How do you feel about your body? Fall in love with yourself, improve your body image and own your story!
When you walk past a mirror do you glance at your stomach to see how fat your ‘belly’ looks? Do you immediately have a great supportive thought such as, “these jeans really look great on me!” Or, do you immediately remember all those ads about ugly belly fat and automatically think, “Wow! I’m really piling the weight ON! -– I look terrible!” If your thought is ‘ugly me’, you most likely have poor body-esteem.
Body-esteem and self-esteem are similar and both are important. Body-esteem describes the way you feel about your body and this has an effect on your overall well-being. If your body-esteem is low, you can become an obsessive, yo-yo dieter, losing and gaining and losing — always trying to beat your fat into submission with a new fad diet and doing even more vigorous exercise. You constantly are critiquing yourself and then, following this criticism about your bulging belly shape, you postpone living your life fully until you reach your ideal weight and shape! Oh, the tragic merry-go-round you can’t get off!
You’re probably asking, “How can I accept myself when I am not happy with my body?” This is a common question. But consider this — how has feeling this way and continuing this war with your body worked so far? Your answer probably will be “Not very well.” So why not try something new?
Psychologist Judith Rodin said, “You don’t need to lose weight first in order to take care of yourself. In fact, the process actually happens quite in the reverse!”
I discovered I permanently lost the excess weight and achieved my weight goals when I accepted the person and shape that I was. It happened like this…..
I believed I was the ugliest girl in my school class because my teeth are really crooked. The ridicule and taunting remarks that kids so willing hand out at school were harsh. So, all my school life, I would smile with this distorted smile so people wouldn’t notice how crooked my teeth were. My parents couldn’t afford to put braces on my teeth so I just learned to live with the labels “Ugly” and ‘Bucky Beaver’. When it became obvious our daughter’s teeth were going to be as ugly as mine, it became an obsession for me to get braces for her. I didn’t want her to go through the same embarrassment. The orthodontist checked her out and then looked at me and said he could straighten my teeth as well. I was so ecstatic that, immediately when I got home, I told my husband the fabulous news. My amazing man looked at me with disbelief and shock and asked “Whatever for”? I thought that was the dumbest question I ever had heard in my life. I simply stammered, “Because my teeth are crooked”. It was so obvious to me — it had haunted me all my life. He looked at me and said he loved me just as I was and I didn’t need to get my teeth straightened to be beautiful to him! Wow! What a new concept. That was the day I accepted my body and myself and it became OK for me to smile showing my crooked teeth! That was the day the pounds started coming off and I haven’t dieted since. Acceptance — liking myself — it’s amazing. Here are a few tips that can help you improve your body-esteem:
Here are a few tips that can help you improve your body-esteem:
Stop comparing yourself to others. Comparing your appearance can prevent self-acceptance by making you overly critical. Don’t look at those magazines on the check-out stands! Comparing your body to “brushed” ‘others’ usually results in more self-criticism and body hatred.
Stop buying magazines with the latest diet in them. Surround yourself with people who appreciate you for who you are and who accept themselves, too! Stop talking about your weight, your diet plan, and what you are eating.
Stop dieting! Research has shown only five percent of those who diet have any success. This means ninety-five percent of all dieters fail. Dr. John Tickell said people lose weight to look good for a special occasion and, in less than a year, will gain the weight back, plus ten percent. This up-and-down, yo-yo, lose-and-gain regimen is very unhealthy. When you are hungry, simply choose a healthier option and stop when you are full. You release yourself from all the stress, guilt, shame and restriction that accompany dieting and calorie counting. And by listening to your body’s hunger and fullness signals, your body eventually will return to its natural weight — and stay there.
When you go on a “diet,” which means to “die” + t “sacrificially,” you will feel deprived. Instead of trying to “lose weight”, decide to “discard” those unwanted kilos. When we lose something we look for it until we find it and, strangely, we always manage to find those pounds. To ‘discard’ is to permanently get rid of something. So, you discard old stuff from the garage you no longer need! In the same way, see those pounds as something you no longer need to protect you and ‘discard’ them.
When you are about to eat for emotional reasons, ask yourself: “What else could I do instead that is beneficial to me?” Perhaps book yourself a massage or a manicure or pick up a good book.
Get rid of anything in your closet that doesn’t fit comfortably. Feeling miserable leads to thoughts of food and shame, which lead to the refrigerator! You then eat to comfort yourself and usually that isn’t nourishing food! Don’t let a size number tell you how to feel about yourself!
Exercise is necessary for your overall health, for relieving stress and for reducing depression. Don’t exercise to lose weight but, rather, exercise to have a healthy body. Many forms of exercise can have an effect on the way we feel about our bodies and ourselves. Do exercise to boost your body-esteem.
Drink plenty of water to cleanse the body. This helps you to have great looking skin and keeps the body functioning at its peak.
Start viewing yourself as a wonderfully made woman — perfect as you are. You are uniquely made. Love who you are and the outside will be transformed! Even your crooked teeth smile can be beautiful. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so appreciate and acknowledge yourself!