Archives for Body Image
Self-care is not a to-do list. I was recently reminded of this in this newsletter from Nicole Antoinette. In other words, self-care isn't a list of tasks you need to check off every day or every week. Get a manicure and pedicure Monday. Take a bubble bath on Tuesday. Work out on Wednesday. Make a home-cooked dinner on Friday.
I'm not sure that I've ever felt good reading a fitness or "health" magazine geared toward women. Instead, I've felt self-conscious, inadequate and way too big. At some point I realized the words in their glossy pages weren't gospel. I realized that I didn't have to believe or act on their tips---which focused on watching my weight and what I was eating (like a hawk), feeling guilty any time I wavered and preparing for (i.e., panicking over) bikini season and holiday parties.
I've been thinking more about self-love and what it means and looks like for me. Yesterday, I shared some thoughts in this piece. Today, I'm sharing more examples. I hope these inspire you to think through your own definitions and how you can start embracing and loving yourself. Because you can. No matter where you've been and no matter what others have said to you, you can. Start small. Start now.
There are many misconceptions about self-love. Some people assume that loving yourself is a cop-out or an excuse to do whatever you want---as in miss work just because, or spend money on some big purchase that's going to set you back (i.e., spending money you don't have). Some people assume it means not taking responsibility for your actions, or slipping into excess, or obsessive behaviors. Some people assume self-love is a synonym for hedonism.
Dear Girl Who Hates Her Body, You look at your body in the mirror and grimace. Ugh. It still looks like crap. You touch your body in disgust. You spend hours in your closet trying on every piece of clothing you own. And still nothing fits. Nothing looks good. Everything is wrong. You feel wrong. You wake up at 5 a.m. when the world is still dark and drag yourself to the gym. You don't want to be there. But what other choice do you have?
Today, I'm sharing words you might need to hear right now, or words you might need to remember, because you easily forget, or because you've never heard them. Words you can say to yourself, because you don't have to wait for someone else to tell you. Because telling yourself is enough...
There is a beautiful quote from Baal Shem Tov: "Let me fall if I must fall. The one I will become will catch me." Which always reminds me that we have the power to catch ourselves, even if we don't think we can. That is comforting and empowering, because all of us will fall. We may fall from the sky, a very long descent. We may fall out of a second-story window, closer to the ground but still potentially bruised. But, again, these falls are OK. Because we can handle this. Because we've got this. We can be our own superman, swooping in when we've been thrown from a building.
This week we talked about creating mantras that we need. Today, I'm sharing other examples of mantras. Mantras can come in all shapes and sizes. They can be a single word or a single sentence. They can speak to all sorts of subjects. Again, it depends on what you need---whatever brings you comfort and calm, whatever inspires you, whatever serves as a powerful reminder.
We talk to ourselves all the time. Maybe not out loud per se. But every second of the day, our thoughts are swirling. And for many of us those thoughts can get pretty negative. This is why I like the idea of memorizing mantras---something simple and poignant, which we can say to ourselves, whether it's every day or as an important reminder when we need it.