Recently a client said to me, “I was looking at pictures of me a few years ago and I didn’t realize how skinny I was. I always thought I was so fat and looking back I really wish I would have just enjoyed being young and skinny.” That comment got me thinking about how many people feel that same way.
Why do we as woman beat ourselves up constantly about our body image? We are never pretty enough, thin enough, always asking our friends do we look fat in this, etc. How many men do you know ask another man, do these pants make my butt look big? Probably none! haha
Why do we not spend time enjoying our body and embracing the changes it goes through as we age? I think that we as woman (who are always trying to make ourselves look better or trying the newest exercise fad to make our butts less saggy) need to take a step back and enjoy where our body is right now. I am not saying we shouldn’t want to make our bodies better and eat clean and exercise, I am just saying that we should love the body we have now the way it is at this moment and know that it is perfect right now.
A few exercises to love your body more:
Mirror Exercise: Louise Hay talked about this exercise in her book called “You Can Heal Your Life.” Sit in front of a mirror and look into your eyes and repeat the phrase “I Love You, your name)” You can start small by just saying it for 5 minutes and then work up to a longer amount. Try to do this exercise for at least a month. It may feel awkward at first but believe me it will make a big impact.
Watch your language: We would probably not have any friends if we talked to them the way we talk to ourselves. Take a few minutes to reflect on the way you talk to yourself. Do you constantly criticize yourself about how you are not pretty enough, how you have wrinkles, that your legs are too big, etc. For the next few days (to start) every time you hear yourself say something negative about yourself, turn it around and say something positive about yourself instead. Start making this a daily habit and you will soon realize that the negative will go away and you will only be speaking positively about yourself.
Loving what is: This mantra can be contributed to the work of Byron Katie, learn to love what is. You could say over and over you should be skinner, you should have a flatter stomach, etc. but you are what you are. You start to love who you are right now and learn that you are perfect exactly the way you are, it can be very freeing.
Try these three exercises and observe how your attitude starts to slowly change and you start to really feel love for yourself. And take the time to love and enjoy your body now!