Learn To Love The Body You Have
Every day I receive emails asking me how folks can change their bodies. Some emails are short and to the point and others are quite long in length.
As someone who has battled with my own body image for years, I TOTALLY get the frustration. In fact, for a number of years, my own self worth was attached to how I looked and what I thought others thought of me.
I always thought I was fat. I wasn’t one to embrace my God-given curves but felt they were more of a curse.
I don’t know when it started or where I learned it. I found myself trying every diet out their to achieve what I thought at that time was the perfect body. You know those, right!?! It’s women I saw on television or magazine covers, not realizing that they were more than likely photoshopped.
I ended up being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia (Fibro) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and my body began to change. All the things I could do, were almost all taken away from me. My body that I thought was fat, ugly and disquieting needed a whole lot of love and care. I began to look forward to what I could do each day and my thought process began to change.
So, you might be thinking, how do I learn to love my body? Well, there are 4 simple steps I want to share.
1. Focus on how healthy feels. Instead of obsessing about what your body looks like, focus on how you’re feeling. When you choose to make healthy choices, notice what happens to your body and your mental clarity and state of mind. With my RA and Fibro, the healthier I ate, the less inflammation I felt and with less inflammation came the ability to workout and exercise on a more regular basis. It was that good enough of a feeling to keep it up and continue.
2. Believe it and achieve it. Part of learning to love my body was just learning to love and respect myself. I didn’t go around telling other people that they were fat, ugly and disgusting, so why would I say it to myself? I had to change my thinking and the way that I spoke to myself. I began to speak in a more loving, supportive, nurturing and forgiving way. I began to use affirmations and practiced them daily. I’ll admit that it did take work and didn’t happen overnight but it did happen.
3. Practice gratitude. I used to be so tough on myself because I couldn’t do a full workout or run a 5k like some of my friends. Instead of being so hard on myself, I now give thanks. I appreciate where I’m at in my journey, no matter what point I’ve reached. That was an important lesson for me simply because my health had been taken away and there were a lot of things that I physically couldn’t do. When that kind of stuff happens, you begin to appreciate the things you’re capable of doing.
4. Give it time. Just like anything in life, give it time and allow yourself to go thru the journey with love and grace.
As you begin to make these changes, your body will transform and you’ll start to become at peace with yourself and remember this…“Your body is precious. It is our vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.” ~Buddha