Monday, September 21, 2015

6 Steps to More Body Love + Confidence

Every where we turn we are receiving negative messages about body image. Magazine covers tell us how to sculpt our thighs, lose ten pounds fast, or get the latest bikini body plan. Commercials use sexy, skinny women to promote products from cars to food. 

In essence, we are told that we are broken and need to be fixed. And we are left with the feeling that unless we are a size 2, we can never be truly happy or loved.

So what's a girl to do?

~ Start with forgiving yourself for being overly critical of your perceived flaws.

~ Accept the body you have now. I am considered plus-size at 180 pounds with curves and fluffiness. We cannot change what we cannot accept.

~ Learn to love your body and all that it does for you. When you love your body you take care of it. 

~ Commit to being healthy, not necessarily skinny. Not all of us can be a size 2, nor should we be. We all have different body compositions and that is okay!! You can be a size 2 and still be very unhealthy. Choose health over skinny.

~ Stop punishing your body. Do not starve yourself to lose weight or exercise like a maniac. Your body will rebel.

~ Stop the critical self-talk. Do not put yourself down or point out your "flaws" to others. Be as kind to yourself as you are to others. 

Confidence is the sexiest thing in a woman, whether you're a size 2 or a 20.

What are your thoughts? Do you struggle with body love and confidence? Share your story in the comments.

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Mrs. Miano said...
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Tracy Lee said...

My post was not about losing weight, but loving & accepting yourself as you are regardless of your size. If you want to lose weight and make changes, great! But one shouldn't let society dictate to her that in order to feel beautiful and be loved we must be "perfect".

Mrs. Miano said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs. B, a very peculiar person said...

Hi Tracy,

Like most women I've struggled image issues most of my life. Unlike most women, I have a very distorted concept of myself. Because I believed I was so loathsome to look at, I would avidly avoid cameras. If someone ever attempted to take my photo, I would make silly faces or hide behind others. I never allowed anyone to photograph just me and when I was photographed with others I would purposefully look at only the others in the photograph. I remember being relieved when Mr.B and I decided to marry at the Justice of the Peace because I wouldn't have to deal with the whole wedding photo thing.

I first realized just how exaggerated my self image was during my 20's after I'd had some professional photos taken of our family. Some of the professional photos included single portraits of each family member, including me, the mom. When I went to the photographer's to view the proofs I sat at a small table and gazed upon a few stacks of rubber banded photos of various people I did not know. I did not pick up the stacks or thumb through them, I just studied whichever photo was on the top. One stack was topped with a photo of an exceptionally beautiful brunette. As I gazed upon her photo I thought, "I wish I looked like that. No, I'd be happy if I only looked half that pretty."

When the photographer returned to the table to review the proofs, he picked up the stack containing the beautiful girl. I remember thinking, "Is this guy some jerk who finds it humorous to show the ugly girl photos of someone that beautiful?" He laid the photo of the beautiful girl down to my left and then next to it he set another photo of that same beautiful girl down with my children, and followed with other family photos containing the same gorgeous brunette. I sat in stunned silence. I could not take my eyes off the photos. I could not speak. I could not figure out how this happened. The photographer finally asked, "Well, what do you think? Are there any that you like best?" I responded with, "Is that me in those photos?" Mr. photographer replied, "You are one of the most beautiful subjects I've ever photographed. I wish I could afford to hire you for an ad campaign."

My self image was so excessively distorted, I couldn't even recognize myself in a photograph. I purchased only one 5x7 copy of myself; all the other purchases were of the children. I still have that photo tucked safely away and I occasionally take it out to remind myself that the image I see in the mirror is distorted an not correct. I am not loathsome to look at, I am not a hideous distortion of nature who needs to hide from humanity. I am far more attractive than I realize - even now, 30 years and pounds heavier.

Thank you for the gentle reminder to be as kind to myself as I am to others. As I would never tell someone else they are unattractive or point out their physical flaws, I should never do that to myself. Regardless of what others or I may or may not find attractive, God created me in His own Image and His opinion is the only one that really counts.


Tracy Lee said...

Mrs. B - what an incredible and touching story. Thank you so much for sharing! You are beautiful inside and out!

In my senior year of high school I skipped my prom and graduation ceremony because I couldn't bear the thought of "all eyes on me" if even for a few seconds. I had such a low opinion of myself then.