An alarming number of women dislike, or even state that they hate their bodies. Every time I hear this, it makes me sad. Although, I’ve been guilty of this feeling, too.
Where does this self shame come from? It isn’t just women who gained weight or now have stretch marks from pregnancy. I’ve heard statements from women with every type of body imaginable.
So, why? Is it the media’s push for perfection? As women, we are bombarded with images in magazines, movies, shows- you name it. Most of the women’s magazine covers are filled with ways to lose weight, look sexy, and be happy, yet their cover also stars a heavily photoshopped woman. I remember buying stacks of women’s magazines as a teenager, and becoming obsessed with their contents. I tried every hair and makeup tutorial, workout, and even read about how to please men, before I was even engaged in that kind of relationship.
This ideal is unobtainable in real life, especially since it’s not even an accurate photograph of that woman. These articles focus less on health, and more on surface appeal.
We know this, especially now. Yet, we can’t seem to get past the negative self talk that plagues us when we look in the mirror.
I was also a girl who was bullied for her weight. The breaking point for me was in 8th grade, where a group of girls asked if I was pregnant. This led to enormous image issues and disorders. When I lost weight (not in a healthy way) I was deemed too skinny. At one point I was, but it occurs to me now that there’s no winning with other people, not really.
I’d like to change the conversation in my own mind, and hopefully help yours, too.
In what ways is your body spectacular? Think about it. What we worry about is on a very basic, cosmetic level. Sure, we don’t look like VS models, but who really does? Instead of focusing on that, shift the thought process along with me.
For 28 years now, my body has carried me. It has faced illness and disorders, a miracle pregnancy, and healed from a major abdominal surgery. It breathes, every moment, without thought. It heals scabs, grows hair, replenishes damage, and allows me to walk, talk, and be.
When I forget about the cosmetic things I’d like to change and focus on the amazing tasks it performs without conscious thought, my body amazes me. Give it the right tools, and it will heal. Exercise, and it will be stronger. Sleep, and it will breathe and function on it’s own.
I’d like for you to sit back and think about how amazing your body is. Think about all the things it does and provides for you. Without it, your experience would be very different.
Instead of focusing on the cosmetic, focus on health from the inside out. Love your body with good food and movement. Love your body, for all it can do. Fuel it to really reap all of its benefits. Love yourself, for you’re the only you.
CHALLENGE: Comment below with 3 things that amaze you about your body.