Proven Steps To Love Your BODY
By Kat Gal
I have a confession to make: I am not perfect (surprise, surprise).
I am not perfect according to the photoshopped images the media is bombarding me with. I filled out my measurements on a website that claims to sell underwear to ‘real women’ for all sizes. “Sorry. We didn’t find anything your size.” Is what I read after hitting enter.
Clearly, I am not a ‘real woman’ and my size does not fit ‘all sizes’ (by the way, I am 5’4” at a healthy weight and my bra size is on the smaller side. Certainly not so unusual…).
But it doesn’t matter what the media says. I can pinch myself, I am here, writing to you, I am just as real as anybody else. I am not perfect according to the media, but I am certainly perfect in my imperfect way. My body deserves love just like anybody else’s.
Your body deserves the same loving too… lots of loving, actually.
But what can you do to love your body (even more)? This is what I am here to talk to you about today.
1. Take A Step Back And Recognize What Your Body Really Is
Your body is your home, a home to your mind and your soul – without it, you would have nowhere to live. Moreover, your body is a beautiful friend. It is your best friend that is always with you and is there to protect you. Even when it is in pain, it is there to give you information about how to lead a better and healthier life.
If you think about it, your body really is amazing. Despite all the beating it has to tolerate – junk food, sleepless nights, stress and negative self-talk – from you, it is there and is capable of some true healing and magical transformation if you take care of it.
2. Accept Where You Are At
It doesn’t matter if you are at a perfect weight, need to lose 5 or 100 pounds or perhaps even need to gain some, whether you are toned or jiggly or healthy or suffering from ailments, you can only start where you are at. Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up. In fact, you should continuously look for ways to take care of your body and better your health.
True healing and transformation is possible with the right steps to action and the right mindset. But you can only start where you are at with baby-steps.
Starting from a place of acceptance and love can allow you to continue your progress with a loving attitude and feel the love each step of the way. Body love is not about “I will love my body if…” but rather about loving it now, unconditionally and continue loving it throughout your life. Body love is about acceptance, respect, compassion and care.
3. Develop A Relationship With Your Body
To love your body it is necessary to develop a relationship with it. Notice your body and get to know it. Being in the shower is perhaps a good place to start: instead of rushing through with the soap and the water, take time to notice every tiny part of your body. Become familiar with every curve, every scar and every dimple. Recognize the story that each scar, stretch mark and fat cell has.
Yes, your body is carrying a story – your story. Be grateful for this story. Be grateful for your body for doing its best to protect you. Apologize for mistreating it. Don’t be afraid to speak out loud: have a conversation with your body. Make a promise to treat it well according to the best of your ability. Develop a physical and emotional connection with it like you would with a friend. Give yourself a hug. Seriously, do it!
4. Nourish And Nurture Your Body
Proper nutrition is necessary to keep your body healthy and functioning, to heal ailments and to gain energy, happiness and freedom. But food is only a part of it. It is crucial that you nourish your body in other ways besides with just food.
Air is the number one nutrient you need: breathe in deeply, slowly to calm your body and to improve vitality. Drink plenty of water to hydrate. Use natural, chemical-free products to lessen toxicity: your skin and hair will glow from treating it right. Exercise: moving your body helps to control your weight, to tone your body, to detoxify, to feel energized, to heal ailment, to improve your sleep and to better your movement.
With each step, with each movement, be grateful for your body allowing you to move. However, when nurturing your body, it is important to listen to it, because it is sending important messages to you on a constant basis. If you body needs sleep, give it some rest, if it craves exercise, get out and play, if it is hungry, nourish it with good food.
And one last thing: throw away your scale. Seriously! You are not a number and your body deserves to be loved unconditionally. Tossing the scale is liberating, trust me.
5. Change Your Language
Language is a powerful tool: what you say and think affects how you feel. Negative self-talk creates negative feelings, putting you into a negative cycle. Sometimes you don’t even realize how negatively you talk about your body: bad hair-day, fatty muffin top, ugly pimples and saggy butts. We all speak to and about our bodies with judgments, complaints and negative feelings.
It is time to change this. You don’t need to lie to yourself, but you can change your language, your attitude and focus on the positives.
Instead of being ashamed of the cellulite, say “It is true that my legs are not flawless and I have some cellulite, but boy, I am thankful they are strong and get me through my runs.”
Instead of being ashamed of that big butt, say “Sure I have a bigger bum that I would ideally like to have, but I am so grateful that I have some cushion to sit on.” Better yet, keep the acknowledgement quiet, but say that gratitude part out loud. Learn to accept and eventually love what you’re dissatisfied with. The parts you like, learn to love them and please, love the heck out of them.
6. Create Positive Affirmations
Affirmations are just another way to use positive language to create a mind-shift. Affirmations are no magic stick and they may not move you from body-shame to body-love within a minute, but every time you say an affirmation, a small shift happens in your brain.
It not only makes you feel better in the moment, but over time these tiny shifts can bring about a powerful transformation. “I love and respect my body. I am grateful for my body for giving me a home. I honor my body by treating it right every day.” Repeat these affirmations daily.
7. Realize The Bigger Picture
Realize that you are more than your body. Start viewing yourself from a holistic angle: your life is about a mind-body-soul connection. You are not only your body, but your beautiful mind and soul. Not only that, but this beautiful mind-body-soul of yours is connected to an enormous perfect Universe.
Notice the people around you, notice the animals, the plants, the mountains, the lakes, the clouds and the sun. Notice what you don’t see: the tiny microscopic bacteria, countries far away, life beneath the ocean, other planets and things you are not even aware of.
Realize that you are a tiny piece of the puzzle and your body is an even smaller piece of that. Stop for a moment and feel the connection to the entire big picture. When you do that, I promise you will feel humble and connected.
When you feel connected to the loving Universe, you can’t feel anything else, but love for yourself and your body.
Remember, loving your body is important, but it is complex: a physical, emotional and spiritual issue. Loving your body is a conscious and continuous daily practice. There will be ups and downs and it is a learning process, but it is all part of this beautiful journey we are on. Remember, it is all about progression.
How do YOU love YOUR body? Share with us in the comments below. As always, we’d love to hear and to learn from you.
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Kat Gál is a multi-passionate writer, world traveler, nomad, runner, and cat-person. She is a lifelong learner who lives outside of her comfort zones stretching her boundaries and discovering beauty around the world. She is a Certified Holistic Health and Life Coach who encourages others to embrace their unique authentic selves, follow their heart and find their own version of freedom in life.
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