I love my body.
Why is that statement so hard for people to believe and why is it so hard for me to say? Okay I’ll be honest it is a work in progress for me and something I have to be mindful of every single day.
When my kids were little it was the easiest thing to tell them what I loved about their bodies. It was a constant message that Mommy loved their toes, their nose, their smile. I never tired from giving them the message that they were perfection to me. I hoped inwardly that they would carry that message through their lives and that it would help them feel the confidence that at that point I so severely lacked.
Shift to me standing in front of a mirror and there was not a single thing I could say to myself that was nice about my body. Instead I came up with a rather large list of perceived “flaws” and insults but it seemed that I was incapable of feeling anything positive when it came to my physical being.
About two years ago I decided that I had had enough. I was done with walking into rooms and fearing what people were thinking about me and worrying if I was being judged. I was over feeling that panic while purchasing swim wear and simply wanting to cover myself with a plastic garbage bag instead. Most importantly I was done with the messages of hatred and negativity that I was feeding my mind, body and soul.
The first step in my process was obviously not allowing myself to spend any more time or energy worrying about what other people were thinking. Honestly…who was I to believe that people had nothing better in their own lives going on than to be focused on the size of my behind? I realized that more often that I cared to imagine so many people out there were feeling exactly the same as I was.
The second step was looking in the mirror each morning and finding at least one thing that I could be positive about. I didn’t have to jump into the deep end of the pool immediately and profess undying love for my nose but I could say I appreciated the soft curves of the end of it. What I began to notice over time was that it became easier to say to myself that I loved parts of me and that list of parts slowly grew.
The third step in the process and probably one of the most important was to send my body the message that I loved it as a whole by giving it the good, soul nourishing food it craved. I listened to what my body wanted when I didn’t want to get out of bed for that 6am workout but my body was screaming for it. I gave into my body’s desire to rest when needed and gave it the self-care it lacked for so long when I didn’t feel I deserved the proper care.
I am not done with this process and likely never will be. I make an effort every morning of every day to remind myself that I am special, unique and that there is only ever going to be one of me in this universe. That is an amazing and awe filled thought. There will never be a carbon copy of any of us. Why should we treat something so individual and so sadly fleeting as anything but beautiful?
Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing I am issuing you all a challenge to look in that mirror starting today and every day and find the things that you can appreciate, that you can accept, that you like and that eventually you will love.
Happy Valentine’s Day all!!