Friday, April 14, 2017

5 Ways to Love Your Body When You Don't Love Your Reflection


Hello my dear Besties!  I'm sorry I've been MIA the past few days...you know, spring break has a way of doing that!  But not to worry, I'll be back in full swing next week, and I've got lots of fun ideas for posts!  

For today, I'd like to address a topic that many of my lady friends, including myself, have struggled with over the course of our lives...and that, of course, is body image.  One of the most difficult things about body image (and believe me, there are 229,349) is that women believe it just comes with the territory.  It's part of being a woman.  There's always something we wish we could change about our appearance...that's just the way it is.

But this isn't just an issue that women contend with.  I've seen countless young men who also struggle to believe good things about their body and appearance.  Unfortunately, this is one of those issues that affects almost everyone at some point, to varying degrees.  

The good news is, a shift is happening.  REAL women with REAL bodies are being portrayed by more and more advertisers.  Those women and those bodies are being celebrated...I'm talking about ALL shapes and sizes.  I've been following a few fearless Instagrammers and bloggers who are helping to redefine what a "bikini body" is.  One Instagrammer posted this the other day:

How to have a bikini body:
Step 1:Put a bikini on your body.

Love that.  There is no such thing as the perfect body.  We all know that the "perfect" images that are being sold to us in magazines are airbrushed, posed, and fake.  So why do we still have such a struggle with embracing our bodies?  Why is it so hard to look in the mirror on any given day and love what we see?

There are about a zillion reasons, but mainly...we've been fed a whole bunch of lies from basically infancy that we are not good enough, that our bodies should look a certain way, and that our worth comes from how many compliments we get.  I know because I, too, have believed them. It's time to retrain our brains with the truth.  It won't be easy.  It will take a lot of soul searching and hard work.  But we can do it.  Here are my top five suggestions for loving your body when you are having trouble loving your reflection:

1.  Stop Comparing.  This is numero uno for a reason.  I mean, we have got to STOP IT ALREADY with the looking around and comparing our bodies to other people.  Whether you're comparing yourself to a Victoria's Secret Angel or your sister or your co-worker or yourself five years ago...it's time to just STOP.  It's not healthy and it's not helpful.  The next time you catch yourself comparing your body to anyone else's, recognize what you are doing and make it stop.  

Here's how:  mentally (or out loud if you are feeling extra brave) compliment that person for what you have noticed is working for them (i.e. "Haaaaay girl!  You look amazing in that dress!") and then mentally compliment yourself for something.  Seriously.  It may sound cheesy, but it needs to happen.  You don't just get to notice good things about other people's bodies.  Nope. Not anymore. You go ahead and notice them, and even compliment them if you like.  But then you also need to compliment your own appearance.  What's working for you?  Be thoughtful.  Be sincere.  And be kind to yourself.  


2.  Count your blessings.  Appreciate all that your body does for you on a daily basis.  Our bodies are crazy, amazing, ridiculously awesome machines.  Have you ever considered just how much we take them for granted?  Your breathing just happens without you having to think about it, your body goes where you want it to when you tell it to, your teeth chew your food, your eyes see this beautiful world, your skin regenerates and regenerates to heal wounds.  The list goes on and on.  There's always a way to be a Debbie Downer when it comes to our bodies, I suppose...but I'd much rather be a Positive Polly.  Haha YES, yes, I did just say that. #socheesy #myblogtho

3.  Know that you are unconditionally loved and it has absolutely zero to do with your appearance.  As we head into Easter weekend, I am absolutely reflecting on just how dearly I am loved.  Regardless of what anyone else thinks or says or feels about me, I know I am so incredibly loved by God.  And so are you.   That truth is life changing when it comes to how we live, but also when it comes to body image.  No matter what my body looked like ten years ago, no matter what it looks like today, and no matter what it looks like when I'm 90 years old...I am loved the same.  Praise.

4.  Post a positive affirmation about your body right on your mirror.  This can be a quote, a scripture, or just something nice you want to tell yourself.  The other day I wrote: "You are fearfully and wonderfully made" on a bright yellow post-it and stuck it on the full length mirror in my bedroom.  It's from Psalm 139 and it basically means:  "Thank you God for making me so wonderfully complex!  Your workmanship is marvelous - how well I know it."   It encourages me to remember that God made me exactly how we wanted me to be...and He does great work. You post whatever encourages you!

5.  Get some help.  As I said earlier, we have all struggled with body image at some point or another.  However, if body dysmorphia or an eating disorder is ruling your thought life and stealing your joy, contact a therapist or doctor ASAP.  We get this one, precious life...living in a constant cycle of fear and self-loathing is such an unnecessary waste of it.  There's no shame in needing some support to get your life back on track.

My sweet friends, I hope you found something encouraging here today.  This is a battle for so many of us, but I am confident that together, we can keep each other pointing toward truth.  I'm hopeful we can make strides toward self-love, self-compassion, and body appreciation every day.  It may be a long process, but you're not alone on the journey. 


3 comments:

  1. LOVED THIS!Spreading the wealth! 💕

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ali! So glad to hear that!! :)

      Delete
  2. LOVED THIS!Spreading the wealth! 💕

    ReplyDelete

 

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