A huge part of a healthy selfcare practice is to treat your body with love and respect. And that is definitely easier said than done.
Women are constantly bombarded with what you can and can’t do with your body and what you should and shouldn’t do with your body. There are so many different opinions and perspectives. How you should look, what you should weigh, how you should present yourself. I personally don’t think anyone has a right to tell anyone else what to do with their body. But, the one thing that you as a woman should and can do with your body is treat your body with love and respect.
Treating your body with love and respect has to start with yourself.
We are our own worst critics. How many times have you been looking in the mirror or walking by the mirror after you’ve showered or while you’re getting dressed and caught a glimpse of your body and you say, “Ugh, God, that is disgusting.”
I have. I have done it way more than I care to ever admit and it’s not okay. Why would you say that to yourself? It is not nice or loving. You would never say such a thing to your spouse or your children. Yet, so many of us do that to ourselves way too often.
How many pieces of clothing do you have in your closet that don’t fit? Clothes that you purchased a size too small because when you were going to that wedding or that high school reunion or whatever event, you said to yourself, ” I’m going lose this 5 or 10 lbs so let me get the size smaller.”
And did you lose it? No. Could you wear that fabulous outfit that you got? No or at least not comfortably. Would you do that to your children? Would you buy them an outfit and tell them they can’t wear it until they lost 5 or 10lbs? Never. But we do this to ourselves all the time.
Many of us have extra pounds we are carrying from having children, getting older and just life in general? There is extra, saggy skin from pregnancies. And your boobs – after breastfeeding – they are just not the same.
But here’s the thing…
You don’t have to like everything about your body to treat it with love and respect.
I don’t like everything about my husband, but I will always treat him with love and respect. I don’t really like my children all the time. Yep, I said that. But I will always approach them with love and respect.
We really, really, really, really, have to treat ourselves with love and respect.
You can want to lose weight and still love and respect yourself and your body. You can still look in the mirror and say, “You are amazing…Extra pounds and all.” You can want a boob job and still treat have an appreciation for them. You can want a full blown mommy makeover and still speak to yourself in a kind and loving manner.
I have actually stopped and said to myself in the mirror, “Hello beautiful! You better work!” I have stopped, jiggled all my goodies and given myself a high five. I actively take the time to reverse my habits and do over the top things to treat my body with love and respect.
Practice saying loving and respectful things to yourself.
Just try it, as embarrassing or corny as it may be. Whenever you find yourself saying negative things about your body, the stretch marks on your thighs, the flabby belly that you have, the droopy boobs…Stop yourself and say something positive instead. And keep doing it till you believe it, till it becomes your default.
It will feel corny and stupid. But it’s better than allowing you to berate yourself and treat yourself unkindly. For whatever reason…we don’t look like we want look, because we have extra pounds, because our clothes are not making us feel fabulous. All you are doing is compounding those feelings by treating yourself so disrespectfully and with such a lack of love.
So, treat your body with love and respect. Treat yourself with love and respect. That does not mean you have to like everything. You can love and respect yourself and still want to change and grow. Just because you still want to lose those 20lbs…You want to eat better…You still want to get your boobs fixed or get that saggy skin taken care… That does not mean that you don’t deserve to love or respect yourself.
People thrive in environments where they feel love and respected. Your body will thrive for you when it feels love and respected. So, no matter what is being said about what you should or shouldn’t do with your body or what your body should or shouldn’t be… You should always treat your body with love and respect.
Elisha Beach is a stay-at-home mom to four kids and four step-kids…Yes, you read that right—eight kids. She is a wife, home cook, taxi driver, herder of children, terrible housekeeper, selfcare advocate and founder of The Mom Forum.
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