An article on why you need to accept your body (today) that I wrote for Body-Love Wellness Circles by Anne-Sophie Reinhardt. Body-Love Wellness Circles 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 body-acceptance to the masses. To learn more and join us, click here.
There is an epidemic amongst us that is destroying your attempt at getting that ideal body from all the perfect eating and exercising you are doing.
This epidemic is not a new food, a magic supplement, or a new variation of exercise. No, this is the epidemic of ignoring a huge piece of the puzzle when you embark on a journey for health (or vanity, in my case) and it can literally ruin your chance at living a healthy and happy life.
The issue begins when your intentions are driven by a preconceived notion of perfection that usually equates to being super lean and having zero cellulite, eight-visible abs, and a gap between your thighs. Let’s be honest – how often have you said to yourself, “I hate my *insert body part here*” or “I want to get rid of the fat on my *insert small part of body here*?” It never ceases to amaze me how many women (and men) harbor so much hatred for their bodies.
With the media constantly bombarding us with images of genetic mutants who appear perfect, it is no surprise we are seeing more and more of this obsession with the perfect physique. And it is not just Hollywood perpetuating this. We now see this within the fitness community too, with rock-solid CrossFit bodies being featured everywhere.
As Tina Fey so eloquently put in her book Bossypants: “Now every girl is expected to have: Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama and doll tits.”
Our ideals have become out of control.
People assume if you have the perfect diet, training program, get eight or nine hours of sleep every night, and have zero stress (lucky you!), that you will automatically be able to achieve the body worthy of a “fitspiration” ad. That your life will suddenly be so filled with joy that you’ll feel like you’re living large on Beyonce’s yacht.
I am sorry to tell you these unrealistic expectations are holding you back from being able to end the diet-sabotage madness and be the best version of yourself.
When your actions are derived from (often unrealistic) body composition goals, you may be hindering your progress because this lack of self-acceptance is a stressor on your body. It can disrupt levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, which can wreak havoc on your health. This can manifest into various behaviors such as micromanaging your food and supplement intake (“maybe I just need to eat more kelp?”), becoming guilt-ridden if you miss a workout, binging on pepperoni pizza and chocolate covered almonds, and measuring your entire self-worth on your body fat percentage.
You are doing more damage than good. And in the end, you’ll probably still hate your body and want to push your hormones to the brink of destruction to lose ‘5 more pounds’.
Accepting yourself today (yup, in that body that you have right now) by cultivating self-love, and letting go of unrealistic expectations and preconceived notions about what your ‘ideal’ body should be is the missing link to achieving optimal health and happiness – and sanity.
We are all built to look different – we are not Labrador Retrievers meant to look identical to one another. We are supposed to be unique and this is what makes us beautiful.
Rather than believing that your life will be amazing when you fit into a cookie-cutter appearance, you need to prioritize loving yourself in the body you have today.
Trust me…I know.
The lightbulb went off when I finally realized that I needed to stop looking for a food solution to my body problems.
When I started to work on loving every inch of the body that I had at that moment, something magical happened. I no longer thought about food all the damn time. I didn’t deprive myself all week and then crack-out on cake every weekend. Eating became easy and effortless and my life became so much freer.
Own the body you have today and rock it like the gift it is meant to be. Buy clothes that make you feel sexy and don’t stress about what size they are. Let’s break free of this epidemic and start living a life with complete acceptance for our unique selves.
I know you can have this and I can help you get there.
On May 1st, I’m going to be opening the doors to my kickass 8-week online coaching program where I’ll teach you step-by-step how to manage your weight effortlessly…loving yourself in the body you have today, trusting yourself, and learning to eat what you really want.
Make sure you’re signed up for my updates if you’re hungry to learn more. I’ll be dishing all the dirty details over the next few weeks.
This post was adapted from my original post on Breaking Muscle from March 5th, 2013.
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