When you look in the mirror are you happy with what you see? Society and media are constantly pressuring us to look a certain way with images of skinny, curvy, made up women plastered all over magazine covers and on TV. The underlying message of beauty is to be thin, to have the latest haircut, the right curves...the list goes on and on. Most women feel insecure and self-conscious about their body because they just don't look like the models plastered all over the media. It's hard to feel confident and have healthy self-esteem when we're pressured to conform to mainstream ideas of beauty. Luckily, there is a silver lining to every cloud, right?
After years of battling with weight issues, Oprah Winfrey had an "A-ha!" realization about her body: "I know for sure that I am not my body... I think of all the years I've wasted hating myself fat, wanting myself thin...All that energy I could have spent loving what is... we're not our bodies or the image we hold of them... It is indeed a miracle when you realize the fullness of who you are. You're not your body, and for sure you're not your body image... That's a free at last kind of recognition. No more wasted time." ~ Oprah Winfrey
The good news is that you're not your body. You're spiritual in essence- a child of God. You are beautiful no matter what you look like or what people think. Cultivating qualities of compassion and care are much more important than obsessing about the body. When you're filled with love and compassion on the inside, your beauty will overflow on the outside. People will notice your glow and love you for who you are- inside and out.
1. Stop criticizing your body. Instead think, "I have nice eyes. I'm a child of God. I'm lovable just as I am." Keep your body self-talk positive, write them on index cards, carry them wherever you go, repeat your positive self-talk whenever you feel insecure.
2. Exercise and eat healthy. In addition to keeping your body fit and trim, exercise releases endorphins in the brain which helps improves mood and depression. Try to keep a positive outlook as it's essential to positive self-concept and healthy self-esteem. Eating healthy will also keep your body in good running condition and looking its best. Think of your body like an engine. Whatever is put in your body's "engine" will affect it's performance and appearance. Eat healthy, organic foods, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and avoid harmful pesticides whenever possible.
3. Focus on your positive qualities. Instead of focusing on all the negatives about your body, focus on appreciating the positives. No need to worry about fitting into that dress or those tight fitting jeans. Keep things in perspective, you may be temporarily over weight now, but you may have beautiful skin and hair that are attractive and who knows- may even the envy of other women. When you focus on your positives, it's another step forward in creating healthy self-esteem.
4. Follow in the footsteps of Oprah Winfrey. Once she realized she wasn't her body, she freed herself from the battle within herself. Despite her plush size, she is still loved and revered by the masses. So next time you look in the mirror, say to yourself, "I'm beautiful just as I am." And whenever you start feeling insecure, just remember- you're not your body.
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