“If all girls were taught to love each other fiercely, instead of how to compete with each other and hate their own bodies, what a different and beautiful world we would live in.” – Nikita Gill
If only I could be slimmer…if only I could be taller…if only my skin is fairer…if only I could be more beautiful…
At some point we have heard this tiny voice in our pretty little head. Myself included. You see, I grew up as an overweight child, being that ‘chubby’ daughter in the family. I remember feeling ashamed of wearing clothes for girls my age because I felt I didn’t look good on them.
Throughout my teenage years and professional life, I also had my fair share of challenges and insecurities when it comes to body image. Then motherhood came and I feared even more of not ever getting back into shape. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being a mom but I didn’t love the changes it did to my body. But I guess a turning point in my journey was when I stopped measuring my happiness against the numbers on the weighing scale, or comparing my shape or size to that other woman or mom.
I stopped focusing on how I looked but focused more on how I felt. I didn’t create restrictions but instead, started building HABITS. I started doing things that made me feel healthy, and alive from the inside-out. I went back to running, yoga, not to get those hard-rock abs but because it felt invigorating, almost liberating after every practice. I aimed to be STRONGER, not skinnier.
So what does it take to LOVE our bodies more, and ourselves more? Here are the 3 As which have helped me in my journey so far:
1. ACCEPTANCE – Accept yourself fully no matter what size, shape, form or color you have. You are unique and there is no one else like you. Embrace those flaws–yes those stretch marks momma, they are your battle marks and I’m sure someone else would want to trade places with you to have that privilege to deliver a child into this world.
2. APPRECIATION – What is that one thing you truly love most about yourself? Your so-called number one asset? When you can appreciate yourself, that is when you are most beautiful.
3. AFFIRMATION – I’m talking about verbal, daily affirmations. Look at yourself in the mirror in the morning and say “You are gorgeous!”, and really believe every word of it. Get on that sultry, sexy dress and tell yourself “Wow, I am hot!”. Right before your morning routine, tell yourself how healthy you feel and how strong you have become.
These are 3 simple, basic steps but if you really take these into heart it can dramatically change how you feel about your body, your health and whole being. But of course, mindset is one thing, and ACTION is another. Loving your body also means taking care of it. So focus also on consistently developing healthy habits that will not just nourish your body but also your mind, and soul. For me, healthy cooking has not just helped me keep myself lean, but it has also reignited a sense of creativity and a different kind of passion in me. Doing simple yoga stretches or a quick run also gives me a sense of peace and quiet…a welcome distraction from the beautiful chaotic world of motherhood.
Know that the only person who can love you the most is YOU. Love yourself first and everything falls into line.