One of the hardest questions for women to answer is, “What do you love about your body?” Pause for a moment and let that question sink in. Can you answer it right away? Did you groan and immediately think of all the things you dislike about your body?
For me, I love my dimples (on my face…I tolerate the ones elsewhere), my strong legs and my shoulders. But to be honest, I struggle some days. Just when I think my body is rockin’, I see an unflattering photo. Or my jeans fit tighter than normal. And then it goes downhill. Fast. Into an unhappy place. And I wonder how the hell I can call myself a personal trainer with this body. It’s a constant battle for sure. But one that I am working on. All the time.
I know I’m not alone in this. As a personal trainer I see this often. For sure the one thing women struggle with the most. Negative self talk. Constantly tearing themselves down. Comparing their bodies to someone else. Feeling as though they’ll finally accept their bodies once they lose fat, “tone up”, or get to a certain number on the scale. Heads so full of disappointment with their bodies that they have no room to see their true beauty and strength.
This is a problem.
Why? Because in your desperation to change your body (so it’ll be better), you start looking for quick fixes (shakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!). That won’t work long term. And life is long term. Or caving in to bad food habits (might as well eat that dessert since the rest of my eating today was terrible) or fad diets (no carbs! cleanses! juice fasts!). You’re starving and deprived and pissed off. And feeling even worse about yourself and your body, because these bullshit tactics set you up to fail.
Not a good place to be.
Your body and mind and soul deserves better. Much better.
So how do we fix this? How do we learn to love our bodies?
*Stand in front of a mirror. Naked. Seriously. Take it all in. Come to terms with what you see. You are beautiful and there is no one like you. Cliche time. Life is way too short to be unhappy with yourself. It’s not worth your time or energy. Shift your focus to positivity and gratitude. Journal each day about the good things in your life and about your body. Believe me, once you clean up the shit thoughts, there will be plenty of awesome stuff left behind.
*Make a list of all the things you love about yourself. Photocopy this list and plaster it everywhere in your home. Make it impossible to not see it a million times a day.
*Stop critiquing other women’s bodies. We’re all on this journey together and we should be supporting each other and not knocking each other down. We do that enough to ourselves.
*Do activities your body and mind love. And do them everyday, as much as possible.
Accept that some days won’t feel so positive. And may suck. Because maybe you missed a few workouts or drank and ate a bit too much at happy hour. That’s okay. It’s an ongoing journey. Negative self talk will creep up again and again. And each time you will make the decision to tell it to F off and love what you see reflected in the mirror.
Start today. I challenge you to accept the body you are rocking right at this moment. Flab, cellulite and all. Accept the wonder of it to create and carry around another human being. The endurance of it to complete a marathon. It’s strength to climb mountains and lift weights. The softness of it to embrace someone.
Love it unconditionally. It deserves it. And you deserve the self love.