Friday, October 14, 2016

Living Intentionally: Body--Loving your body



I'm pretty sure we can all raise our hands and name off one, maybe more things that we don't like about our bodies. 

When I was in Jr. High I was teased about my nose and my "bubble butt", or how about "thunder thighs". I have probably what would be called a Roman nose, and because I was always teased, had decided early on that if I were to ever have plastic surgery, it would be my nose. My nose is still the same as it always was, but I was so critical of myself back then I would have changed it if I could. When in all reality I was strong, and lean and honestly, just right. I think maybe I knew it, but had a hard time believing it. I grew up with probably an average self esteem. 

Unfortunately, we live in a world that is riddled with body shaming, photo shopping and air brushing. We are bombarded daily through TV, movies, and social media what an ideal woman should look like and what they should wear. Clothes are not made to always fit curvy bodies, and we are obsessed with "sizes". Survey after survey reveals that women are not happy with their physical appearance. I would even venture to guess that some who say they are, really aren't. While thinking about this topic I looked at several online surveys that had been conducted over the years. It is sad what they reveal about how we view ourselves. Psychology Today posted this survey. While it was an older study, it still showed how dissatisfied women and even men are with their appearance. Glamour magazine did a similar survey in 2014 that showed a spike in dissatisfaction from a survey done over 20 years prior. There are a myriad of surveys out there and they all seem to show that over half of women are not happy with their bodies.

I think it's time to stop hating the bodies we have. While there is a lot of negative pressure, I also believe that there is a rise in the positive message of loving our bodies and I agree with this. Loving our bodies doesn't mean we don't make changes that are necessary for our health. I believe loving our bodies begins with learning to love where they are at, right at this moment, even in the midst of getting healthier, even in the midst of discontent. It means being kind to them. Treating them well, speaking beautiful words over them. It means finding the clothes that compliment the house you live in rather than dressing for a size or fashion trend. It means not comparing yourself with someone else because while they might seem to have it all together on the outside, they may be just as unhappy or have something going on inside that causes unhappiness. It means not judging someone because of their body shape or size. It means filling your mind and eyes with positive images and messages. 

I am  not always kind to my body. I get easily discouraged when trying to shop for clothes and feel like I don't look good in things. But then I see someone who is larger than myself rocking an outfit and looking beautiful or someone smaller than myself complaining about how they look. It is those times I realize I need to change my mindset. I need to love my body where it is. Yes, I need to lose weight and exercise, but I need to love myself first where I am because what we speak has great power and speaking negative words to your body could potentially hinder a positive outcome. 

Do you love your body? Do you speak kindness to it, health to it, peace to it, beauty to it? 

I have found quite a few great thoughts on the National Eating Disorders page, because when I google words such as body image, loving your body, etc..that is the first page that come up. Head to this link for some thoughts on how to love your body. These are also some of my favorite things to STOP doing from Mind, Body, Green. A few of them:

1. Stop being mean to yourself when you look in the mirror.
2. Stop waiting to reach your goals and enjoy your body.
3. Stop thinking you don't matter because of the size of your body.
4. Stop letting the number on the scale or pant size define you.

A few ways to start loving your body:

1. Step off the scale
2. Accept your body type
3. Appreciate what your body can do
4. Take care of your body so it can take care of you.
5. Speak kind words daily.

I'll close this post with this video. Take some time this weekend to think about ways you can love your body. Make your own list. Tomorrow we'll take one more day on our body and ways to keep it healthy. 



With Joy Unquenchable,

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