A few months ago I had an idea on how to approach my ongoing issues with body image.
Apart from a few brief periods of time in my life when I have felt good about my body, I have mostly disliked it.
Having never been one to stick with a regimented exercise and eating regime, I'm the first to admit I have not put the focus on health and well-being that some people do. So, I have gotten the results equivalent to what I have put in.
I had however been thinking more about this of late and wanted to do some work on it. In particular, my attitude toward my body, and the difficulty I have accepting my body as it is.
What I'd been remembering was the time prior to meeting my husband, Craig. I'd been single and living alone for eight years, by choice—I needed and wanted to. The year we met, I'd started dating and was yearning to meet the one, but the more I focused on what I didn't have, and the loneliness, the worse the ache inside of me got.
It wasn't until I got to the point of completely accepting that I could be single forever, that it all changed.
So in recent months, I've been wondering about applying this same concept to my body image issues.
Here three things I've been doing as part of this work:
1. Appreciating my body. Taking the time to consciously and actively think about all of the amazing things my body does, how it supports my very existence 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and how incredible that is. And, most importantly, how much I appreciate that.
2. Affirming my body. Telling myself, out loud, how strong my body is, and how much I love it.
3. Accepting my body. Spending time massaging and caressing my body, particularly the parts I have not liked in the past, whilst verbalising that I love all of my body.
These actions are proving to be incredibly helpful, and the more I practice them, the better I feel about my physical body.
I'm starting to notice that the critical voice is beginning to fade and the positive, kind, and loving voice is taking over.