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SomeBODY to Love

Surveys suggest that up to 97% of women in the US suffer from negative body image. This is alarming not only because women are feeling so down about their bodies, but because the problem runs much deeper than feelings. When we feel bad about our bodies we make choices based on those negative feelings. Whether it is choosing a spouse, accepting a job, living a healthy/unhealthy lifestyle, or interacting with those around us, our self image guides us. If we can learn to love our bodies unconditionally, we may be able to see concrete improvements in all aspects of our lives. Here are 3 body positive things you can do to nurture the most important love affair of your life. Practice Self-Care This is the only body that we will ever get to experience (at least in this life), so why not treat it with kindness and respect? We often think of self-care as something luxurious that we indulge in occasionally, like a massage. But what about exercise, healthy eating, or sleep? These are simple ways to care for our bodies on a daily basis. If we make self-care a priority, we can maintain a functional and healthy body for the long run. It's like a house...Would you just let your house fall into disrepair? Holes in the roof and a crumbling foundation? No way. It would be impossible to inhabit. Sometimes we may feel like exercise is a form of punishment or torture for our unhealthy choices or for the way we look. Maybe putting a positive spin on fitness, and looking at it as a form of self-care can increase chances of sticking to a regular fitness routine? Maintain your home, because this is the only one you’ve got. Use Food as Fuel Food is used to comfort. Food is used to reward. Food is used celebrate. Woohoo!...but often these behaviors leave our bodies rundown, sick, and sometimes overweight. Our bodies deserve better. A quick binge on sugar and processed carbs is the norm when we feel stressed, overwhelmed, or tired. Sure, it feels good in the moment to scarf down that bagel or cookie, but then an hour later we feel tired again and our bodies crash. Is it possible to look at food as fuel? Something that helps us realize our full potential? If we shift our perspective, we may realize the foods we have been consuming are actually making us feel worse. Choosing plant based foods, healthy proteins, whole grains, and nuts can help our bodies function better. We feel amazing when we consume the right things. Next time you grab a snack ask yourself, “Will this fuel and nourish my body?” Let Go of Perfection I thought growing up in the days of YM and Seventeen Magazine were bad for self esteem, but social media sometimes takes our insecurities to a whole new level. Anyone now can add a filter to their photo. Anyone can share only the very best of themselves. This can skew our perception of reality, and we end up expecting perfection (or something close to it) from ourselves. Can we let go of the idea that we have to be picture perfect? Instead, embrace and love our bodies just the way they are? We all have flaws. Is it possible to accept our bodies as beautiful, even with those flaws? If we truly love our bodies, then we WILL meet it’s needs - physically, mentally, emotionally. And if you are practicing that kind of unconditional self love all of the other pieces will fall into place - weight, functionality, energy levels, mood, and self esteem. ❤️ 

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