Every woman is discussing it, and every woman has an opinion about it because every woman is dealing with it.
Some people argue that liking your body is impossible if you don't wear a size 0 and some claim to be perfectly ok with being morbidly obese; which is a loaded issue in and of itself. Some people feel that loving your body entails obsessing over it, while others feel that it entails entirely letting yourself go.
Extreme viewpoints that just scrape the surface of actual body love.
But what exactly does loving your body entail, and how does it manifest itself in daily life?
First and foremost, loving your body should not imply abandoning your body and physical health, i.e. never working out and eating McDonald's for breakfast, lunch, and supper.
It does not imply extolling your physique and everything that comes with appearing "excellent."
It does not imply always obsessing about your physique and beauty and being unable to enjoy your life - which, I know, is difficult in these times.
After all, there is a lot of guilt associated with our bodies. We're embarrassed because we have – gasps - obscenely feminine body parts like hips, booties, and thighs. Then there's the cellulite, muffin tops, or love handles (all derogatory phrases in my opinion!) that keep us up at night, stuck in a cycle of shame, abuse, and dread.
As a result, rather than expressing our femininity, we strive to conceal, conceal, or starve it away.
Destroying. It's too bad. Possibly deadly. And very upsetting.
But it doesn't have to be that way. There is another, better way for you to live your life; a method that removes the humiliation and replaces it with love and freedom.
And here is where true body love comes into play.
Having an intimate connection with your body entails taking excellent care of it. It entails being aware of its demands – nutritional and otherwise – and listening to them on a regular basis.
Loving your body entails letting go of your weight since you know you're feeding it wonderfully healthy foods and loving it with tranquil self-care routines.
It means missing a day of a workout without panicking, or dining out and indulging once in a while.
True body love is not according to other people's norms and instead of doing what feels good to your body.
It entails having fun with your body, whether it's performing cartwheels in a summer meadow or dancing Zumba with your closest friend, and infusing every movement with love and pleasure.
It entails recognizing when you are comparing your body to the bodies of others and reminding yourself that your body is unique and attractive in its own right.
True body love is appreciating the fire in your eyes, the power in your arms, and the beat of your heart and saying, "Thank you for being alive."
Most importantly, loving your body entails trusting it.
Your body is not harmful. It has no desire to deceive, harm, or kill you. It's all on your side. The sooner you grasp this, the sooner change – and a little magic – will begin to occur.
When you trust your body, you will no longer starve. You will no longer judge or be afraid. You will no longer abuse or despise.
You'll start to see, feel, and breathe peace: peace with food, peace with yourself, and peace with your body.
Of course, appreciating your body does not always include rainbows and unicorns.
You will still have "fat days" or feel a pang when you get a glimpse of yourself in the mirror.
True body love, on the other hand, prevents you from being a victim of your body and instead allows you to go forward with confidence and faith. It allows you to live your life, pursue your aspirations, have wonderful relationships, and have strong, concentrated discussions without thinking about how you look or planning the diet you'll start the following day.
True body love is being aware of your body and valuing it for all that it provides for you, but not allowing it to control you, your life, or your dreams.
True body love is a balancing act that must be repeated daily. It's a discipline; a lovely habit that improves your health boosts your self-esteem and enhances your life in more ways than you would think.
That is what genuine body love entails.
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