Love me Tender, Love Me True
What would you think if you overheard two loving friends talking to each other in the bathroom, as they glared at one another with examining eyes and said:
Friend 1: ” I know you were so excited about those new jeans you bought yesterday, especially after all that exercise you’ve been doing to tone your legs… but now that I’m seeing you in them, they actually make your thighs look big, especially on the sides there. They’re bulging out a bit.”
Friend 2: “Yeah, I should have bought that dress you wearing. It would’ve given me a much better shape. Turn around, let me see?! Wow, it definitely gives you shape. It’s so tight that I can see every bump on your bum, not to mention that little tiny fold forming right there by your waste.”
Take a step back! Stop! Think to yourself: “What would I think if I overheard two loved ones critiquing each other like this”. Ask yourself: “Would I talk like this to a friend or a loved one? How would I feel if someone looked at me through such judgmental and critical eyes?”
The real question I ask is why would you then talk to and critically examine yourself like this?!
We often stand in front of the mirror inspecting every bump, wrinkle, crease and curve, making unhelpful and rather irrational body-related assumptions. These are potentially more damaging than we think, not only impacting us psychologically but also tending to have an opposite effect on our health to what is desired.
Internalizing weight bias, and the negative comments coming from that body image tyrant sitting on your shoulder, can result in poor self-esteem, poor self-care, depression, anxiety, weight cycling and possible self-harming behaviour. Ironically your body perception has a strong impact on your health, weight, how you live and how you socialise. It’s far easier to lead a balanced lifestyle with a healthy attitude .
Today, we are not only faced with the ripped muscles, sexy six packs and bootylicious butts declaring to be the ‘ideal’ on every magazine and TV show; but we also seem to be confused as to whether we are using concepts like ‘fitspiration’ as healthy inspiration or for INSTAidealiaztion. Is the focus truly on “love ME tender” or #lovemeTINDER?
Self-love should not be based on what others feel about you, but rather on what you feel about you.
Body positivity can be achieved in many ways and is different for everyone. Some methods are:
Avoid Fat Talk. Yes, that conversation we always find ourselves in where we babble on about “You look so great, have you lost weight?”, “I wish I had your body, you’re so thin”. Fat Talk is a concept whereby there is conversational shaming of our own or someone else’s body or appearance, or general weight-related chatter. Such contagious Fat Talk results in heightened body dissatisfaction.
Positive affirmation. Focus on your positive attributes and write 5 of them down together with 5 positive affirmations that resonate with you. Although you may not fully believe them at first, repetition is key. Some examples of these would be:
– My body deserves to be loved, nourished and taken care of.
– I’m beautiful both inside and out and deserve to be respected.
Be grateful. Studies have shown that gratitude towards your body, and the functions it is capable of, significantly decreases body dissatisfaction.
Nature. Embed yourself in the beauty that is nature and remind yourself that media is unrealistic and mostly unattainable.
Find similarity. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals. A social media platform, The Body Positive, is an organization that spreads body positivity, allowing us to love, care-for and treasure our bodies.
I know that I am not alone in the history of the body positivity battle. I have made, and am re-making the decision to not go with whatever weight trend is en vogue. Instead, I will try go, as much as possible – as always is truly unrealistic – with what feeds me and nourishes my whole.
“I am a WHOLE being and am not made up of individual body parts, and with this WHOLE, I nourish myself to my sunrise” …I’ll see you there!
Nourish yourself to the sunrise.
Written with love ,
Sunrise by HM
Nourished yet? Comment on what I should write about next?
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