Dear readers, I want to let you in on 2 secrets.
First, as much as I support body positivity and self-love, I have many days when I definitely do not like my body. There are plenty of times when I feel insecure about how I look, or just plain uncomfortable in my skin. In all honesty, sometimes I get angry with my body. I get frustrated when it is tired, or when it can’t exercise as hard as I want it to. I sometimes wish I could magically change my body overnight.
And here’s the second secret—I’ve found that it’s possible, even when I don’t particularly like my body, to still practice accepting and loving it.
For the next 5 wellness Wednesdays, I’ll be sharing 1 of my top 5 body positivity practices I personally use to change my mind-set, re-orient my energy, and dispel negative self-talk when I’m in a downward spiral.
Today’s first tip:
1. Focus on what your body can do, rather than what it looks like.
We often get caught up with what we look like without stopping to think about all the killer things our bodies can do. Think about it—at any given moment, your body is taking in oxygen to fuel your blood cells, which move through a vast network of veins and arteries to give oxygen to your brain, pump your heart, and a bunch of other life-sustaining things. Your stomach digests food and produces enzymes to turn food into create energy for dancing, thinking, singing, and laughing. Even when you sleep, your body is doing hundreds (if not thousands) of tasks to sustain itself, from metabolism and hormone regulation to cell regeneration.
When I am feeling down about how my body looks, I make a list, in my head or on paper, of all the incredible things my body can do, and all the awesome activities I can do thanks to my body. When I’m self-conscious about my shoulders, I thank them for all the paddling they do to get me into every stoke-bringing wave. When I’m criticizing my legs, I chose to focus on all the wonderful places my legs have taken me. The next time you find yourself caught up in criticism, try writing a gratitude list to your body.
You’ll be amazed how many fantastic causes for gratitude you can come up with when you start paying attention.