Russia book

Mondays can be rough for many of us, and this doesn’t create the ideal environment for building a better body image. To help you turn that around, every Monday features a tip, activity, inspiring quote or some other tidbit to help boost your body image – and kick-start 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 know that lately I’ve been talking a lot about sense of self and our self-image (such as herehere and here). I think I keep coming back to these topics because body image and self-image are truly intertwined.

And self-acceptance is the bridge between them. In order to accept yourself, you have to have a fairly good idea of who you are and what you want. And losing weight probably won’t get you there.

I’ve said before that for me, the idea of thinness meant being a different person, and I relished at this prospect.

I didn’t accept myself and I definitely didn’t accept my body.

I barely knew who I was anyway. Or I didn’t take the time to get to know myself and stay true to myself either.

It was an overall desire to be someone different and to look differently. Either way, I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin, physically, emotionally or mentally.

Recently, I came across a beautiful blog written by Meredith Winn. And as I was browsing her blog, I came across a stunning page called “i am from.”

I think you’ll find it both interesting and inspiring. It also makes a fun and thoughtful activity, if you start considering where you’re from, too.

A few of my fave excerpts:

“I am from silver thimbles and thread collections wound on wooden spools. I am from the farmer’s daughter who married late and lived long. I am from petite grandmothers and exceptionally tall grandfathers.

I am from Jersey of all places. And The Wind In the Willows, fresh snowfall, and Emmett Otter’s Jug Band Christmas. I am from sledding and chapped lips and friends moving yet again. I am from shyness, awkwardness, and insecurities. I am from social acceptance and guilt and dysfunction.

I am from blueberry picking in Vermont. I am from snowmobile rides with my father and lodge sitting with my mother. I watch skiing from the sidelines. I am from snow angels and hot chocolate. I am from snowcapped men with ice beards. I am from magic in childhood.

I am from uprooted trees. Transplanted before blooming. I am from swamps filled with cypress trees and knobby knees. Roots in water, moving and fluid. I am from lakes topped with lily pads. I am the optical illusion of roots. The child holding the balloon that so often slips free to float away to a new home. Never without tears.

I am from everywhere but here.”

Specifically, this made me think of getting more in touch with our core, of tracing our histories, our steps. Knowing where we’ve come from helps us know where we’re going. Just like it’s key to reconnect with our bodies, writing your own version of “i am from” can help you reconnect with your whole self.

So start by scribbling on a piece of paper, and see what you come up with. You can start with where you were born and trace your steps from there.

You can even focus on your body image journey. What was your body image like when you were 12, then 18, or in your 30s or 40s? What’s your body image like now?

How has your self-image evolved? What about your self-acceptance? There are so many directions you can go with this.

Oh, and the photo above?

That’s where I am from.

Where are you from? How does your sense of self connect to your body image? How do you reconnect with yourself?

By the way, the person who won a copy of Karen’s book After (the Before & After): A real-life story of weight loss, weight gain and weightlessness through total self-acceptance is…Amanda! Congrats, Amanda! Please email me to claim your prize.

Also, thanks so much again for everyone’s thoughtful comments on both Karen and Katie’s posts. And remember that you have until midnight EST tonight to comment on Katie’s interview and be eligible to win her e-book.

P.S., Are you participating in this month’s Self-Discovery Series? Mara has chosen the word “change.” Here’s her post for more info and her post on change. I’ll be publishing my post this week.