Almost all of us have a distorted image of our body, often due to the importance our culture places on outward appearance and with the onslaught of media images of airbrushed models and celebrities, who wouldn’t have a distorted image of his/her body?
On a daily basis, we talk to ourselves in ways we would never speak to another person. Imagine speaking to a child the way you speak to yourself about your body. It would devastate and squelch a child.
It affects you similarly, causing stress and emotional pain in your body, which can make improving your health or losing weight even more difficult.
Note from Carolyn: Don’t compromise by eating processed foods. You only get one body to live in. Your body is your temple to God so you can live long and strong. Eat to live and not live to eat!
Think of all the intelligence, creativity and time you spend on improving, altering and judging your appearance. Who would you be and what could you accomplish if your valuable resources weren’t used this way?
Constant emphasis on the external makes us discount the great presence and intelligence that is housed by the body. It makes us forget the magic of our internal rhythms and fail to acknowledge the beautiful bodies we have.
The body you have now is incredible!
It never misses a heartbeat
It maintains homeostasis
It miraculously digests whatever you put in it
It is your instrument for expressing your creativity, intelligence and love
By focusing on the 1% you don’t like or wish were different, you may be ignoring the remaining 99% about your body that is beautiful, unique and delightful.
What would your life be like if you were simply at peace with the body you have? You may wish to make your body healthier and stronger, but could you do that out of love and respect for your body instead of the opposite?
Could you begin to treat yourself with kindness, to limit the negative self-talk and to reconnect with your inner wisdom? Take a minute to imagine what that would feel like.
It would mean celebrating your body and not punishing it. It would mean nourishing your body and not depriving it. It would mean a chance to watch your body flourish when treated with care and respect.
Evelyn Parham shares healthy living tips and inspiration for your mind, body and spirit. Learn more about Evelyn by visiting the About page. Get blog post updates and news delivered straight to your inbox by signing up here.
Reading your article gives me pause to think about how to respond to the complex interwoven ideas about "treating yourself with kindness" and "celebrating your body and not punishing it." Depending on who is reading your article, they will likely interpret the goal depending current foundation. The way I see these two ideas, is that we need to treat ourselves with kindness always. To me that means staying away from negatives ideas about things we want to improve in ourselves. But at the same time not giving into the things we want to improve in ourselves, but working constructively to change those things.
You wrote something I found to be beautiful, while striving to be better, don't ever forget about your current accomplishments, and let that drive you to do better at the things that are harder for you to accomplish. Do this instead of only focusing negatively on the things that you want to be better at but find more difficult accomplishing, because that will burn you out and interfere with what you are already good at.
I do believe our body's are our temples for our spirit, and both are interwoven and influence each other, so the strength of the body is very important and celebrating the body means feeding it wholefoods, clean foods, unprocessed foods, vegetation, and herbs that God has naturally provided for us. (If you eat meat, make it organic meat that has been raised naturally and with care) When we discipline our eating habits, not to look like some airbrushed model, but to clean and keep our temples strong, it is much easier to be energetic, compassionate, and in tune with the spirit of the life force that sustains us.
Aqiyl, thank you for your kind words. We must treat ourselves with kindness in order to treat others with kindness. Celebrating our body type is paramount. Once we figure out who we are and whose we are we will see ourselves in a different light that will illuminate us with an iridescent glow!
Blessings to you!