Struggle with body image? Read this!
I read two blog articles this morning, both related to body image and how we present ourselves to the world as a result of that image. I decided to ditch the blog I was writing to share some thoughts on this important topic and provide links to the articles so you could read them for yourselves.
Body image is a tough one for so many women — and increasingly for men. Stats show that nearly 80% of women are dissatisfied with their appearance!
I’ve definitely had my own struggles over the years — especially when I weighed more than an NFL Defensive Lineman! For me, body image and self-love were directly connected. Until I learned to love and accept myself and show up as the person I really am (see “Permission to be Real“), it affected my work life, my love life…my overall life! Consequently, I was living small trying to protect myself from shame and the perceived judgements of others.
My personal transformation — inside perhaps even more than outside — has come bearing the gifts of self-love, self-acceptance and self-compassion. But I have to work on it every day!
I don’t believe that self-love and acceptance — and/or high esteem around body image — is something you have or you don’t; something you “achieve” and you’re there. Rather, for me anyway, it is an ongoing work in progress.
Case in point. Just this week, I faced meeting someone new for the first time and coming to terms with my imperfect body. It can be scary and those “Gremlin” voices about not being good enough can so easily creep back in to your psyche.
How do I handle it now? I try to focus on what I love about myself and my body. How healthy and strong I feel, both inside and out. How my eyes shine bright and my smile is contagious. How strong and lean my legs are. How I look and feel in my clothes. How tight my butt feels as a result of a whole lot of squats and lunges, combined with aggressive walking and hiking… You get the idea.
The truth is, I’ve experienced firsthand what these blog articles assert. As a result of me being “real” and courageously confident, I’m attracting the people and opportunities I want in my life. Furthermore, as I am my authentic, “real” self, I indeed give others permission to be “real” with me as well.
This, as opposed to how I used to be — self-conscious and projecting outward shame around my body and my weight. I had trouble accepting compliments and expressing my true self when I was overweight and didn’t accept myself as I truly am. I rarely put myself out there into the world. Instead, I hide behind layers of fat and my poor body image. Believing I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, sexy enough…
So, I have decided that the ongoing work to accept and love yourself is totally worth it! For me, there is now no other choice. And I hope in doing so that I can set an example for others, including young women and girls.
For now, I invite you to consider how your self-image and/or body image affects how you show up and interact with the world, and what you attract into your life as a result. And, I want to share these two blogs on the topic with you.
- Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: How Your Distorted Body Image is Harming You, Positive Positive
- Permission to be Real, by Madison Taylor, Daily Om
I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Please shoot me a message below or private message me here on Facebook.
Gotta run. Tonight I put on the tight black dress for an all-important networking event and I plan to project my confident, courageous self.
Check out some of my related blogs on the topic of body image: