This post might make some cringe and revolt and that’s fine because a special message needs to be heard more often today: Your body isn’t gross or vile; it’s simply different from someone else’s. And times that by close to seven billion.
But that fact doesn’t matter if you don’t believe your body is worthy of staring at naked in your mirror—overcome with judgments about what your size means. Unfortunately, many women avoid engaging in the one moment in life that actually verifies you exist at all—making contact with your own image staring back at you.
I remember the first time I stared intensely into my own eyes. I was 16 and for whatever reason, I tried it. I stared right into my big brown eyes for 10 whole minutes and by minute three, I was crying. I was crying because I realized I never once gave a damn to look at myself this closely. And I was crying because I thought I was pretty. Me! The chubby girl teased by the neighborhood boys had the audacity to think she was pretty, beautiful, gorgeous and awesome.
One of the exercises I assign to clients who are uncomfortable in their skin is to do the mirror-stare at whatever level they want. To this day, I’ve yet to hear a client tell me they didn’t feel something. And it’s the feeling of something that matters because in that moment of self-awareness, lies the key to moving past whatever garbage you’ve been hanging on to all these years.
In your gaze lies everything you hate and love about yourself. But when you do it while naked, it’s even more intense and compelling.
If you have the courage to face yourself nude, you will experience who you are unfiltered. You see the bumps, the curves, the folds, the creases, the hair, the moles, the dimples, the soft spots. And that’s just your skin.
When you look at your body naked and I mean really look at it, your mind floods with images and connections as to what you deem your worth and value to be. This judgement-filled deluge is what occupies your mind each moment, directing your behaviors and unconsciously guides your life.
If you’re fat and have chalked up all your issues in life stemming from weight, this experiment is one of the most terrifying and healing things you’ll ever do. So if you want to overcome hating your body, you have to be willing to meet it where it is—right in this moment, exposed, raw and real.
But with all pain, transformation is close behind. The more you stare and consciously deal with all the negativity that comes up, something remarkable occurs. You start to actually like what you see. You begin to appreciate when your tummy-rolls wiggle during a good laugh; that your thighs rubbing together when you walk isn’t a sin; that the sags under your arms are not a good enough reason not to wear a cute, summery sleeveless shirt. You start to understand that your body is a body, like anybody, varied and unique unto its owner. Keep Reading...
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