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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The "importance" of appearance

There is so much emphasis placed on physical appearance. We are constantly bombarded with ways to lose that last 10 lbs, fight lines and wrinkles, or find the perfect push up bra. The message is clear: you aren't okay the way you are and if you notice how happy the models/spokespeople who sell these products are, you'll buy, in the hopes of making your life better.

But, will it really? Do we need to do any of that to live a good life?

I thought about this relative to my own experience on this planet so far. I realized there were things that I have been able to accomplish that had absolutely nothing to do with "looking" a certain way:

-- I won a spelling bee in the 5th grade
-- I qualified for the Boston Marathon twice without six pack abs
-- I am a college graduate (pretty sure my mind can take the credit)

Listing these things isn't a way to toot my own horn. It serves as evidence that I didn't need to look any differently than I already do in order to be happy and do pretty awesome things.

A wise person once said, "your body is an INSTRUMENT, not an ORNAMENT."

You were born complete. No diets, creams or shape wear necessary. Focus on what you can DO and who you ARE. That's really where the action is.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Love Your Body Project: Thought of the Day

I used to think that weight loss held the key to happiness. "If only" was one of my favorite phrases. "If only" I could have visible abs, then I'd be okay. "If only" I could get rid of cellulite, then I'd be fulfilled. If only, If only If only...

I finally realized that you can't diet away insecurity and self-hate. No matter what size I was, I still took me with me. I had to stop fighting myself. I had to stop wishing I was someone else. See, sometimes people say they don't hate themselves, they just hate the extra weight they carry.

I don't think that can be true.

You cannot separate your extra weight from yourself. It is a part of you, whether you realize it or not, whether you currently like it or not. If you don't choose to own it, then you are rejecting it, therefore, you are rejecting YOU. Can you love yourself and still take steps towards changing your body? I believe that you can if those steps are taken in the name of self-care and love. Eating food that pleases your palate and nourishes you when you feel hunger is one of the most nurturing things you can do for yourself. So is moving your body in ways that you enjoy. Starting with the inside can transform the outside.

Doing these things for their own sake instead of using weight loss as the only reason will get you where you want to go a heck of a lot faster. As counterintuitive as it may sound, you cannot get where you want to go until you make peace with where you are right now. I had to decide, for my own sanity, that my body didn't need to change one bit for me to care for and love it as it was. Once I began caring for and loving my body, I knew what it was to care for and love myself.

You've gotta own it. And then, you've gotta take care of what's yours.