I am away this week, delivering a ‘Being Comfortable in Your Own Skin’ series of talks, workshops and coaching.
As I was preparing the content it reminded me of the movie I watched last month, EMBRACE (Watch the trailer here)
It’s a documentary made by Taryn Brumfitt. A woman who innocently posted a photo on social media to cheer her friends up. It changed her world and started a new body confidence movement.
It was a reverse before/after photo. The before image was when Taryn had trained like crazy to be in a body building competition and had what many would call ‘the perfect body’. Yet as she stood onstage with all the other perfect bodies, she realised that she wasn’t happy.
The after photo is how she is now, much bigger but happier, having given birth to 3 children AND in love with the shape that she is. No diets. No fitness regime. Just embracing the body she has.Embrace YOU! Love the body you have Click To Tweet
It’s a journey that I can relate to.
Ten years ago I reached my lowest weight as an adult.
So many people told me how great I looked and I loved the attention.
But the truth was, I may have been in a smaller body, but my mind hadn’t changed.
How I thought about myself hadn’t changed.
So whilst I could buy clothes in smaller sizes. The internal dislike was still on the large side!
And that’s the hunt that so many people are on. The ‘when I…then I’. It is a Western disease!
‘When I get the perfect body then I’ll feel better/good/ be acceptable/OK (delete as appropriate)’
There are plenty of stories of people dieting, exercising and even having plastic surgery, all in the hope that on the other side they will feel good.
And often they do, but only for a short while. So they either find something else they want to change on their bodies or the regime of exercise and diet intensifies.
It becomes a relentless battle.
But who are we fighting and what is it all for?
If the internal thoughts and beliefs haven’t been examined then that self dislike/discomfort will come back. Sometimes, at least in my experience, it can be even louder and more destructive than before.
For me it became..
‘See you’re still not good enough, you need to have the perfect marriage, be the best step mum and create at least a six figure business’
Day in and day out.
The striving for those other things kicked in. And interestingly enough, it then became harder for me to keep up the exercise and dieting, and so the weight crept back on.
As with many things, it’s when we hit the rock bottom that we sit up and take notice and decide ENOUGH!Enough is enough. Stop berating yourself for your flaws. Love your body for exactly how it is. Click To Tweet
Then we start to look for different ways of being, thinking, perceiving.
And that came when my marriage broke down.
I made myself one promise.
Be kind and take care of myself.
That was it.
To be kind and take care of myself.
That meant if I was tired – sleep.
To do my best to eat in a way that supports me (no dieting!)
It also meant that if household chores needed to be done and I didn’t have the time…it was OK to leave them until I did have time.
It meant being kind to this body that I am currently in.
Moving it in ways that made me smile, that felt good – zumba, walking, dancing, rebounding!
It meant EMBRACING my new life and this body.
It is natural for the body to change.
It has to do that to grow from baby to toddler to teenager to adult. It is constantly evolving from birth to pregnancy to ageing.
Trying to hold onto being a certain way means that we make our current reality wrong.
Trying to unhealthily force or sculpt it constantly into another form means we make our current form wrong.
Trying to prevent change and age not only means that we are making our body wrong but also that we think we know better than nature!
How unhelpful, unhealthy, unsupportive and arrogant is that?
There has to come a time where you realise enough is enough.
And no that doesn’t mean reaching for the KFC bucket, TV remote and ‘letting nature take it’s course’. That’s not helpful either.
What is helpful is to enjoy the body that you have.
Notice what it is capable of doing and enjoys.
Notice what it needs, what fuel is the most useful to consume.
And how you can best take care of it to the same level or care that you might have for your car – which gets a regular MOT and fuelled correctly!
So here’s my invitation for you.
Take some time today to genuinely care for your body.
Find a way to lovingly care for it – applying your favourite lotion, bathing, walking in nature.
Take time today to lovingly care for your body Click To Tweet
And do what you can to find at least one part of your body that you can say you like (or dare I say “love”!)
Think about it — you look at others and notice their great hair, height or teeth.
So I can guarantee that someone who knows you, loves your freckles, your curves or your big hair.
Someone you know wishes that they had your strength, shape or skin tone.
Appreciate yourself (and your body) for all that it does for you. Embrace YOU!
If you are having body confidence issues and would like to find out if a 1-1 coaching session could help you, feel free to get in touch.