No matter how imperfect you view your body to be, everyone has varying degrees of the same challenge to deal with: how can I love my body when it doesn't look like (insert name of supermodel here)?
It can be very hard to love yourself when you are too preoccupied with negative self talk, thinking about your cottage cheese thighs, muffin top, spots, scars, varicose veins or whatever else you judge yourself on.
The saddening thing is, if you don’t love or at least accept your body, it means you don’t love and accept yourself. This is an extremely limiting view that will lead to a limited life experience. If you don’t fully accept, honor and respect yourself, how can you experience your full potential? I am sure this is not what you want but it can seem impossible to know how to start loving yourself.
As surprising as it may seem, you can begin to love yourself more by focusing on your outside (your body) before your inside.
By starting to make choices that support the health and nurturing of your body, you can begin to appreciate the amazing vessel that your body is for all it allows you to experience. By choosing to nourish yourself with healthy lifestyle practices such as eating fresh whole and raw foods, moving your body and clearing out waste that is clogging up your system (and therefore preventing you from feeling clear, light and joyful), you are sending a message to yourself that you are worthy of nourishment.
When you eat poor quality foods, binge, don’t exercise or make time for the things in your life that keep you happy and healthy, you are telling yourself with your actions that you are not good enough or deserving of more.
Plus, regularly consuming foods and substances that are physically addictive such as refined sugar, processed carbohydrates, chemical flavors and preservatives, alcohol and coffee prevents you from feeling balanced and calm and having a clear mind. All of these foods create imbalances in your body and mess with your moods. Not a recipe for self love!
You can see that choosing to take care of your body can be an effective first step to love yourself more. You will show yourself you are worthy of making the best choices and investing time and energy in. You will start to feel better physically because of the healthy food you are eating and the attention you are giving to other practices that make your body feel its best. You will also start to feel clearer and more capable mentally and emotionally as no part of you is separate from another. If you give lone and attention to one part, the other parts will also be affected.
So what do you do from here?
1. Decide that you are worth giving attention to. If you don’t do it, no one else will do it for you and you’ll not be giving yourself the best life experience you can possibly have.
2. Eat a clean, mostly alkaline diet full of fresh produce. This will set you up to get the nutrition you need to have great energy and a body that functions well so you can focus on what makes you happy.
3. Move your body. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym. Fall in love with a type of movement that works for you and do it regularly. Decide that you will move in some way every day but it will only be something that makes you feel great and you look forward to.
4. Find the other practices that make you feel your best. It could be skin brushing, colon cleansing, napping, getting massages or anything else that makes you feel worthy, happy and healthy. Find them and then do them!
Whether you choose to work on your mind first or your body, the goal is to learn to accept and love yourself so that you can be everything you wish to be. That’s a goal worth pursuing.