Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Learning To Love Your Body

Can we talk about this?
A reader poll on the blog Sexgenderbody states: When I look at myself naked in the mirror, I feel... To which 57% of the responses answered shame.

We all know people who are carrying around shame and self-loathing towards their bodies. As someone who is no stranger to feeling ashamed when I look at myself in the mirror, it breaks my heart to know that others feel the same way. This negative pattern can contaminate every part of your life and self-perception - the clothes that you put on in the morning, your feelings of acceptance and happiness in your job/friendships/relationships, your sex life, and (most importantly) to your relationship with your self.

Learning to love yourself regardless of your size is one of the most crucial and beneficial gifts that a person can give themselves.
The ripple effects of learning to experience self love will touch every part of your life, improving and lightening the load of your heart with every step. Think of how much more time you would have if you could replace feelings of self-loathing with feelings of joy and love and abundance!

Amazingly, I've found that this problem lends itself to nearly ALL body types and sizes. While I might quietly resent a very thin friend of mine who regales me with her negative body image and personal feelings of shame, it is important to keep perspective on this point. Nearly everyone, no matter how skinny/tall/perfectly shaped they may look, feels this way about themselves from one time to another. It's important to promote healthy body image regardless of size, even when that seems difficult.

Tools for learning to love your body no matter what your size:

* Buy clothing (and, perhaps more importantly, underwear) that fits you and allows you to feel comfortable/sexy/pulled together/happy. STOP WORRYING ABOUT THE SIZE ON THE LABEL. There is nothing worse than feeling like you have to starve yourself for a week to fit into that dress you bought a size too small, because you just couldn’t bring yourself to buy a size 6/14/24/whatever.

* Talk sweetly to yourself. Look in the mirror and tell yourself how beautiful you look. Bonus points if you can do this naked. Because, remember, you are beautiful, many people probably think so, and a little reminder to your heart here and there will go a long, long way.

* Do not give people who delight in making you feel fat/ugly/unlovable/unworthy a SINGLE SECOND more of your time. Wash your hands of them (but have compassion, because probably the root of their meanness lies in their own insecurities).

* Move your body. It is MUCH harder to hate your _insert body part here_ when it is directly responsible for allowing you to walk down the street/carry your groceries/have amazing sex/pick up your children. You will feel better with every step you take. Bonus points for doing something like hula hooping which will both cause you to move your body around, and also allow you to express some sensual creativity. (It is an absolute fact that you cannot feel badly about your body and hula hoop at the same time, this is a 100% smile guarantee.)

* Do not sit around with your friends/family/loved ones and bitch about your bodies as a form of social interaction. It hurts you. It hurts them. I am willing to risk my life that you have better things you could be doing with your time.

How are you learning to love your body?

Courtesy of www.yesandyes.org

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