking. Just like with anxiety and the CBT methods I’ve learned with Dr. G., … I need to apply them here to body image as well.
So what if I take small steps forward and then a little bump in the road, and a pebble, if you will, throws me off? I don’t give up.
I know myself — I will keep on trying because I do want to get to that healthy place– physically/mentally/emotionally where I love myself and my body exactly as I am. Not 10 lbs from now … but here in this very moment … now.
How about you? Do you love yourself exactly as you are? How did you get there — was it a struggle, or something you just felt?