Do You Accept Yourself...Body, Mind, Soul,
Or Do You Always Find Something Lacking or Wrong?
Wow, this is a big topic this week. I can't tell you how many of my beautiful peeps are having issues with this concept of self acceptance and healthy body image. Ok, truth be told, myself included :(
And in my opinion, its no wonder. Look around you at all the "beautiful people". Did you read the ads included in the paper today? Do you watch any TV? Do you look at magazines? What are the images that are shown? Pretty women, men, and children with lots of flowing hair, symetrical facial features, white teeth, and perky breasts and butts. "Perfect", huh? What are these people selling to us? Teeth whitening, diet pills or supplements, crazy workouts, prettier clothes, better hair, ...."you are not perfect, you can be better, and we have the solution for you".... It seems that these beautiful people can also eat all the crap food that they are selling to us all day long, every day of the week, with absolutely no consequences of bad health.
COME ON!! LET’S GET REAL
Body Image issues are at an all-time high in this country. 74.4% of normal-weight college women think about their weight or appearance “all the time” or “frequently.” 46% of men answered similarly. Its been documented that people feel even worse about their body right after watching TV or reading a "health" magazine. This is causing eating problems and obsession about controlling food intake, and can affect performance in the bedroom and contribute to risky behaviors. When we focus so much on our body and how we are lacking, the worse we feel about our body, which makes us focus on it more....a vicious circle of beating ourselves up. Wow, is anyone getting any living, working or loving done? When do we have time to do all that good stuff if we are so busy focusing on how horrible our bodies are?
So, you are not alone...
Allow me to redirect your focus:
Can you speak and express your ideas with your mouth and eyes?
Can you hear or read what a loved one shares?
Can you smile?
Do you have love in your heart for others?
Do your legs transport you out into the wondrous world?
Can you use your arms to hug?
Does your belly, breasts and butt provide some softness for a little one or your adored to snuggle?
Are you living your best life - without spending too much time on beating yourself up?
Jes M. Baker is an internationally know blogger and body activist with a mission to let us all know that we are all different, and comparing ourselves leads to a culture of low confidence and low self-esteem. She teamed up with the famous photographer Liora K. and photographed 98 women - naked, to show how we can all love our bodies.
"As the vehicles that transport us, our bodies are meant to be adored in full form.
In my personal opinion, it would be great if people realized that their negative comments or judgements towards people who they feel do not “fit” their perceived image of perfection say more about themselves than about the person they are directed to." - Jes M. Baker
So, may I sincerely ask all of you to be grateful for what you have. From gratitude, we are able to open our eyes to the gifts that we have with our bodies and beyond.
Then, get curious - from curiosity there is no judgment. Ask why you are feeling this way, what was the trigger, is what you are feeling true?
Lastly, let it go and accept. You are so much more. I know that because you are connected to me, and I appreciate you for your whole you.
PS. For those of you who need some more action steps, here are 10 from NEDA (NationalEatingDisorders.org):
One list cannot automatically tell you how to turn negative body thoughts into positive body image, but it can introduce you to healthier ways of looking at yourself and your body. The more you practice these new thought patterns, the better you will feel about who you are and the body you naturally have.
1. Appreciate all that your body can do. Every day your body carries you closer to your dreams. Celebrate all of the amazing things your body does for you—running, dancing, breathing, laughing, dreaming, etc.
2. Keep a top-ten list of things you like about yourself—things that aren’t related to how much you weigh or what you look like. Read your list often. Add to it as you become aware of more things to like about yourself.
3. Remind yourself that “true beauty” is not simply skin deep. When you feel good about yourself and who you are, you carry yourself with a sense of confidence, self-acceptance, and openness that makes you beautiful regardless of whether you physically look like a supermodel. Beauty is a state of mind, not a state of your body.
4. Look at yourself as a whole person. When you see yourself in a mirror or in your mind, choose not to focus on specific body parts. See yourself as you want others to see you–as a whole person.
5. Surround yourself with positive people. It is easier to feel good about yourself and your body when you are around others who are supportive and who recognize the importance of liking yourself just as you naturally are.
6. Shut down those voices in your head that tell you your body is not “right” or that you are a “bad” person. You can overpower those negative thoughts with positive ones. The next time you start to tear yourself down, build yourself back up with a few quick affirmations that work for you.
7. Wear clothes that are comfortable and that make you feel good about your body. Work with your body, not against it.
8. Become a critical viewer of social and media messages. Pay attention to images, slogans, or attitudes that make you feel bad about yourself or your body. Protest these messages: write a letter to the advertiser or talk back to the image or message
9. Do something nice for yourself--something that lets your body know you appreciate it. Take a bubble bath, make time for a nap, find a peaceful place outside to relax.
10. Use the time and energy that you might have spent worrying about food, calories, and your weight to do something to help others. Sometimes reaching out to other people can help you feel better about yourself and can make a positive change in our world.