How To Stop Disliking Your Body - Regardless Of How It Looks Right Now.
We all have things we see as flaws.
We all have things about our bodies that we’ll forever be wanting to be different.
I think it’s important for me to state that I believe it’s really not my place to tell you to suddenly start liking the things you currently dislike about your body.
And I’m not going to either.
It may just be so much easier for us to accept we’ll always have things we dislike.
But does that mean we can’t love our bodies, despite those flaws?
Could we be far better off accepting that it’s ok to dislike things about it, whilst appreciating it for what it provides us?
I recently had an experience in which the penny dropped, on what it truly means to love and appreciate your body.
It doesn’t matter what physical “shape” I’m in, I’ve already accepted there’s going to be parts I don’t really like. And that’s cool - I’m ok with that.
But I’ve been trying to challenge myself physically a bit more in my own training recently.
Taking on workouts that make me wince upon first glance.
I was also extremely fortunate enough to have someone compliment me on what I was able to get done during a session recently.
Did I enjoy the compliment?
Absolutely - Who doesn’t?!
But, and this may be a pretty radical point of view, but hear me out..
That praise isn’t really all mine to take.
Sure, I made the decision to do the workout, and to not quit, and to give it my best effort, but my body and how it is now, allowed me to do so.
So, I made a decision, that after every physical achievement, or positive experience made possible by my body’s abilities, that I would very personally acknowledge how thankful I was that it was able to do what I required it to do.
And this is something I genuinely believe all of us could benefit from, especially if you have found yourself trapped in the vicious cycle of finding something to dislike and focussing all our energy on wishing it would change.
Of course, this is just a matter of perspective. How we choose to view our bodies is up to us.
And my own personal belief formed through experience, is that our bodies don’t owe us anything.
Our body's job is to survive and sustain essentially.
I spent years disliking mine and wishing it would change, and subsequently going above and beyond to make sure it did.
Completely neglecting everything it provided me with.
Whether it was my at times very physical day job, or my Saturday afternoons playing football, it offered me opportunities to enjoy so much.
I took it for granted.
Whether it’s relationships formed through a gym/exercise community or acknowledgement and appreciation gained through a physical achievement - We can benefit so much from taking a few seconds to quietly give a mental nod to our bodies, and what they provide us.
It may not always look how you want it to look, but it will always have your back when you need it.
Positive body image isn’t about forcing yourself to like the things you dislike. It's not even about changing those things.
For me, it’s all about loving it despite of those things.
Being ok with not necessarily liking parts of it, but knowing you’ll always appreciate it no matter what.
It's about being able to form a positive relationship with it as it is right now.
Like the strongest of relationships, nothing will be perfect - but that doesn't matter.
Our bodies have always been there for us when we've needed it, it's time we returned the favour and began to show genuine appreciation.