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For you body acceptance might feel elusive. It might feel out of reach. It might seem overwhelming or foreign or just unnatural. Maybe you think it's insignificant or unrealistic or not feasible to actually embrace your body. Which is why I wanted to interview one of my favorite people, Anna Guest-Jelley, who's penned a powerful, personal and practical book about body acceptance called Curvy Yoga: Love Yourself & Your Body a Little More Each Day. Below, Anna reveals the biggest myths about body acceptance, how yoga can help and what body acceptance looks like for her today---after trying 65 diets throughout the years.
When you've hated your body for years, the very idea that you can love it or appreciate it or even just tolerate it might seem ridiculous. It might feel overwhelming and grossly inaccessible.
What if instead of berating your body all day every day, you thanked it (at least once or twice, here and there)? What if you stopped fighting your body? What if you stopped seeing it as an enemy or obstacle?
There's a lot of confusion surrounding self-compassion: We see self-compassion as self-indulgent. We see it as selfish. We see it as weak. Which is unfortunate because a) this means that we don't practice self-compassion and b) self-compassion isn't any of these things. I asked several individuals who specialize in self-compassion to clear up the often misunderstood concept by answering this question: What do you wish people really understood about self-compassion? Last week I shared several of their truths in this piece. Below, you'll find several more truths from another therapist and a nutritionist.
The average American gains X number of pounds between Halloween and Christmas. It takes just a few meals to gain weight but many months to lose it. Don't eat the cheesecake! That's way too many calories. For every "treat," you need to do X number of push-ups and burpees and cardio and.... You'll be paying for that pumpkin pie! Never have a second helping! Don't forget about bikini season!
There are so many (too many) misconceptions about what self-compassion really is and what it looks like. And it's precisely these myths that stop us from practicing self-compassion. It's these (erroneous) assumptions that lead us to being self-critical and dismissing ourselves. Which is why I asked several therapists to answer this question: What do you wish people really understood about self-compassion? Below you'll find responses from two therapists, which just might have you reconsidering your thoughts on self-compassion.
Right now I don't recognize my body. There is a fresh scar well below my belly from my C-section. There is more weight. There are blemishes and bigger thighs. There are curvier curves, an extra softness, and something I jokingly refer to as my marsupial pouch. I notice myself talking more and more about my appearance, and feeling uncomfortable in my own skin.