Are Your Beliefs Hurting Your Body Image?

It’s interesting how we have become ashamed of the natural characteristics of the body. Lines and curves make a person unique and tell a story of who they are, but by any means necessary, we try to change them. We are all chasing after something that has been photoshopped, airbrushed and smoothed with the idea that it’s actually attainable. When you really think about it, what a waste of time.

My younger (more disordered) self use to get nervous about wearing shorts and dresses as summer approached each year. I would think if only my skin wasn’t so pale and the cellulite on my thighs would disappear, I would feel more comfortable in my clothes. My poor beautiful fair skin. Fifteen minutes in the sun without sunscreen and I would be red, so why put so much effort into achieving something so temporary.

Why was I willing to risk my health to “fit in”?

But the truth is, changing your size or shape isn’t going to make you feel more comfortable or give you everything that you want. Changing the beliefs that are limiting you from feeling good is what’s going to make you feel more comfortable.

Counting every morsel of food that goes into your body, losing another few pounds, and cutting out specific food groups isn’t going to make you healthier or more accepted. It is impossible to micromanage the calories your body needs, you will gain the weight back when you eat normal meals again and each of those food groups are vital for your body to function properly. Despite how promising these diet tactics seem, you are destined to be right back where you started.

Cultivating a positive body image starts with identifying the ideas you perceive to be true and realizing that they can be different. You are not your thoughts, which is a good thing, because there is a good chance your thoughts aren’t reality.

You will continue to struggle accepting your body as long as you hold on to ideas that your body is wrong. No matter how long you stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself that you love your body, if you still have a different vision of beauty, you will never see yourself as beautiful.

Do you want to spend your entire life trying to fix a body that doesn’t even need to be fixed?

Accepting that my body makes me a person and realizing that I was the one getting in the way of feeling beautiful, is what started to heal my body image. I hated not feeling at home in my body. I got tired of trying to be perfect or something that I’m not. Obsessing over the past and worrying about the future kept my body from filling with the joy of the present.

Acceptance is about respect and realize that you deserve the same respect as everyone else. You don’t have to love everything about your body to be more gentle with yourself or to simply start respecting it.