Cherish Your One and Only
Written by Bridget Kavanaugh
Body image so often plays a major role in our day to day lives, both internally and externally. It is how we as individuals view our bodies and what environmental factors have shaped that viewpoint. For instance, family and friend interactions, social media, the medical world and even the government play a role in how we view our bodies. Often we become wrapped up in what the body may or may not look like instead of awareness around how it feels.
When we hold negative thoughts and judgment around our bodies it reflects not only in our mood and energy, but also our health. If there is a constant strive for an immeasurable ‘perfection,’ how will we ever reach that place of peace and enjoyment with our bodies? Body image issues can occur for both sexes and in today’s society we definitely see an increase of pressure on the female gender.
On top of the great shift in a women’s role over the past thirty years there has been a massive amount of movement towards beautification and perfection of a women’s body. Facial ‘attractiveness’ is compared to airbrush photos, breast size desire is of the McDonalds ‘supersize’ mentality, and happiness and success are driven by the dimension of your waist. Tied along with this is sexual appeal. If the appeal is based on starvation, plastic modifications, computer enhancement and pouting, how will we ever win in confidence of our appeal? And while many of us can understand and comprehend this trend, it is still a constant factor in our daily surroundings that can be daunting and very influential.
Have you ever noticed models often are not remembered for the happiest demeanor? Honestly, they look pretty peeved on their strut down the runway. My guess has always been because they are hungry, malnourished and fatigued! We have one physical body that we know of in this lifetime, so how can we learn to love and appreciate what we’ve got?
This is not to say that the body is not a constant work in progress, but it is what the intention and end goal are that we hold. Seeking out the healthiest lifestyle for your body and mind will allow one to build awareness and control over their own health. As well, allow confidence to build, knowing and feeling that health in the body. Taking day to day steps down that yellow brick road of health might find you skipping to that pot of gold sooner than you think!
• Look in the mirror each morning and repeat a positive mantra for 30 seconds:
‘I have a warm and caring smile that lightens others’
‘I love my (insert body part)’
‘I am a strong listener, caretaker, intuitive thinker, etc’
• Find some of your favorite positive inspiration quotes and stick them around your mirror.
• Choose one that resonates with you in the morning/evening while brushing your teeth.
• Try out TONS of different work out classes until you find the one that you enjoy the most. Invite friends to join and make a game of it!
• Take the words ‘treat, pamper and reward’ and find a way to make them occur daily: Get a mani/pedi, seek out a new hiking trail, read a few pages of a good book, sign up for a new art/writing/language class, take a hot bath, buy a new outfit for weight loss, etc. Often our minds go right to food when we hear those words but there can be so much enjoyment in the little things in life that we often miss.
So try it out – set yourself free of the set ‘should’ of body image! Maybe in that freedom you will find yourself a little closer to your SELF…