I’ve been thinking about my body again a lot the past couple of months and last week this came up with a client of mine, too.
It’s crazy to think that so many people put so much thought in their appearance and still most of them really dislike themselves. I guess in a way it makes sense, because when you like yourself, you don’t spend so much time thinking about all the bad things, you dislike yourself for.
But on the other hand, shouldn’t we be motivated to change our appearance if we dislike it?And exactly this is the point!
We are so busy hating ourselves for whatever it is… our fat roles, our bad skin, our clothes size, our thighs, our bellies, our stretch marks, our breasts, our hair, our feet, our noses,… that that this leaves no time to actually change something. We can’t find motivation, we already gave up on ourselves…
I feel like, there are always ways to change whatever you dislike, but it takes a lot to actually do it.
What is holding us back then?
Lots of things…
I believe that deep inside we know that we are ok. Deep in our souls we do know that we are loved the way we are and that we should be confident and thankful in and for the body that we were born in. When we step into our power (of self-love), we have this beautiful energy that will shine far and will make us happy in being the way we are.
A big problem is that we are taught from childhood on, that it matters what other people think about us. I catch myself saying things like ‘Please be quiet, so that you don’t annoy the neighbours.’ or ‘People might think you are crazy.’ or ‘Can’t you just behave like a normal child’ to my children at times. And I am a pretty conscious person and try to not make them feel like they have to fit in and behave in ways that ‘others’ think are normal.
But most of us were brought up like this! It always mattered what others would think about us, about my parents, about my grandparents… They always wanted to keep this perfect image of being the perfect parents/people through their children’s behavior. But what does this to our children?
It tells them that they need to fit in the norm! Even when they are little, they already have to behave like adults and behave in certain ways and automatically also look a certain way to fit that image.
Now we are adults and still struggle with the image that we are supposed to present, that image that was put on us by our caregivers, the media and the people around us. Who are we really proofing ourselves to?
I wrote about my childhood memory about my grandpa telling me that my thighs were big in a different post a while ago (https://nonimadewithlove.com/2016/11/20/please-love-yourself/).
But something like that sticks! Especially when children are not that grounded and already have a low self-esteem, like I did.
I still struggle a lot with my thighs and they are still the part on my body that dislike the most, although I have been working on liking and embracing them for a long time…
Two years ago, I came across the Beach Body on Demand App and started working out every day. I also wrote about this before (https://nonimadewithlove.com/2017/09/20/today-marks-4-months-of-my-daily-workout-routine/).
I even had days that I worked out twice. I got so hooked and almost addicted to sculpt and change my body the way I always dreamed of looking. And the results came. I really liked that I lost weight and that I got skinnier. Then I started to do weightlifting and really liked my muscles to show. At that time I really started to love my body in a way that I never had before. I felt that if I wanted to look a certain way, I needed to put in the work.
But what I struggled with the most was, that I did this because I hated my body.
And I didn’t want to feel like this anymore. I didn’t want to hate my body that I had started to love. I wanted to shift this and be sure to work on my body and my health because I loved myself.
And that was a big mind shift.
When I changed my mindset, my workouts changed too. I didn’t feel like I needed to workout twice a day anymore, not even every day.
I took days off when I didn’t feel like it, but I also pushed myself when I got too lazy. I truly believe that there is a benefit In consistency, but there is also a point of telling yourself to be gentle with yourself and do whatever feels right at that moment.
It matters how you talk to your body. Always.
There were periods when my body told me clearly that I was doing too much. Too much weight, too much pushing myself of doing cardio every day of the week, or other things ….
My back and neck usually tell me when I am off and I learned to listen.
I also learned to take it easy on the first couple of days of my period. I think two years ago, it happened that I would take a painkiller if I was too crampy to be able to finish my workout. That changed, the first two days of my period I don’t do anything other than maybe stretching.
And for the rest I feel into myself and decide when I am ready for more…
My body thanks me when I am gentle with myself and have good thoughts about myself. I feel much more healthy and flowy and feel like I radiate this out. Despite saying before, that I try to not care what people around me think of me or my children’s’ behavior, it’s kind of fun to watch other peoples’ reactions when I am in a flow and feel good about myself.
People behave much different around me, much happier, nicer and open. I love to see people smile when they see me. I have also witnessed that since I pay more attention of being grounded and loving myself, people approach me in a different way. They look at me closer, with more interest and greet me more openly.
It might be that I didn’t notice that before, because I was too busy thinking about my flaws, but I have noticed this change in the past couple of month a lot.
I feel much more open and interested, now that I don’t feel like I need to hide all my flaws so much, so others feel this openness and can mirror this back to me.
Life is so much easier when feeling good about myself!
(And that does for sure not mean that I feel good about myself all the time and in every area of my life yet, there is always a working process going on. But there are periods of times when everything seems to just settle and the pieces seem to fit together and I feel grounded and in a flow, in my feminine power.)
What I experienced, this shift of really doing everything I do, because I love myself and not because I hate myself, was not done by night. It probably took months, maybe years. But I know that everybody can do this.
I had people coach me through tough times and I always recommend to open up to somebody. Build your tribe around you that you feel comfortable and inspired in and don’t just sit there in your agony thinking, you are the only one who suffers from this problem.
There are so many people wanting to live a life in peace and love with themselves and we can all achieve that!
Sometimes there are blocks deep down in our past that don’t let us move on and when we find these and address them and understand, as our adult self, that these beliefs limit us in our life today, we can let them go and move on.
I’d love to support you getting rid of these blocks and restrains, so that you can start a new life of loving yourself and your body.
I can totally say that it’s worth it to start this journey! It’s not an easy one, but we can do it together! I am here for support.
With much love and gratitude,
PS: When I saw this featured picture of myself today, I told my husband ‘I look skinny in this picture!’. He looked at me and said ‘Baby, you are in very good shape! Why don’t you see that?’
And I know exactly what it is. I didn’t feel very well this past week, having a yeast infection and I imagine that there is all this yeast in my belly, that rumbles and bloats me up when I eat sugary things. So only that feeling of not being a hundred percent, triggered me feeling like I am too fat. (It’s a big wound, this old belief!) But it’s my choice through which lens I am seeing myself and I choose LOVE. I will take care of my body to get rid of the yeast. I will make the right choices eating no sugar or dairy or alcohol or caffeine and not too many fruits, because I love myself and I love to be healthy.
But if I want to enjoy an ice cream or something else sweet, I won’t feel super guilty about it either and won’t beat myself up over it. I enjoy and then live with the consequences, but in a gentle way.