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 your 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!
Here on Weightless I regularly talk about the importance of gratitude. (Here’s one example.) One of the great benefits about gratitude is that it’s always present.
Gratitude is present in the pleasurable moments, and in the painful ones.
It’s present in the moments when we hate our thick thighs or bulging belly. It’s present when we’re lamenting that we haven’t lost any weight. It’s present when we feel discomfort in our own skin.
Because in those very moments, we can give thanks without changing a thing.
We can thank our bodies for helping us run races, walk for miles, feel the fresh breeze against our skin, hug our kids, prepare a beautiful meal, type a love note, learn something new and simply — though it’s far from a simple process — breathe.
But while gratitude is always there, in the shadows, sometimes, the last thing we want to do bring it into the light.
Yet a daily practice can be incredibly helpful for building a more positive body image and perspective on life. If we can focus on our blessings most days, we inevitably feel better.
We act from a more positive and clearer perspective. Maybe we take better care of ourselves and our loved ones. Maybe instead of waiting to fulfill our dreams once we lose weight, we go for them, anyway.
I recently came across this post from Andrea. In it, she shares an excellent suggestion for creating a gratitude practice. She suggests finding a gratitude buddy, which is exactly what she did.
On choosing a buddy, she writes:
I chose a friend who lives far away that I was eager to stay connected with. Since she is a new friend, it has been a really sweet way to grow our friendship. Choose someone you want to cultivate a deeper connection to (or a more regular connection). Anyone who is willing to play will be a good choice!
Every day, Andrea and her buddy exchange their gratitude lists in the same email thread (with the subject line “gratitude”). One day Andrea was thankful for: “The magnolia tree outside my window that is blooming pink, even though it is winter.” On another day, she sent photos instead of words.
If I were talking to my buddy, here’s what I’d tell her: I’m thankful for…
- the puddles of rain, which our town desperately needs
- a big desk overflowing with books
- classical music on iTunes radio, which refocuses my easily distracted mind and helps me write
- my body, which performed two strenuous workouts this weekend, also helping to ease my mind and have fun.
Having a gratitude buddy is a powerful way to sustain a gratitude practice. (It’s also a great way to connect with your friend.) Our friends can help to motivate and inspire us. And they can help us remember what matters when we forget.
Who will you choose as your gratitude buddy? What will you tell them? What are you thankful for today?