The Body and the Image

When it comes to body confidence, swag and the ability to even attempt to cultivate a style of any sort…the body image you hold as a direct result of your relationship with your body plays a large role.

There is a lot going around about body image, embracing your curves, we’re all made different, etc. Just as many posts about easy diet fixes, magic pills and the top ten moves to get you JLo’s booty are rampant as well. It’s no wonder we spend most of our time longing for immediate results, while the rest is spent in a lackluster daze after the energy expended on chasing after perfection. I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted! And that leaves very little time and energy left for the actual living of a healthy lifestyle.

Need a little direction to come to peaceful terms on the war zone of your body image? I thought you’d never ask :)

  1. Realize that perfection is unrealistic and, quite frankly, boring. Can you imagine if we all had the same measurements?!? I mean, look at the pins you post of hottie celebs (you know you do it). Are they all exactly the same? If it’s only one person, you may need an intervention… Seriously, it’s our nuances that make us each unique. For example: I am straight waisted and for years I hated this rather “boyish” figure. In reality, nobody has EVER confused my figure with a boy, but I digress. It is this slight difference that helps me be unique in my field. Silly, but true.
  2. There can be too much of a good thing. Just like you can ingest too much chocolate and wine (I intend to fully test this theory!), you can also work out too much. Instead of focusing on how many minutes you log on the treadmill, how many classes you attend per week, or how many reps you crank out per day, think about simply moving more. Set the alarm on your phone for 30 minutes and every time it goes off stand up and stretch or take a quick bolt to the bathroom. I’ve stretched in many meetings and have yet to be carried out by security.
  3. Drink up. Yeah, I’m going to preach the goodness of water once again. If you’re prone to headaches, muscle soreness, bloating, fatigue, restless legs, anxiety, or just the blahs…drink your water.
  4. Stop the madness! It’s human nature to compare. Really, we don’t leave the house searching for people to compare ourselves with, it just happens. The problem is that now we don’t even need to leave the house. There is serious danger in comparing your body/skin/face to pictures in magazines and online. I am not against Photoshop, as I enjoy pretty pictures and would be less likely to purchase that bikini if the model didn’t look so darn good in it! However, comparing myself to genetically blessed and professionally enhanced photos is a habit I had to break. Enjoy the photo for what it really is: a piece of art. Then move on.
  5. Set dates with yourself. As corny as it sounds you really do need time to simply chill with who you are. Set aside some time for a beloved activity that you can do alone. Paint your nails, soak in the tub, read a cheesy magazine that you cannot possibly glean any useful information from, write the things you are grateful for, watch that movie that you truly love but would be mortified if others knew you watched it… get the point? Be you, pure and plain and weird all rolled into who you truly are.
  6. Stop with the mirror obsession! OK, I’ll admit that I love mirrors. I own several all over the house and look at myself more than I should. It’s usually to check for food anywhere or to debate the current color of my hair (I have issues), but if I find myself checking for miniscule dimple patches I cut myself off. If you’re always judging your appearance, limit your mirror time and make peace. I do however beg that many people stop and check the mirror before venturing out into the world with pj’s and slippers. You may not care, but why punish those who actually have to look?
  7. Let them eat cake! By “them” I am referring to the voices in your head that want cake, or chocolate, or salty popcorn, or Twizzlers (I love those things for some strange reason). Don’t survive on these foods, but don’t deprive yourself either. It is my firm belief that deprivation leads to wrinkles and that’s just another thing to worry about in the mirror.
  8. Practice acceptance. So, maybe you used to be able to run 5 miles a day and now you can barely crank out 2. Or perhaps you could bench 150 and now you’re on 10 pounders. Life changes. Our bodies adjust and we, as humans, are incredibly adaptable…but only of we allow that adaptation. Don’t hang on to your glory days. Let go and accept right where you are. Have 50 pounds to lose? Accept that fact and work at it in a holistic manner. Don’t kil yourself trying to beat it off. Dealing with an injury? You won’t recover by continually pushing past your limits. Accept where you are in order to move forward.

Hopefully, this will help get you headed in the healthy direction :)

Michelle

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