Guest Contributor: Anne-Sophie Reinhardt
We’re taught to criticize ourselves. It’s time to stop.
Learning to love your body in today’s society can sometimes feel impossible. There’s so much bullying, shaming, and hating going on that accepting your body as it is is truly a revolutionary act.
However, if you’re fed up with feeling ashamed and guilty for how you look, there are three essential steps you can to take in order to fall in love with your body and experience the freedom that comes with feeling really proud of the skin you’re in.
Feel your body
How often do you actually really drop into your body? Do you ever do that? There’s so much external validation we feel we need: the number on the scale, the compliments and praise of others, the nods of approval of the fitness industry. But do you ever notice what it feels like to live in your body?
What do your feet feel like? Your arms? Your belly? Your thighs? When you become aware of them, what do you notice?
Make it a practice to take five minutes a day to just feel your body. Scan it from toe to head without changing anything .¨ simply creating the awareness of what’s there.
It’ll be interesting to notice your thoughts and emotions.
Like I said above, we live in a diet-obsessed, body-shaming world. There’s no point pretending it’s not there. In order to not fall back into hating your body and wanting to lose weight at all costs, it’s important to build resilience to those messages. You can do that by first becoming aware of what magazines, ads, TV spots, even TV shows want from you by shaming your body: they want your money. Nothing else. That’s why they tell you about the latest miracle diet or wonder drug – not because they care about your well being, but because they want to get even richer than they already are.
Second, realize .¨ and I mean REALLY realize .¨ that everybody you see on TV, in magazines and in campaigns is altered to the point of not looking the tiniest bit like the real person behind the ad. It’s not just photoshop these days, the alterations begin by slewing stuff into clothes because models are so thin.
You cannot ever look like the women you see everywhere: because they don’t even look like that themselves.
Whenever you begin to compare yourself to models and actresses, say this to yourself and look around to how beautiful real women can actually look. And guess what, you’re one of them.
Respect your body
That’s the most important step. Go back to respecting your freakin’ body. Whenever you restrict, go hungry, or exercise to the point of vomiting, you are disrespecting your body in major ways. And let’s face it: your body does not deserve to be treated that way. Ever.
Your body is doing incredible things for you, all day, every day, and all you do is work against it, treat it horribly, bully it, and hate on it.
How about taking a step back to realize how amazing your body really is? How about taking a step back, refocusing and instead of hating on your thighs respecting them for carrying you through this world? How about being thankful for your heart that’s beating endlessly? How about being happy that you have eyes that see and fingers that write? How about that?
In the end, falling in love with your body is a decision you make and a practice you commit to doing every single day. There’s no magic formula and it is not about the way your body looks, but how you feel about it, in it, with it. If you accept that, you’ll soon be deeply in love with the living being that you call your body.
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