Here’s a potentially controversial topic; is it ever OK to not love your body? I am all for body confidence, of course I am, but for me it has to be about being comfortable in your skin, and being honest with yourself when you’re not. Unhappy with your body? It’s time to work out why.
There’s a difference between ‘I don’t like my thighs’ or ‘My butt jiggles too much when I run’ and not loving your body because you haven’t been looking after it. I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently amid some personal body dilemmas (more on that in a moment), but it’s easiest to follow the thigh analogy.
- If your thighs are bigger than you’d like them to be because you train hard, dance ’til you drop and they’re super strong from lifting heavy, then that needs to be embraced, rejoiced and they certainly need to be loved.
- If your thighs are a little wobbly, but they’re strong, and maybe bear the scars of tough training sessions of the past…I say love them!
- If you don’t like your thighs because you used to train but got lazy and stopped and ate a tub of B&J every night, then you can do something about it.
It’s a pretty good reason, having knee surgery, you might think. For not exercising…yes. But for eating like sh*t? Absolutely not. Time to ‘fess up. I’ve eaten so many packets of chocolate biscuits, tubs of B&J, lashings of Nutella etc. ‘Everyone’s allowed a treat or two’ – you cry! Yes, but there are treats because I’ve had surgery, and just letting myself go. I can see it now not only on my body, but in the breakouts on my face and in my now constant craving for sweet things.
I’m trying hard to suppress the ‘old me’ feelings that 2 weeks of severe restriction will do the trick, and I have the fact that I’ve got a holiday in 5 weeks to gives me the impetus to sort it out. So here’s my plan:
- CLEAN IT UP! Back to cooking simple, fresh, nutritious meals.
- LIGHTEN UP! No more heavy, carbohydrate loaded meals. One small portion of starchy carb per day.
- JUICE UP! Knock my afternoon sweet needs on the head with freshly-made juices a-plenty.
So while I think it is OK to occasionally not love your body, this is only acceptable if you are on the path to love. Focus on the positives, even when you’re having a bit of a body meltdown. I loathed my body for 10 years, and while I’m certainly not happy with it right now, I can still see the positives:
- IT’S RESILIENT! This year marks the 3rd surgical procedure I’ve had in 10 years, it’s a lot for a seemingly fit and healthy 29 year old but it’s recovered from each one, and I know it will recover again.
- IT’S GRACEFUL! Maybe not when I’m at home in my baggies, but I still feel like I hold the grace of a dancer when I’m out and about. I like that I stand up tall and often get complimented on my posture.
- IT’S MINE! I know my body so well, I know the good pain and the bad pain. I know it has its issues, but I know it’ll keep going as long as I look after it.
So the point of this ramble is that you’ve got to be honest. Be fair but critical. Know that you’re doing the best you can for your body, and if you’re not, find out why. If you’re not quite at Self Love yet, get yourself on the right path, and it’ll come.
I’ll find love again when it comes to my body, for me, it just needs a few sharp words and a little discipline.