Body Image Articles

Rethinking Exercise for a Fuller Life

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

BodyRespect_FrontCover

Today, we tend to view exercise in the same way we view sweeping the floors, doing the laundry and organizing our dresser drawers: a necessary chore, a nuisance, a should.

We also see exercise as a punishment. A punishment for eating ice cream, a brownie or too many calories. A punishment for relaxing for too long. A punishment for a fun weekend.


A Self-Care Project: Capturing Ourselves Every Day

Friday, February 20th, 2015

self-portrait 2 for daily project, feb, 2015

I’ve noticed that lately, my picture-taking has been sparse, even though there’s a camera (a great camera) in my smartphone, even though images make me happy.

Part of the problem is that I feel like I can’t live up to the stream of pretty, put-together pictures on sites like Instagram. (Why does it even matter? I’m not sure.)

But I’m going to change that.


Practicing Self-Compassion When You Can’t

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

branch, creative joy

I recently wrote this article on how to practice self-compassion when it’s the last thing you want to do. Because when we’re upset, so many of us revert back to what we know: berating ourselves.

We might do this in the moment. For days. Maybe even weeks.

We might do this after bathing suit shopping. After not running as fast or walking as long as someone else, or ourselves the time before. After an awkward interaction with our boss. After making a mistake. After doing, saying or experiencing anything we deem inadequate.


When You Feel Frustrated with Your Body

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

NYC in Oct 2012

I appreciate my body.

I respect it.

I try to protect it.

And yet there are days when frustration fills

my bones at the same rate my breath does.

 

Days I wish I had more energy

Days I don’t understand why I’m slower

than everyone else in a workout class

Days I’m doubled over with disappointment that I’m not stronger

Days I resent my sensitivity to so many things

Days I wish I didn’t require as much sleep or caring.


A Valentine’s Day Gift for Your Body

Friday, February 13th, 2015

shadows, instagram

So often, as we sprint through the day, the last thing we think about is our body.

The last thing we think about is the inner machinery that’s involved in the seemingly simplest of movements: opening our eyes in the morning; glancing about the room, hitting the snooze button (a few times); shifting our feet from the bed to the floor; walking (or running) into the bathroom; splashing water onto our faces; picking up a toothbrush; turning on the faucet for a hot shower.

In those few minutes, our bodies perform great feats.


When You Think Your Body Is to Blame

Friday, February 6th, 2015

Yoga-Body-Image-Book

Many of us leap into conclusions when it comes to our bodies. For instance, we assume that if a piece of clothing doesn’t fit us, it’s clearly our fault. It must be because we’re too curvy, our shoulders are too broad, our thighs are too big, our waist is too wide.

We do this with other things, activities and even people. Some of us play this blame game regularly. In the excellent book Yoga and Body Image, co-editor Anna Guest-Jelley shares the different ways she blamed her body.


The Funny Thing About Self-Care, Part 2

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

NYC, early July 2014, cropped, deep blue sea

Last Sunday I wrote about a surprising realization I’ve had about self-care: Sometimes, self-care doesn’t look or feel very much like self-care. Sometimes, it’s not blissful. It’s not serene. It might not even be enjoyable in the moment. It might not even be something you want to do.

Sometimes, it doesn’t feel like an hour-long massage. It doesn’t look like a stroll along the shore.

That’s because self-care, I’m realizing, is multilayered.


Focusing on What You — And Only You — Can Give

Friday, January 30th, 2015

sunset over the ocean, taken by mama, july 2014, w Judy Garland quote

Even though I feel much better about my body than I did years ago, even though I am taking much better care of myself than I did years ago, I still feel the pricks of comparison.

When I’m in an exercise class, some days I find myself looking around. What is everyone else doing? Why am I not keeping up? Why is this so much harder for me?

I find myself feeling disappointed. Like Alex writes in her powerful post, I find myself spinning all sorts of stories. Old stories about not being an athlete or being clumsy or being too slow. New stories about how I need to work out harder and be stronger and do more.


Asking Beautiful Questions in 2015

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

yiddish proverb

Because we had a busy end of the year — the holidays, getting the house ready for company, getting married, having loved ones in town, submitting book revisions, working on other projects — I didn’t get a chance to reflect that much on the old year or the new year.

I feel like I leaped into 2015. Excited and grateful but exhausted.

So I was happy to find a great piece on making intentions around this time, which doesn’t make me feel like I’m already incredibly behind or missed out on something. The piece is by author Warren Berger and is called “Forget Resolutions, What’s Your ‘Beautiful Question’ for 2015?”


Beyond the Bucket List: Focusing On Tiny Thrills

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Jennifer Louden, A Year of Daily Joy

I think bucket lists are wonderful. It’s important to have a place for contemplating and listing your ultimate dreams, for reflecting on the experiences, activities and actions that inspire you. The experiences, activities and actions you just know you need to do. The things that are calling you.

But I also love an idea I read about in Jennifer Louden’s latest book — A Year of Daily Joy: A Guided Journal to Creating Happiness Every Daywhich is filled with beautiful quotes, tips, insights and images. The idea is to create a “thimble list.”


Weightless


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