Summer is fast approaching and the sun is shining. It’s time to peel off your winter layers and expose some skin to the fresh air. If you’re one of those people who face the warmer seasons with dread, relax. You’re not alone. Many people have hang ups about their bodies and this is such a shame. You are given one body in life and it’s up to you to take care of it. Unfortunately, we can’t all be buff and beautiful, or a size zero, but we are unique and we should each be proud of the body we have.
There’s an internet meme doing the rounds, that perfectly sums it up. How do you get a bikini body? You put a bikini upon your body. Everything else is just nonsense. Stop being beauty and body obsessed and concentrate on the reasons to love your body. Cultivate all the wonderful things about yourself and build your confidence. Here’s our tips.
Listen to your heart. Are you happy? If you’re not, you’re building up a world of hurt for yourself. No amount of dieting or tooth whitening or expensive cosmetics will make you happy. You may attract a new partner, but will it be the one you should be with? Beauty is skin deep after all. The fashion industry, the media and cosmetic firms pay out masses of money to make you feel like crap. You are really worth so much more than that.
Your body is one part of you – there is so much else. What do you like about yourself? What do you love about yourself? What do your parents love about you? What about your partner or a close friend? Create an inventory of all your most wonderful aspects and cherish it.
This is a hard one, but you’ll feel better for doing it. Look in the mirror. Spend time looking hard at yourself. Don’t judge yourself but really see what is there. What do you like? What might you improve? What can’t you improve? Should it matter? Does it matter?
When you catch yourself in the middle of a body hating moment, stop that thought. Put a mental hand up to it. Say ‘No’ firmly. Focus on positive aspects of your body. Your ability to read for example. Amazing. Also, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. If you feel tired, you’ll naturally think you look awful!
What is it you like to do? Who do you like to be with? What are your dreams and aspirations? Work on your life goals. Exceed your own expectations. Be good to yourself.
You may not feel strong but you are. You survived yesterday and you will survive today. Never give up. Use your strength to help others. Be generous. Give of your time, your money and your skills. Give your heart. Be passionate.
Move outside the parameters of what you think you are or who you ‘should’ be. Who cares? Be something else. Create your life. What is normal? Who sets the agenda for your life?
You are unique. Nobody is like you. Stop comparing yourself to someone else who has completely different genes, different life opportunities, a different upbringing and different values. Of course you ae not them and your body won’t look like theirs. You can do so much better than that!
Practice gratitude. Even if you hate aspects of your body – your ugly feet, your knobbly knees, your small breasts, your fat arms - you can still be grateful. Those feet can help you climb a hill. Those knees will ride a bike, those breasts will nurture a new-born, your arms will hold the one you love. You are glorious and so is every part of your body. Move that body too. Focus on all the things it does – from sleeping and breathing, to running, walking, skipping, singing, laughing. How phenomenal are you?
Take a look at other people’s bodies – ordinary people. See their wrinkles, their imperfections, their belly rolls, their skinny calves, their fat thighs? We all look different and none of us are perfect. Even models are airbrushed.
You don’t need to listen to the media, read the magazines or watch the fashion shows. It’s just a way for some people to get rich and exercise power over you. Turn the TV off, throw the magazines out, throw your scales out. If you feel heavy, you’re heavy – so eat less and exercise more. The scales won’t help you, feeling bad won’t help you. Move forward to be the best you – positively.
Forget about the size on the label, you’ll look better in clothes that either don’t swamp you, or are too tight. Underwear is particularly important as this will improve your shape.
There is nothing more attractive than a genuinely nice person. You can be that person when you make others feel wonderful. Compliment them on their shoes, their aftershave, their hair – find something positive to day. And do the same for yourself. Do it often. Believe it. You are perfect the way you are, and how you are, is your choice.
What are your aims in life? Do you plan to be rich, to be a top footballer, to be a good parent, or to become Prime Minister? However efficiently you plan your life, sooner or later you are going to come up against obstacles to achieving your goals.
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