I am not sure if it is because the world feels chaotic currently, but insecurities are coming to the surface all of a sudden. Insecurities that I have worked through for many years. An insecurity I have become fully aware of is the dreaded body image insecurity. As a recovering bulimic, body image has been a large part of my young life. I would poke and prod at my body, making sure to acknowledge every flaw I have. I would engage in discussions with my friends where I would look for holes in the conversation to ask if I look fat. Of course, my friends would tell me that I look great or that I look like I've lost weight. To be honest, it didn't matter what they said because I would continue to believe that I'm fat and ugly. No amount of validation outside of myself would be enough.
When I began to heal from my body image insecurity, many beliefs needed to be reassessed and challenged. My idea of beauty had to be recreated. My beliefs around worthiness had to be changed. What I have now is an open mind and heart to what is beautiful. I don't seek validation from my friends and family. I accept that I am beautiful and worthy no matter what size I am.
With that being said, here I am, after all this work, and I feel like I am starting over. It is normal and natural for this to occur. In order to get back in a place of body love, I need the activities that helped me get there before. Below are those body love activities I use. I hope they help you find the love your body needs.
1. Putting lotion on after the shower: I am guilty of skipping this if I'm in a hurry. But it's what your body needs, especially in the winter months. When you do this, make sure to pay special attention to the areas that you "don't like" and spend longer on those areas. Tell those areas that you love and appreciate them.
2. Eat Healthy: There is no better way to show your body love than to feed it good food. When I say good food I mean fruits, vegetables, nuts, antibiotic free meat, and other natural food. Staying away from processed food is the best. Go for a smoothie packed with fruits, veggies, protein powder, and nut milk. Yum yum.
3. Write down your negative thoughts: Writing down your negative thoughts is a good way to see them on paper. Once you do that, rip them up and throw them in the trash. Burning those negative thoughts are also an option. Just practice fire safety and remember only you can prevent forest fires :)
4. Don't engage in negative body talks with friends as family: I can only speak from the perspective of a woman, but women are notorious for sitting around and engaging in fat-shaming dialogue. When I hear discussions like this, I call it out. I tell my friends that we are beautiful and have better things to discuss. It's amazing how powerful this exchange feels. It also helps others recognize what this dialogue does for one's self esteem.
5. Write love notes to yourself: Who doesn't want a love note? I enjoy writing love notes to myself and telling myself how sexy and intelligent and awesome I am. This way I'm not seeking out validation from others, but rather giving it to myself.
We are all on this journey towards loving ourselves and knowing our worth. No journey is without rough paths and rocky waters. Coming back to these body love activities give a person what they need in that moment.
Know that you are enough. You are an incredible being here on this earth to know love and learn about yourself. I end with a quote from the Buddha:
You yourself, as much as anyone else, deserves your love and affection.
Do you need help implementing some of these ideas and live in the Kansas City area? I would love to meet with you to discuss your specific situation. To make an appointment, you can reach me by email.