What is it that you see when you look in a mirror? What do you look at first?
Throughout my life, I have always struggled with body image. I remember a specific day when I was younger that me and my mom were trying on pajamas at Target. Pajamas were honest to god my favorite clothes to go shopping for because of how comfy and cute they they were especially at Target. I tried on so many pairs and got frustrated because I thought my body looked horrible in them. The tears started flowing and I asked my mom why the pajamas couldn’t fit me like they did the girl on the poster hanging above the sales rack I found them on… the skinny, heavily photoshopped girl on the poster.
Shopping for pajamas, my absolute favorite, suddenly became unenjoyable and that memory has always stuck.
It has taken me a long time to come to the understanding that a body can be absolutely beautiful and also a work in progress all at once. And to be completely honest, I am not sure how I began to truly understand that but I have come to know the following truths…
- True beauty, and I mean genuine, honest beauty, is a state of mind.
Confidence is key. A smile is always beautiful. The art of not giving a damn of what anyone else thinks.
2. You need to wear clothes that make you look and feel amazing no matter what number or letters are on the tag.
My favorite jeans are two sizes bigger than what I am supposed to be… Do I care? Hell. No.
Why? Because I look and most importantly feel good in them.
3. List all the things your body does for you on the daily.
Your body allows you to dance. In my case, not very well but still. It allows you to tell your parents you love them. To enjoy food. To regulate your breathing. Fights infections. Can make amazing music. To paint. To laugh until your tummy hurts. To feel emotions. This is all amazing stuff. Hold onto the idea that your body is an instrument, not an ornament.
5. Find exercise that you LOVE and do it because you love your body, not because you hate it.
6. Putting signs around your house and work that remind you of your beautiful personality really does help.
Mine are on both mirrors in my bedroom.
7. Talk to yourself like you would your friends.
You wouldn’t tell your friend that she’s fat (if you do, you might need to work on your friendship skills). So, if you wouldn’t talk to your buddy like that why are you talking to yourself like that? Whenever negative body thoughts come creeping into your mind, ask yourself if you’d say those things to your best friend. If not, make a conscious effort to reverse those thoughts.
8. Practice self care.
What have you done today to reward your body?
It took me a long time to get to a comfortable place with my body. The road that led me there was rocky and filled with highs and lows. And even so, I am still working on my improving my health as well as my mindset. You can be a masterpiece and a work in progress all at once.
I hate my lower stomach. The “pooch” as some people call it. My upper stomach is flat and looks fine but my lower stomach…hell no. My arms are a little chunkier than I’d like. And I don’t like my love handles. They stick out when my yoga pants slip down a little too far or if I wear jean shorts. Sound familiar?