This entry is for both men and women as I want to honour that men also experience issues around body image and eating disorders.
There exists a strong belief that if we change our bodies, we will then like or love ourselves. We think our body shapes are the reason for lack of self-acceptance and when we can fix what we look like, we can then like who we are. Confidence is falsely associated with weight….and falsely mistaken for self-love.
The truth is, confidence, self-acceptance and self-love reside within. In order to love our bodies, we have to love ourselves. There is no other way. The lens of love allows us to see only love, while the lens of self-deprecation can only bring on loathing. Our bodies are mirrors for what is happening inside of ourselves emotionally. I know that during stressful periods of my life, my thighs look bigger and my arms feel more wobbly. This is because my lens is that of stress, fear or worry making it difficult to see things clearly. I see only what is wrong, and transfer that to my body. This is when I know I need to stop, ground myself and find roots in the truth within me. When I meditate, pray, find resolutions or accept where I am at, it is not that I don’t see my imperfections, it is that they do not matter. I can extend compassion and love to myself and my body while surrendering and letting go. The way I see my body becomes information for what is going on within me and what I need to pay attention to emotionally. It does not become a reason for wanting to change/shift what I look like. The truth is, we cannot hate ourselves out of self-hate. Choose love, as there is not enough hate in the world to make you love your body.
When we respect ourselves, this also transfers onto the body. Active and mindful self-care means we appreciate our current life conditions and regard what we need both physically and emotionally as important….without judgement. We give ourselves what the body, mind and heart are asking for, again without judgement. When we engage in these acts, we state that we matter and this is the first step to compassion and love. Today, engage in some much needed self-care. You are worth it.