You can Love your Body with these 4 Simple Tricks
Because hating our body is a full time job, and there are better ways to spend the time
In the past twelve months, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the relationship between women and their bodies in this day and age. What is extremely unfortunate, is that women accept to deal with body insecurities as if they were part of their lives.
Being unhappy with our bodies and having a disordered relationship with food has become the norm.
It is almost impossible to find a woman that hasn’t dieted, fasted or that haven’t spent way too much money or time to shed the extra kilos trying to match an unrealistic ‘standard’.
But the scary part is what happens when the curtains come down, inside a woman’s mind; the unsettling feeling of not being good enough, the bitchy conversations with her own self, the setting of unrealistic goals, the lying, the pressure, and the list is so, so long.
And because women nurture kids, kids tend to look up and imitate their mothers; and that is why this insane cycle goes on and on.
The ideal female figure has never been static. Whatever is today’s it-girl shape is just what has bubbled up in the cauldron of popular culture. And those physical qualities embraced today are often at odds with those from previous generations.
Instead of chasing the perfect body, how can we grow confidence within ourselves and, most of all, how can we stop this never-ending cycle of suffering and regret?
1- Be your own cheerleader
Tomorrow morning, when you wake up, get undressed and look at yourself in the mirror. Don’t glimpse but stare at your body; if uncomfortable feelings rise up, just breath in and ask them to leave the room. You want to sit in a judgement-free area for at least 5 minutes.
Unless you are a photoshopped image coming out of a glossy magazine cover, you will have to face a reflection possibly made of a bloated belly, sagging skin, deep stretch marks, pimples, and wrinkles. We all are human and we all are the same. Start by focusing on the part of your body that you like the most; smile at it, compliment it, remind yourself all the amazing things you have achieved thanks to that part of your body. When you are fully satisfied, smile, inhale and gently exhale and move to the next part of your body. Scan every single layer of your gorgeous being and give much love and care to those bits you are not really proud of.
I have always disliked my belly; it is not particularly big or bloated, but since I was a teenager I tended to hide it with my hands or a pillow. It became second nature to cover it and refuse to look at it. Until I started looking behind it, at the way it breathes, at the organs it covers, at how it harmoniously connects my torso to my hips. And then I felt the smooth skin, the rising and the falling of each breath…and I slowly started loving it.
When I catch myself thinking hateful thoughts, I compensate my negativity with 3 positive compliments. It works wonders, and it never fails. We just need to be consistent.
Have you ever heard that saying that goes: the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
Also the most beautiful and the most paid top models have body issues, even more than we do cause they are constantly drilled and pressured to meet the size zero standards.
On top of it, we don’t really know what’s going on in someone’s life, so why compare?
It broke my heart listening to one of my friends praising the body of someone she didn’t know; that person was actually dying of cancer and she couldn’t stomach food any longer.
What made us believe that skinny is good? Skinny is only good if you were born that way, but not if deprivation and starvation and disease are the tools used to achieve a low weight.
So stop comparing and start appreciating who you are; the number on a scale doesn’t reflect your true value.
And the truth is: the grass is always greener if you water it.
3- Be vocal!
Are you sick of people commenting, are you sick of seeing another ‘perfect’ human being displayed all around the net or in the magazines? Say it! Don’t be shy. It doesn’t matter where you are or how you feel at the moment. It is simply not right to feel belittled or objectified for the way you look.
There is so much talking about empowering women but as Kate Tempest says: ‘Women taking pole dancing classes and getting Botox is sold to us as taking control. We need to stop the clapping and take action.’
It is still clear in my head the day my former boss called me to his office and asked me to bend down and pick up a file from a low cabinet. The cabinet was empty and he was having a laugh. But men aren’t the worse, friends and parents can play havoc with our brains also when they are trying to be kind and supportive. So once again, be vocal! If you don’t want people to comment on your body, simply say it from a place of kindness. No one will judge you and most people will respect your request.
4-Realise you have come a long way
Every wrinkle reflects a moment in life where you have smiled or cried; every extra kilo reflects a time spent enjoying food maybe with friends and family, every injury comes after having used your body.
We are always changing and we are always learning, growing and expanding. Value those moments where you have lived and you have felt alive; think about all the past experiences, the knowledge and the wisdom that you have gathered. Focus on that next time you catch yourself in a mirror.
Laugh, spend time doing the things you love, be kind, eat healthy, sleep plenty and learn to embrace those saggy bits.
And remember that if you don’t love yourself, who else will?