Have you noticed when you look into your bathroom mirror everyday, what are you saying to yourself?
Is it mostly the faults you are finding with your body? Areas that you don’t like and cannot live with?
Would you say the same to your friends? Or your child?
One can’t walk down the street, turn on TV, read a magazine without confronting our culture’s collective obsession with our body shape and weight. Almost half of the ads one sees here in HK have to do with some miracle slimming program, and most of these “after” photo shows airbrushed models or celebrities victoriously touting their clinically underweight body …
What kind of messages are we exposing our subconscious to day in and day out?
Imagine speaking to a child the way you speak to yourself about your body. It could devastate and squelch a child, and it affects us similarly, causing the body to suffer ravages of stress, and too often, ironically, hold onto weight even more. (Chronic stress may slow down metabolism, raise insulin and promote fat storage…)
What is considered to be the cultural ideal body type shifts often. In the last half of the century, the ideal body type has become so removed from reality that nowadays less than 5% of the population has a “model’s body”.
Think of all the intelligence, time and energy spent on improving, altering and judging your appearance. Who would you be and what could you accomplish if your valuable resources were used in other self nurturing ways…? What about engaging in creative activities, building fulfilling relationships, or learning new hobbies?
Constant emphasis on the external makes us discount the great presence and intelligence that is housed by the body. It makes us forget the magic of our internal rhythms and makes us forget to acknowledge the beautiful body we have.
Stop for a moment and consider how incredible the body you have right now! It never misses a heartbeat, maintains homeostasis, miraculously digests whatever we put in it, and is your instrument to express creativity, intellect and love. In focusing on the 1% we don’t like or wish was different, we ignore the 99% about our bodies that is beautiful, unique and delightful.
And for whose assessment we are living for? And why are we giving authority to them?
What would it be like if you were simply at peace with the body you have RIGHT NOW? You may want to improve the health of the body you have and that’s wonderful. You may want to lose weight if you are truly overweight and you know that will bring you many health benefits. And YOU know that could go along with increased respect and love for your body RIGHT NOW – not after you have lost those pounds. Could you ACCEPT what you have and enjoy the gifts of being alive RIGHT NOW?
Treat yourself with kindness, be aware of and reduce the internal put-downs and learn to re-connect to our inner wisdom. This would mean to honour the body rather than punish it, to nourish the body, rather than deprive, shame and ridicule it. It would mean letting our bodies flourish and celebrating the wonderful gifts of being alive.
What would you do this week to honour your wonderful body?
“Don’t go outside your house to see flowers. My friend, don’t bother with that excursion. Inside your body there are flowers.”– Kabir
Before you embark on a weight loss program, ask yourself, what is your motivation for losing weight? Does that inspire you and empower you? Ask yourself, will losing those pounds really serve your health and vitality? And talk to a qualified health practitioner to support you.