Here's my unprofessional opinion formed by loving personal growth...
You don't have to love every part of your self, but you cannot hate any part of yourself either. So what does this mean? It means, you can no longer allow your body and your thoughts about your body, to dictate your life. You need to start showing up everyday of your life for you. As you. As you are.
How do you get to this point? It's baby steps that you take every single day. And, over time those baby steps will amount to you showing up without thinking twice about how you look. Your body will no longer dictate how you feel, it will no longer interfere with joy.
What does it look like when our body dictates pieces or the entirety of our life? And how do you take baby steps to start showing up as you? Let's talk about a few…
First up, pictures.
Why do we take pictures? Because the moment is worth remembering, right? How many times have you told someone "no" to a picture? Or, how many times do you ask to see the picture? And, if you don't like the picture…ask for a retake, or even worse delete it? I mean, if you were checking to see if your eyes are open that's one thing, but I am willing to bet you were looking at your body. Is the value of how we perceive our body or the fear of how others may perceive it, really greater than some of our most cherished moments?
Baby steps: Always say yes to a picture, especially with your kids, family and friends. Can you image losing out on memories with these people? Oh wait, aren't these the people in all of our pictures? Seriously take the picture. Next step, stop asking to see what it looks like. You are you and no picture is going to change that.
Sad proof: 20 years from now, Lyncoln will get to look back at this super cute picture of herself…without mom's head. Why? Who knows, I probably told whoever took the picture not to get my face. Never. Ever. Again.
Bonus note… thanks to social media, our world is filled with filters. Stop using them to change the way you look. We all have pores, we all have wrinkles, we all have uneven skin tones… why? Well, because we are human.
Baby step: skip the filter if you're using it to alter your appearance. If you're using it for fun, have fun... but make sure you are being honest with yourself.
Next up, clothing.
When I thought about this for the first time, my mind was blown… How many times have you put something on that you like, but end up taking it off because you don't think you look good in it? Now… before I make this mind blowing point, I have to double clarify, we are talking about you taking something off that you really like! Get ready for the mind blowing part. You aren't actually taking it off because you don't think you look good in it, but rather because you think other people are going to think you don't look good in it. So really, you're taking it off to beat other people to the punch… that they probably aren't even going to make.
Baby steps: Wear the shorts, wear the stripes, wear the dress, wear the tank top. Wear whatever the freak you want. When you stop caring about what others *may* think, you can start loving life more.
Fun Fact: The size of your clothing is the least interesting part about you. Let that sink in for a moment.
Next up, Exercising
First ask yourself, why do you exercise? Is it to lose weight? Is it to tone something up? Living your life motivated by changing what you look like isn't loving yourself. Will the chase ever end? When you lose the weight, will you be done? When you tone up your stomach, is that the end? Or will the chase continue? How about we start looking at exercise as an avenue to feel great. You owe your mind and internal body more respect than you owe your appearance.
Baby steps: Move your body everyday knowing it's greatest impact wont be seen. Sure, your body may change over time, but the real accomplishments cannot be physically seen. And, when your body needs a break, give it the break without shaming yourself.
Fun Fact: Working out don't earn you food or drinks. But do you know what does? Living your life freely.
Lastly, for now... food.
With the desire to change your body, food is always front and center. The diet culture in our world is real. And the one thing you need to know about it, it's toxic. Our life is already dictated by so many things, and food should not be one of them. Two words, intuitive eating. You are the expert of your body and how it feels. Intuitive eating isn't an invitation to eat cookies for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's an invitation to forget the millions of diet guidelines that control the world while also not giving power to the food police around us.
Baby steps: Stop going to war with food. Being the expert of your body allows you to feed your body food that you know will make you feel good. And that includes, intentionally eating your favorite piece of cake and your nephew's birthday party. Or, enjoying the margarita when you're celebrating with your girlfriend. Both of these, without shame. It also means, eating whole foods because you feel the power they give your body when fed to it regularly. Changing little habits everyday will eventually lead you to peace with food.
Bonus Note: Save your money and stop buying into these "Down 10 Pounds in a week" pill, drinks or cleanses. Your life isn't determined by the weight of your body.
Wow, these four points are only the tip of the iceberg yet they feel like a lot. Whether you're in the beginning stages of your self-love journey or somewhere in the middle… remember the journey is filled with baby steps. You cannot get to the top of the mountain in one day. And even when you become a self-loving goddess, there will be days where you have to remind yourself to be kind….
So the take away…. your body is just the vehicle used to live your life. You are the driver of the vehicle… it's up to you to choose where the vehicle goes. Stop driving your Bugatti like it's a 1990 Geo Prizm Hatchback and stop driving it on the same boring roads😘