Do you know that moment when you’re standing in front of the mirror and criticize yourself again? The belly is too big, the legs have cellulite and you would love to have bigger boobs? Self- critizism is part of everyday life for many women. And as if that wasn’t enough, we also suffer from period pain, mood swings, headaches and other symptoms that sometimes make us hate our body.
But have you ever taken the time to think about what our body is accomplishing every day?
The society we live in wants us to function in the best way possible, everyday. Next to our job, we keep our house clean, take care of our family and want to meet up with friends. As we want or need to do it all, we rather sleep shorter, eat unhealthy take- away food and accept that we feel stressed many times throughout the day. While we are living our busy life, we want our body to feel and look the best.
In this article I will share with you my story on how I started to love my body again and how you can do that, too, by knowing the 3 things, that will change your perspective.
TABLE OF CONTENT
1. my way to be BODY POSITIVE
WHEN I USED TO HATE MY BODY
I used to always find something about my body I didn’t like. When I was in 7th grade, people made fun about my eyes. Apparently they were too small. After I got back from spending an exchange year in the US, people started pointing out that the food must have been really good, as I gained several kilos (I still was not overweight). There was always something, that seemed to be just not good enough. Comments from others about my looks made me think about my body in a bad way. I started to become really obsessed with my looks. During my graduation year, I had a personal trainer. I wanted to look my best, to impress others on graduation day.
After I graduated, I went on a trip to Italy with a couple of friends. As it was raining all week, we were super lazy and pretty much eating all day. Sweets and unhealthy food were my reward for all the hard training and not eating any „bad foods“. When we got back home, I had gained 5kg, being really unhappy about myself.
I could tell a couple more stories like this one. The point is, I used to cut myself short on some foods, so that later on I was craving them even more. Every time I did that, I started to look even more critical at my body. My absolute low point was my depression along with bulimia. This was the first time I started to rethink the relationship with my body.
HOW I BECAME BODY POSITIVE
The clinic I was in thought me how to practice mindfulness and made me realize that the eating disorder I had, was my way of pushing down my feelings. It was hard to be confronted with the fact, that most of the things I did, were to impress others. I never really learned to spend time with myself or to love myself for who I truly was. In fact, I didn’t even know who I was or what I wanted, if it wasn’t for others.
Throughout the years I started to connect with my inner world and who I wanted to become. I stopped being everybody’s darling and became my own best friend. I learned a lot about different movement practices, cycle awareness, meditation and intuitive eating. That’s when I realized, that truly listening to what my body needs and to supporting him in the best way possible, makes me feel so much better. No more diets, no more forcing myself into doing workouts and certainly no more forbidding myself eating certain foods. Just allowing myself to be me.
2. KNOWLEDGE THAT CHANGED MY BODY IMAGE
OUR BODY KNOWS WHAT IT NEEDS
I’ve heard about intuitive eating before, but never really understood how I would not be ending up eating chocolate all the time, if I’d allow myself to eat whatever I want. After I stopped eating industrial sugar for two weeks and replaced it with natural sweets, such as dried dates, fresh fruits and nuts, I started to feel amazing. I was able to satisfy my cravings without eating tons of sweets. The best part, I finally started to feel what my body really needed again. Nowadays I do eat industrial sugar from time to time. The difference: I stop after one or two pieces of chocolate, I prefer the dark one and I never feel guilty when I eat more than usual.
WOMEN ARE CYCLICAL BEINGS
One of the most important things I learned: Our feminine bodies are not designed to function the same way every day. Our body is designed to live in cycles. Why else would it be called a menstrual „cycle”. I know our society is not really made for this yet, but just knowing and accepting the phases of our cycle can make such a huge difference (read more in my article UNDERSTANDING THE MENSTRUAL CYCLE TO BENEFIT FROM IT)
PUTTING YOURSELF FIRST IS KEY
Before my turning point, I was always trying to look good, I would never miss out on an event and I would try to impress people by never quitting. I felt tired, unhappy whenever I was alone and I always forced myself to do things that didn’t feel good. By listening to my body, whenever he feels tired, living with my cycle and putting myself first, I learned to love myself. Be your own best friend, start to be patient with yourself and always keep in mind: what your body looks like is not your worth!
3. Final Thought
„Our body is a wonder“
I’ve heard this many times before, but I never really felt it until I became a mom. Isn’t it incredible that a baby can grow in our belly and is born with everything it needs to survive ? Isn’t it incredible that our bodies recover so fast from giving birth? Wether you are a mom or not, wether you can get pregnant or not, we all have been little babies in our moms bellies. We all are those little wonders that now have grown up and keep forgetting how much our body has already done for us. Don’t you think it’s time to be thankful for your body instead of criticizing it?