This post is dedicated to the millions of women learning to unabashedly love themselves.
Every day, we’re tasked with shoving aside the myriad of messages shouting, ‘change yourself!’ We are brave to navigate a world where it is easier to identify and focus on our perceived faults than it is to unabashedly love our unique selves.
We’re tasked with developing our own patterns of ‘normal eating’, in a society that promotes disordered eating. It takes incredible strength to drown out the noise and listen to our own bodies.
But a movement has started – one that demands a liberalized and more inclusive definition of beauty, happiness, joy, life, and passion. The more we come together to recognize our own self worth, the stronger this movement marches forward.
Today, we vow to honor our incredible bodies.
The journey on the road of self-love takes intention and patience. There will be days when we’ll wake up and feel inadequate; but there will also be days when we’ll celebrate who we are and who we’re working to become. So today, on this beautiful Monday, let’s:
01. stop blaming ourselves
Every body and EVERYBODY is vastly different. Multiple factors contribute to our body size: genetics, muscle mass, water weight, hormones, age, race/ethnicity, physical activity, physiological factors (i.e. resting metabolic rate, thermic effect of feeding), environmental factors, medications, social factors, and more .
You didn’t fail at your last diet – dieting failed you. The industry failed you. Society failed you, for continuing to spread the message that dieting = happiness.
Your body and mind work together to fight restriction, often leading to binges on restricted foods and subsequent feelings of shame and guilt.
Never blame yourself for ‘failing’ at something that was already wired for failure.
02. work out because we love our bodies, not because we hate them
Exercise is not a punishment – ever. It’s not a means of working off our weekends or ‘cheat meals.’ Negative associations with exercise mask the joy that we glean from moving our bodies in ways that we enjoy. When we exercise with the goal of changing ourselves, we lose sight of the mental and emotional benefits of exercise. We move for strength. For power. For community. We move because we’re blessed to be in bodies that are free and capable of moving.
03. not value our bodies over our well-being
When we go to extremes to change the way we look, we sacrifice our health in the process. We are more than just our bodies. As the amazing ladies at Beauty Redefined state, “We are capable of much more than looking hot.”
04. celebrate body diversity
Admire the shapes and sizes around you. Admire YOU. Wake up, look at your magnificent self in the mirror, and list off 3 attributes that you LOVE about yourself. You are worthy of admiration. You are worthy of love. You are enough.
05. stop knocking down other women’s bodies
It’s 100% unacceptable. Catch yourself, and think hard about why you’re really tearing down other women. Help the people around you recognize that their words are powerful – call them out when their words are hurtful – and be a catalyst for universal love and acceptance.
06. celebrate what our bodies can do
Share laughter. Spread compliments. Inspire others. Carry a child. Hold a child. Hug a friend in need. Big spoon. Little spoon. Carry us when we’re down. Lift us up when we fall. Movement for joy. Eating for pleasure. Loving for connection. Embracing for comfort. Protecting from fear.
Our bodies are sanctuaries that hold our personal life stories. Love your body for the journey it takes you through in this messy, but beautiful, life.
07. be role models – because in a society that profits from our self doubt, loving ourselves is a rebellious act
Today, I vow to love myself. To forgive myself on days when I hate what I see in the mirror. To choose to nourish my body despite not liking what I see. To spread a message of love and acceptance. I promise to eliminate negative self-talk, to celebrate body diversity, and to help my network of badass friends appreciate and honor their unique bodies.
I promise to support those in need of encouragement. To promote messages of body positivity. To tell the people around me why and how much they are loved. To focus my conversations around discovering and living out our greatest purpose in this life.
Happy Monday, my fierce army of readers!