This month at Levana Bratique we’re promoting body acceptance. Anyone else still struggle with this?
As a kid, I was, shall we say… thick. As the youngest of three girls, I was also the heaviest. I always felt like the ugly duckling next to my beautiful older sisters, who could eat anything they wanted and not gain weight. That struggle stayed with me.
In college, I started working out. One night on the elliptical, I was tired and wasn’t feeling it, and was trying to stay motivated. ‘Keep going you [expletive expletive]’.
That was me motivating myself?
I would never talk to anyone else that way. Or let anyone else talk to me that way. So why was I talking to myself that way?
That day was a wake up call for me. I had literally never paid attention to the tone of my inner dialogue, and how mean it was. I had no self love. I realized that if I wasn’t loving, respecting, and accepting myself, how could I expect other people to treat me with love and respect?
I wish I could say that since that day, I became magically self aware, changed my inner dialogue to one of positivity and have been living in a state of bliss ever since. I haven’t. But, I’ve made so much progress just by making those initial small changes. The way you speak to yourself matters.
Today I still have stretch marks and cellulite and crooked front teeth. I have scars upon scars after a double mastectomy and total hysterectomy. I also have a great smile, robust laugh, and quirky sense of humor. I’m creative, compassionate, and adventurous. I don’t have a flawless body, but it’s strong and capable, and we’re friends now. I choose to focus my energy outward, on what I do have, and what I can give, rather than focusing on all the ways I come up short when I compare myself to other people. That's an easy black hole to get lost in.
Be kind to yourself.
Here are some great body positive quotes to get you started:
- "One day I decided that I was beautiful and so I carried out my life as if I was a beautiful girl. It doesn’t have anything to do with how the world perceives you. What matters is what you see." Gabourey Sidibe
- “It’s all about accepting yourself the way you are. If you want to work towards a better you in whatever regards… do it. But you’re okay just the way you are today." Tess Holiday
- "By speaking of ourselves in a positive and affirmative fashion and finding ways to eradicate self-hate, by speaking kindly about ourselves and those around us, we can foster a sense of love and compassion powerful enough to restructure our society’s entire perspective of 'body love'. " Jessamyn Stanley
Check out this Self Love Manifesto that I may print out and put on my mirror. A few of my faves:
-I make mistakes often. This is how I know I am alive and willing to try new things. There is no other way to grow. Life is all about growth.
-I must always put myself first. I understand that I cannot give anything to anybody if I don’t first give to myself.
-I don’t take the actions, words or beliefs of others personally. Because what other people think, do and say is always about them, not me.
That’s been my journey. What has been yours?
image credit: Silvana Denker