Self-Love and Your Body Image
Hello Love Bugs! So we've made it to week 2. I hope week 1 was helpful in changing your internal narrative; what you have to say to yourself and about yourself. It was at this stage in my journey that I also learned about the importance of loving our bodies. I, like many other women, would mentally tear down my body regularly. I judged my body for so many things; not being at an ideal weight, not fitting into the ideal size, stretch marks, cellulite, and the usual perks of being a Latina (i.e. big butt, big hips, etc). I have put my body through phases of 'healthy living' - crash diets, spurts of work out regimens, fasting, detoxes, and I even went vegan for a season. No matter what I did, I would get some results but not nearly the 'crazy, off the wall, not-even-close-to-realistic' expectations I had in my head. Spending so much time comparing my body to other women, I really put my own body down for not fitting into a size 4 and being at 130 lbs, like I was before I had children. Any of this sound familiar?
During my journey to self-love, in reading The Four Agreement (by Don Miguel Ruiz), I learned about the Indian ritual called a puja. This ritual calls for a daily devotional to your body. To love, honor, thank, and appreciate your body for all that it does for you everyday. Ruiz recommends in his book, "When you take a shower, when you take a bath, treat your body with all your love, treat your body with with honor, with gratitude, with respect....Do this every day, and you will feel your love for your body growing stronger each day, and you will never again reject yourself." I started right away. Every time I showered, I thanked my body. Every time I went to bed, I thanked my body for all that it accomplished that day. Instead of putting my body down, I thanked it for holding and giving birth to my 2 daughters - both via c-section! I began to appreciate my body for holding me together, my organs, my heart for beating consistently, my motor-skills and brain function, and the ability to work so I could provide for my family. For the ability to hug and kiss my husband and children. For the ability to cook for them, wash their clothes, play with them...I realized that my body had loved me this entire time. It was just waiting for me to love it back.
This is why I challenge you this week -- in your journey to self-love, it's time to love your body. I challenge you to make a list of all the things your body does for you, every day. You can list small things (able to brush my teeth every day), and even the big important things (able to carry and deliver children). The only way we are going to attain TRUE happiness in achieving ANY level of healthy-living, is if we learn to love our bodies, as they are, right now. Loving our bodies unconditionally is fulfilling, and creates a space for the ability to love our imperfections. Whether you are overweight, underweight, tall, short, curvy, or thin; your body is still a magnificent and self-healing machine that works hard for you every day. Let's honor this gift with our love and devotion, by thanking it and treating it well with healthy foods, staying active and getting enough rest at night in order to recharge.
I know you can do this. Believe in yourself, and believe in the body that's standing behind you every step of the way.