Let’s talk about body image.
It is funny how it can change from day to day isn’t it? Even if there has been no measurable change in weight or size, you can feel significantly different about what you see in the mirror.
According to Statistic Brain, 91% of women are unhappy with how their body looks and resort to dieting. That is almost every woman, so I know I am not alone in this battle.
I have noticed that consistent exercise helps me have a more positive view about myself, but even that does not seem to be the ultimate answer. I often have friends share pictures of me doing various activities, and my initial reaction is to find fault with my appearance. Even people who don’t like me wouldn’t be that obsessive about finding flaws with my body. Yet I do it to myself on a regular basis. I am more critical of my appearance than my worst enemies and that is demented.
For many years, I have had different “advisers” telling me to love my body and I’ve wondered what that meant exactly. Do I think I look okay sometimes? Well, yes, so does that mean I love my body? Do I appreciate my body for all it does for me? Yes, I marvel at what it can do. Does this mean I love my body? Maybe I do. Alongside these positive things are these darker thoughts, an internal dialogue, where I am viciously putting down the shape of my body, how my clothes look etc. For some reason, I have never been able to get my head out of the equation and just love myself from my heart.
This dichotomy, this dual thought process, is one I have been contemplating a long time now. If I have to change my body in order to love it, who guarantees that I will love it after I make whatever change I am contemplating? Remember the 91%? It’s hard to believe that the majority of women in the US have not done something to change their appearance, yet so many still remain unhappy with how they look.
The other day, I had one of those pictures sent to me again. My mind was in a different place because I started with the usual self-criticism. Later that day I felt almost a switch flip and I could see me, not my body. It was one of the few times I have felt gentleness. I saw me, my energy, my intention, my life and not just my physical.
This is because I have decided that 2017 will be the year of making peace with my body, with my food and with the process. That moment was an extraordinary experience. I hope I will be able to repeat it!
If you have a positive body image, please share suggestions on how to raise your self-confidence in the comments below!