A discussion on working towards body neutrality by accepting our bodies for what they are and being proud of them for doing some much for us on a daily basis.
The human body.
A truly miraculous machine. The daily the functions it performs to keep us running, to keep us ALIVE, are awe inspiring.
Our bodies are the only true home we’ll ever have. They give us our place in the world and keep our true essence safe and protected. With all our bodies do for us on a daily basis, you’d think we would revere them, treat them with respect, and do everything we can to take care of them properly.
Unfortunately, most people, especially women, spend their whole lives trying to disconnect from their bodies. They want to change them, make them more like those perpetuated by the media, and berate them for living up to unachievable aesthetic standards set forth by mainstream society.
The negativity we feel towards our bodies engulfs our spirit, clouds our minds with hateful judgements, and makes living with ourselves almost impossible. We try to separate ourselves as much as we can from the one thing that gives us life and in doing so we stop ourselves from living fully.
Think about it! How can we truly embrace all life has to offer if we can’t accept (or at least TOLERATE!) the one thing that’s allowing us to experience it.
On a recent podcast I was listening to the guest who was being interviewed was asked what one piece of advice she would give to people struggling with body image and self acceptance. She answered simply “live in your body”.
What an idea.
Live in Your Body
She didn’t preach body love or that you should feel great about EVERY part of your body EVERY day. Simply, LIVE IN YOUR BODY. Accept it for what it is and acknowledge it for what it does. Reconnect with the subtle messages it gives you on a daily basis. Too often we try to quiet the signs our bodies are giving us in an effort to communicate with us. We actively ignore the sensations they want us to feel.
Well, I have a proposal. What if we tuned in, turned the volume up, and fully embraced what it’s really like to inhabit our bodies?
What if we…
Let our thighs squish together as we plopped down on a chair without criticizing them for touching?
Felt our hearts race at the end of an exhilarating run and were thankful for all it allows us to do?
Performed self-care instead of self-harm?
Felt our stomachs expand after a delicious, full meal without judgement or demonizing the food?
Let our mouths AND our stomachs enjoy food instead of viewing it as an unwanted necessity of being human?
Allowed people to really hug us…a huge, all-encompassing bear hug instead of trying to hide our size and shape?
Let our arms jiggle as we waved to a friend without feeling self-conscious or having to justify their appearance?
Honored when we’re tired and let ourselves sleep in or take a nap?
Lived with inevitable bloat that everyone faces at some point or another without feeling the need to cut out a food group or claim an allergy?
Felt the shake of our muscles as we lifted a weight and were reminded of that feeling of strength next time we had to lift something heavy in our everyday life?
Wore clothes that really flattered us instead of trying to cover the parts we’re ashamed of?
Looked in the mirror and smiled instead of looking mournfully on everything we’re not?
Ate when our body said it’s hungry and drank when our body said it’s thirsty instead of waiting for prescribed eating times or restricting ourselves to certain amounts?
Celebrated our bodies instead of picking at the parts we don’t like?
Acknowledged our stomach’s growling and nourished it with food instead of trying to quiet it with water?
Focused in on our breath and let its rhythmic flow calm us?
Embraced our laugh lines and smile marks instead of trying to cover them up with thick makeup and injections?
Unclenched our bellies and stopped worrying about how much space they’re taking up in the world?
Touched our bodies lovingly and spoke to them like we’d speak to a good friend?
Because that’s what they are. Our bodies are our greatest companions. They’ll always be with us and they always have been here for us. It’s time we stop trying to detach from them and learn to embrace the beautiful life that we’re able to live inside of them.
Do you find yourself trying to disconnect from your body’s physical and mental sensations?
When are you most present in your body?
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