My legs are too “bulky”, my hips too wide, my breasts too small, and my chin and neck too fat? The things I often let my mind go on about, allowing free range to scrutinize my body and break down any self-confidence I have left. Whether it stems from seeing a photo on social media that leads me to comparing my body or a comment about my “athletic build”, which for some reason has me up in arms, I far too often catch myself shaming my own body after everything it’s done for me!
It’s safe to say we’ve all been there. Whether instigated by an external source or as a result of a moment of self-doubt. So, how do we learn to love ourselves and the journey our bodies go on? How do we realize that no one body is perfect, that we each view bodies differently, and that no matter what, we will always set new goals and want to work on something else – it never ends. Your body is never perfect. Perfection is unattainable, but loving your damn self is!
I’ve said it before, I’m a work in progress. Whether it’s to stress less, be more confident, or let things go, I know body shaming myself is something I won’t tolerate anymore. As if strangers don’t do it enough, I don’t need to beat myself up over the idea of what a perfect body should look like. So, I need to remind myself of the following:
1. WORK IN PROGRESS: My body is on a journey and will never stop wanting to get stronger, leaner, faster etc. Embrace every win, every fail, goals met and missed, and find strength in the ability to love our body at every stage. Whether in the midst of a challenge, running past the half marathon line, or picking up a weight for your first time, you are in the progress of living a healthier life. The body you have is allowing you to do that!
Example: I finish an 8-week long challenge, feel great, and love how I feel and look. The next day, I see someone do 10 pull-ups as their warm ups and I realize how much strength that takes...and now I want that strength! Well, that's just another body goal. We are always finding something to improve on and that’s not a bad thing – if we learn to love and accept ourselves at every stage. Pre-goal and all. It's more important to reward effort vs result, it's leads to more constant confidence.
2. NOURISH THE SH*T OUT OF IT: My body is a temple. If I’m going to ask it to be stronger, leaner, faster, or energetic, I need to nourish it with what it needs. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will make you feel good from the inside out. Sure, you can make up the exterior but you can’t contour and highlight your gut or liver to appear hydrated and strong. You can’t conceal the truth when it comes to your overall health.
Example: If you consume large quantities of processed food, drink more pop than water, and don’t take the time to nourish your body with the food it deserves you’ll reap what you sow. Your face will break out, your energy will be low, and your overall health will be put in jeopardy. All of this will naturally cause your mood to change and you’ll have a significantly worse time trying to love your body.
3. DNA: My body will never be identical to another’s, nor do I want it to be. Find the uniqueness in your body shape and embrace the sh*t out of it. Our muscles develop differently, our bone structure is unable to modify, so learn about your body and how it operates. What muscle is more dominant, what can you do to maintain or grow, what to avoid, what to focus on etc. Once you know your own body better, you can enhance the body you were blessed with!
Example: My best friend is significantly shorter than I am and weighs a fraction of what I do but we eat and work out the same. We are naturally different based on so many factors and it would be impossible to fit into her clothes or be at the same weight – that would be unhealthy! So, why are we constantly striving to be something we aren’t or physically can’t be. Stop comparing. (note: she has worn my shoes after we stuffed them with socks...)
Easier said than done, but everyone has something someone doesn’t or someone wants. It’s a vicious cycle. But when you stop and realize you are unique, beautiful, and work hard to be healthy and happy…you finally realize that your body is one to be loved, not judged.
So, let’s stop comparing ourselves, let’s embrace all body shapes, and let’s empower confidence no matter your shape, size, height, or build. Every-BODY is beautiful.
Urban Meets Erban xo
WEARING: Booties by Sam Edelman, Jeans by American Eagle (high waist amazingness), Sweater by Aritzia, T-Shirt by H&M, Watch by Larsson & Jennings.