Self-perception is often limited by what we choose to believe about ourselves. Here’s why your best body is just right under your nose.
In our society, we have become ashamed of the natural characteristics of the body. Lines and curves make a person unique and tell a story of who they are. Yet by any means necessary, we try to change them. We are all chasing after something that has been photoshopped, airbrushed, or smoothed with the idea that it’s actually attainable.
When you really think about it, what a waste of time.
For example, my younger self used to get nervous about wearing shorts and dresses as summer approached each year. I would think:
“If only my skin wasn’t so pale and the cellulite on my thighs would disappear, I would feel more comfortable in my clothes.”
Fifteen minutes later, my poor fair skin would turn red in the sun. Why was so much effort put into achieving something so temporary?
Why was I willing to risk my health to “fit in”?
The truth is, changing your size or shape isn’t going to make you feel more comfortable or give you everything that you want. Changing the beliefs that are limiting you from feeling good is what’s going to make you feel more comfortable.
Counting every morsel of food that goes into your body, losing another few pounds, and cutting out specific food groups won’t make you healthier or more accepted. It is impossible to micromanage the calories your body needs because you will gain the weight back once you eat normal meals again. After all, each of those food groups are vital for your body to function properly.
Despite how promising these diet tactics seem, you are destined to be right back where you started.
Cultivating a positive body image starts with identifying the ideas you perceive to be true and realizing that they can be different. You are not your thoughts, which is a good thing, because there is a good chance your thoughts are not reality.
You will continue to struggle accepting your body as long as you hold on to ideas that your body is wrong. No matter how long you stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself that you love your body, if you still have a different vision of beauty, you will never see yourself as beautiful.
Do you want to spend your entire life trying to fix a body that doesn’t even need to be fixed?
Accepting that your body makes you the person you are, and realizing that you are the only one getting in the way of feeling beautiful is what will start to heal your relationship with your body image.
It’s time to stop not feeling at home in your body, and trying to be some other version of is what keeps your body from filling with the joy of the present. Acceptance is about respect, and realizing that you deserve the same respect as everyone else. You don’t have to love everything about your body to be more gentle with yourself.
Just simply start respecting it.
Adapted from the original article.
HEADER IMAGE: DARIA NEPRIAKHINA
Haley Goodrich, RD, LDN is a private practice Registered Dietitian based in Pittsburgh, PA inspiring others to have a healthy relationship with food. Specializing in disordered eating, intuitive eating, and digestive health, Haley’s mission is to show that healthy doesn’t have to be restrictive or defined by how you compare to others. To stay inspired to be your healthiest you, visit Haley at INSPIRD Nutrition.