Self care starts with body acceptance and how you perceive your body daily. Think about what you are saying to yourself every moment of every day.
Spend some time and really listen. Question it to see where it’s at. Is it giving you some negative feedback, and does it serve you?
If you are not accepting yourself fully now, when will you?
In 5 years, in 10 years, in a year from now, in 6 months, when you can fit into those jeans?
It can make you feel uncomfortable. It may be quite painful. Consider how you judge yourself, what standards, and what image of perfection you hold for yourself.
We all do it. If this was a little bit trimmer, a bit flatter, if they were a little bit bigger, or longer, there wasn’t that stretch mark or cellulite. The list is endless.
The present moment
Being alright with how you are now, how you look in this moment here, is the only thing that matters. Not tomorrow, not next week, next year, it’s now and bringing yourself and joy into now.
That is why meditation is about the breath. Breath is now. It is the present.
Decide to make a change. How do you feel about yourself now, and does that need to change?
Clear your social media
Surround yourself with positive images, especially on social media, Instagram, and Facebook.
Filters are on everything. I have worked as a designer and know what Photoshop can do. Unfortunately, many images are not authentic.
I asked nearly 300 women to rate themselves on a scale of 1 – 10 (10 fully accepting your body). Shockingly, 10% hate themselves, and 10% are sitting at 1 = They hate their body.
Find the positivity you need.
There are a lot of incredible women leading the way when it comes to positive body image. Seek them out.
Ask yourself, if you are not accepting yourself right now, as you physically feel and look with your lumps, bumps, stretch marks, and all those lovely things about you, when do you plan to do that?
What we say to our children
As a parent, we also need to consider that our dialogue with ourselves can influence our children. They are affected by seeing and hearing their parents talk, discuss and react to food, eating, weight and physical attributes of others and themselves.
Children form their self-image as young as three years old and how they may feel about things that are perceived as beautiful or ideal. And they are fully aware.
As a parent, it is essential that we change that narrative, and we consider it our responsibility because children are surrounded by media, adverts, mannequins in shops, and pictures of what the media perceives as ideal = Thin.
Next time you see a child, consider complimenting them about a non-physical feature like how kind they are or an emotional response they managed so they do not judge themselves solely on looks.
I have done this practice a lot as a parent and teacher. Complimented on kindness, generosity, creativity and strength.
It might surprise you when you think that you are a nonbias and try your best to be open to everybody, everybody’s shapes, looks, and skin colour, sometimes we are not, and we do not always realise that.
We only have now. We only have today, this moment.
Main photo by Vie Studio