Body-Love Wellness Circles by Anne-Sophie Reinhardt is an immersion into the power of body-acceptance. The Circles will be focused around transforming the relationship you have or may not have with your body, food and yourself. This post is part of the Body-Love Blog Tour, which is spreading the message of body-acceptance. To learn more, click here.
Man, it took me a long time to learn to love and accept my body. For years I tried to make it do exactly what I wanted it to do. When I was at college I wanted it to dance all night and study all day, while existing solely on sandwiches, chocolate and cider. When I joined the workforce I wanted it to work 10-hour days while I fed it less than 1200 calories a day and partied all weekend. I denied it rest and pushed it beyond its limits with empty promises like guarana, sugar, caffeine and ‘energy’ drinks. I got upset and spoke hatefully to it when it put on weight, and punished it by starving it for days at a time.
In my relationship with my body I was cruel, controlling, demanding, ungrateful and downright disrespectful.
Learning to love and accept your body is a process – one that starts with kindness, compassion and understanding. Just like any relationship, it takes time, trust and mutual respect. Play your cards right and eventually it’ll grow into deep self-love more rewarding than you ever imagined. But girl, you gotta treat it right…
Kiss Goodbye to Dieting
Aaahh, the diet trap. If you’ve ever counted calories, chugged meal-replacement shakes or attempted radical detoxes, you know by now that diets don’t work. You might lose weight quickly but sooner or later that weight will come creeping back, bringing with it a whole heap of self-loathing and feelings of failure. Yep, I’ve been there too (and spent my fair share of time in diet hell and struggling with perfectionism) and it ain’t pretty.
The good news is that by choosing to nourish your body with wholesome foods instead, you’ll not only feel better (about everything), your skin will glow, your eyes will sparkle and you’ll bounce around with sustained energy before enjoying deep, peaceful sleep. Hallelujah!
Stop With the Negativity!
It’s hard to love and accept our bodies when we feed ourselves an endless stream of negative thoughts all day. What stories does your inner chatterbox feed you, beautiful? Stop and listen. Now is that how you would speak to your best friend or partner?
Negative thoughts are just as toxic to the body as junk food. What’s worse is that they usually have nothing to do with reality, and are instead just a mixture of fear, ego, and stories from our past. They don’t serve you, gorgeous. Time to let ’em go.
Get Clear on How You Want to Feel
Rather than fixating on your external appearance, set an intention for how you want to feel. You might believe that all you want in this world is a flatter stomach, but what if we go deeper than that? If you stop and think about it you might discover that you really just want to feel a certain way. Maybe you want to feel playful, feminine, liberated, sexy, or confident. Or maybe it’s sassy, strong, relaxed, or content.
Use your desired feelings to create a mood board to remind and inspire you when you find yourself feeling down or thinking negatively about your body. It’ll help you make decisions that align you with the way you truly want to feel.
Count Your Blessings
Focus on all the good things in your life. Keep a gratitude journal or join a movement like the 365 Grateful Project to keep your thoughts focused on everything you have to be happy and grateful for. Positive thoughts have a powerful effect on your health and body – plus they magically attract more of the good stuff. Win-win!
Harness the Power of Affirmations
Fake it til you make it, baby! Rebuilding your relationship with your body takes time. Affirmations like: “I’m becoming healthier every day” or “I love my body!” can help. Remember to make your affirmations positive, set them in the present moment, and keep them short and sweet.
Repetition is key, so put them where you can see them. Set hourly reminders in your phone, stick post-it notes to your bathroom mirror, or write them in your journal. You might feel silly at first but you might also fall head-over-heels in love with the incredible difference they make to your health and happiness.
Instead of hating on your body, let it guide you. Start really listening to it. What’s it telling you about how much rest you need, or which forms of movement suit you best?
When you eat, do so mindfully. Notice how you feel during the meal and afterwards. Take stock of your usual eating patterns and note which ones arise out of boredom or habit, or when you feel frustrated, scared or overwhelmed. When you find yourself mindlessly reaching for snacks, stop for a moment. Breathe. Drink a glass of water and tune in. Are you really hungry or is something deeper going on?
Start Living Today
When we’re unhappy with our bodies we often put off doing things that will make us feel good because we’re embarrassed or believe we’re not worthy. In doing so, we get stuck in a never-ending cycle of not being good enough.
Recognise that no matter how you feel about your body, you are worth it, beautiful. Cherish every day as a gift and get creative! It doesn’t take a lot of effort to boost your self-esteem and enrich your life. What can you do to bring more quality into every single day?
Could you spend more time outdoors in the sunshine, away from TV and technology? Fill a vase with beautiful flowers? Organise a picnic lunch date with a friend? Go for a long walk on the beach? Light aromatherapy candles and take a bubble bath? Wear your favourite perfume, dress and heels – just because it’s Tuesday?
Adequate self-care is essential in rebuilding your relationship with your body. Show it some appreciation, baby! Cherish your temple, replenish your energy, and invite bliss back into your life.
Your body will love you for it. ♥