Every Monday features a tip, activity, inspiring quote or some other tidbit that helps boost your body image, whether directly or indirectly — and hopefully kick-starts the week on a positive note!
Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at mtartakovsky at gmail dot com, and I’ll be happy to feature it. I’d love to hear from you!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve avoided wearing my prettiest clothes because I was saving them for a nicer occasion. Or avoided spraying my favorite perfume because I was just staying home or running an errand. Or avoided using any other nice products until some special moment arrived.
I’d let these items gather dust like fine china in a dining room cabinet. Because everyday occasions just didn’t make the special list.
I caught myself doing this last week when I contemplated putting on perfume. I’m just going to the store and will be spending the entire day at my parents’ house. I’d just be wasting it.
I used to think this way regularly when I was entrenched in the diet mentality and yearned to be thin more than anything. I didn’t want to waste any of the good stuff on worthless me.
Even though I love fashion, I came to a point where I didn’t want to wear beautiful clothing. I also didn’t want to cook nourishing meals because I thought, well, it’s only me.
And I definitely didn’t want to take good care of myself.
In my mind, I didn’t deserve it until I lost weight. Once I got thinner, then I could pamper myself, wear great clothes every day, buy my favorite lotion, engage in physical activities I really enjoyed, show myself kindness and compassion.
Maybe you’ve taken a similar punitive approach with yourself. Believed that doing something nice for yourself was a waste.
The reality is that it isn’t. Life is simply too short, and you deserve care and compassion at any size, shape or weight. There’s no reason to wait to do anything!
(Because sometimes waiting means missing out. Many of the perfumes that I’d waited to use went bad and had to be trashed anyway.)
And even more than that, if it makes you happy, do it, wear it, apply it. For instance, my aunt applies perfume every night before bed; she loves the pleasing scent and it just makes her feel good.
I love that. Yes, this might seem like a small gesture. But it’s something that she does for herself, and herself only.
Small gestures likes these, the ones that you do for yourself, truly add up. They contribute to a positive body image — taking care of yourself is an important part — and a positive outlook.
When you’re taking good care of yourself, you inevitably feel better (and you can do better for others, too). It is never a waste to do something nice for yourself. Not to mention that if you have kids or younger siblings, you’re modeling a very important behavior: That you deserve unconditional love and self-care, just as you are. And I bet that’s exactly how you feel about them.
What are the items or activities you’ve been saving, the ones that truly make you feel good?
Today, or right now if you can, list off these items and activities. Write them down, and consider doing them this week.
Your list might include:
Doing these things is more than just pampering or spoiling yourself. It’s honoring yourself because you matter. It’s honoring your days, because every sunrise and sunset is special and worthy and significant.
Below, please share what you’ll do this week that you’ve been saving.
P.S., If you live in the Minneapolis area, you might want to attend this event on January 25th. It’s co-hosted by one of my all-time fave bloggers, Sally of Already Pretty. Sally along with fitness expert Karen Kraus and relationship therapist Laura Rad will discuss how to use fitness, style and sexuality to bolster your body image. It really looks amazing! Learn more here.
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Last reviewed: 16 Jan 2012