Ever wished you had a mirror just like Snow White’s wicked stepmother’s? One that would flatter you each time you looked yourself in it, saying you are the fairest of them all? Instead your mirror criticizes the size of your chin, flat chest, the unattractive mergers around your stomach and waistline or the extra flesh around your thighs. You are not alone.
I remember getting dressed for a wedding a few months ago in the company of my friend, Bukky. As I wore my dress, I continuously complained at how fat my arms were, you know the #ChristianMotherFlabs. I did not realize that I had ticked Bukky off until she barked at me saying, “Seun, appreciate what you have, do you know how many people would pray just to have arms that work? The fat will be the least of their problems”. Ouch! That sunk and got me thinking of how much I take for granted, starting with my cravings for dimples and gap tooth to my struggle to come down one dress size.
There are many microscopic functions that go on in our bodies every millisecond and we do not have to think about them. They just work. Unfortunately, it takes a catastrophe like a near-death experience – accidents or illnesses for us to realize that our bodies were not so bad after all. We spend time criticizing ourselves that we lose sight of all there is for us to appreciate. The society places so much emphasis on one’s appearance and very little on our inner selves. At every turn, you find health instructions on fad diets, pills, exercising, not exercising, midnight snacking, feasting on junks, eating greens.
It is very easy to get carried away by the perfect images you see in magazines, movies or social media, forgetting that they have undergone professional touches behind the scenes (hair stylist, makeup artists, photographers with top notch cameras and lighting, airbrushing and photo-shopping); the models or actors sometimes marvel at their own transitions. Let’s face it, these images are made up. So why not cut yourself some slack and love thy self?
Self-love is a journey. It is not about being arrogant. It is not a loathing competition with others. To love yourself is to marvel at your own existence. It is to accept yourself as you are beyond the physical. Self love is being kind to ourselves, caring for our minds, bodies and souls. You can only give what you have; we teach others how to treat us by showing them how we treat ourselves.
Free yourself from the perfectionist philosophy and stop being hyper-critical of yourself. Constantly remind yourself that you are happy, healthy and beautiful/handsome. The next time you steal a glance in the mirror, stare deeply into your eyes, not in the usual way, be very aware of yourself and say this out loud “I love you << insert your name>> and I approve of you”. Self-affirmations help to silence the negative thoughts about your body. It can change your anxiety and dissatisfaction to acceptance and inner peace which will ultimately rub off on many other areas of your life.
Hating your body will never get you the body you desire but loving it will get you through the decisions to improve on it. There are enough things about you to make you shine throughout the day. There will be some parts of yourself that you may not be crazily in love with. However, accepting it makes improving it easier.
Be it weight loss or body building, do not hate yourself, accept and love what you have enough to make improvements.
Take care of your body because you only get one per lifetime. Healthy people come in all kinds of sizes. Being thin is not a guaranty that you are healthy just as being fat isn’t either. Think inside out. Choose what works for you and maintain it. You will not only be at peace with yourself, you may be someone else’s inspiration. It is your body; you are stuck with it so rock it nicely. As long as you are healthy, that’s all that matters eventually.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Mimagephotography