Love Your Body Day

Today is Love Your Body Day. You might be thinking “Yeah right, not this body! How about a hate my body a little less day?” So let’s talk about this.

Do you have an image of your body, YOUR BODY, where you would look at it in the mirror and say YES!?  This is the question posed by Lydia to Darcy at the end of the movie Disfigured: A movie about women and weight. This question really stood out to me because I think when we women imagine the body we’d like to have, it is NEVER our body. It’s almost always somebody else’s – Jennifer Aniston’s, Jessica Biel’s, Heidi Klum’s, or ‘insert yours’ here. So no matter how hard we try and how small we get, it’s never good enough because what we really want to do is trade our body for someone else’s. Maybe it is time to shift the focus?

Most of us, in our efforts for constant self-improvement, try using negative self-talk and guilt or shame as motivators for change. But it doesn’t really work. It’s hard to take care of something or someone you don’t like. So why not accept where you are today and start treating yourself the way you likely treat others – with kindness and respect.

What can you do?  Here are some of our thoughts…

1.  Make a list of what your body lets you do every day. When you are so wrapped up in what your body looks like, you don’t appreciate all of the things it does for you EVERY day regardless of how poorly you treat it.

2.  Stop body checking. This includes time scrutinizing your body in a mirror, feeling for bones and/or fat, stepping on the scale, taking measurements, and comparing yourself with others.  If you look for fatness, you will find it, even if you are a size zero.

3.  Start dressing your body in beautiful, comfortable clothing TODAY. Consider seeking out the help of a stylist to learn how to dress your body in figure flattering clothing. You might be surprised with how you treat yourself when you feel better in your own skin. And this is a great way to invest in your self (see #7).

4.  Stop WEIGHTing to live your life. You don’t need to lose weight to do, be, or have what you want in life.

5.  Fire the food and body police. As Geneen Roth says, “That VOICE is your biggest obstacle to change. Kindness is the way out.”

6.  Be aware of your “comparing mind” when you are in a room full of people. The inner critic does a great job convincing us it knows what other peoples’ lives are like and that yours doesn’t measure up!

7.  Invest your time, energy and money in self care instead of the diet and weight loss industry that depends on repeat customers to keep them in business because of their 90-95% failure rate.

8.  Accept your genetic blueprint.  Do you ever think “If I ate like a six foot tall person, I could be six feet tall?” Do you ever go into a shoe store and try on a smaller size shoe hoping it fits? We live in a world that makes us believe that if we just tried hard enough, we could all weigh 100-125 pounds and that simply isn’t true. Your natural, healthy weight is the one at which your body settles with consistent self-care practices that include normal eating and moderate amounts of physical activity.

9.  Engage in weight-neutral self-care practices. Detach healthy eating or physical activity from your size or shape and just do it because ALL bodies benefit from good self care. Eat foods that taste good and make you feel better.  Move your body in ways you find joyful and forget about the rules for “what counts.”

10.  Expect to have “bad” body days. Regardless of how much work you do to accept yourself, you are still going to have bad days. Instead of starting a diet that day or making a plan to attack the gym, you could get curious and ask “What is going on in my life to make me want to focus on my body today?” “Feeling fat” is almost always about something else.

11.  Notice things in your life that increase your pre-occupation with dieting and weight loss. These might include friends, family members, co-workers in the lunchroom, TV shows, magazines. You can change the channel, leave the room, support businesses that reinforce your values and think about surrounding yourself with people who aren’t always engaging in diet or fat talk.

12.  Become a Health at Every Size® advocate and activist. Get involved in groups and organizations that promote size esteem and support diversity. Speak out against weight prejudice, harassment, and discrimination. When you speak for a cause, your commitment to the cause strengthens.

In Body Trust,