Loving Our Bodies "As Is": Three Fun, Funny, No-Fail Techniques
By Vicki Hannah Lein
I'm Talking to You!
I heard you groan when you read the title. I know what you are thinking: "Not me. Not ever! I am too disgusting, too fat, too ugly, too unacceptable, too rejected, too skinny, too pock-marked, too flat-chested..." I have heard it all and said much of it to myself.
Aren't you tired of wishing you looked different? Aren't you sick of trying every new diet that steamrolls down the freeway aimed straight at your self-confidence? Do you think possibly you've been duped by a youth-obsessed, anorexia-inducing culture?? Isn't enough finally enough, already?
A confession: I do not yet love my body completely as it is. I am in recovery from a disapproval addiction, and I will need to be in recovery every day for the rest of my life and so will you. This is not bad news; it is good news. Recovery is fun. You will live longer, laugh more, and have time to appreciate the important parts of your life instead of wasting your precious time focusing on that dry skin on your elbows or those little wrinkles around your eyes.
Technique # 1: Use Your Hateful Thoughts As Reminders to Love Yourself
Self-hate is a wily beast, and he takes on disguises, telling us his advice is "for our own good." He is relentless and persistent. So use him! When he appears, use his energy as a reminder to do something lovely and generous for yourself, such as kissing your sweet lips on the bathroom mirror. You'll dirty up the mirror, you say? Good! Those kiss marks will remind you to not take yourself so seriously, which is half of the battle.
Every time you have a mean thought about yourself, grab it by the throat, give it a quick kiss, and send it on its way. "Bye, bye, now!" You say as the hate and judgment scuttle out of your mind. "You go out and play in the middle of the freeway now. Don't look both ways!"
This technique will work immediately. Make yourself laugh and you have almost won the battle. Your laughter has improved your digestion, reduced your stress, increased the effectiveness of your immune system, and brightened your day. What's not to like?
Technique #2: Get Out of the Beauty Race
Every person decides what is beautiful and what is ugly. Some photographers, for example, think worms are gorgeous and so they are. We can decide we are beautiful "as is" if we stop comparing ourselves with others.
If you practice finding yourself inadequate, you get good at it. But you can become an expert who replaces comparing with appreciating the beauty around you - all beauty. Stop comparing yourself to other people right now. Go cold turkey.
Instead of judging yourself or others, enjoy the feel of your skin, the gentleness of a touch, the sweetness of a smile, and the glory of a generous nature. Take pleasure in the beauty of the sun shining in your friend's golden hair. Just don't compare your own "dishwater, mousy" hair with hers.
If you start to compare your aging hand to a younger woman's, kiss your own hand and say, "I love you, my sweet." It's easy to love this hand that works for you all day long typing, picking up coffee cups, and stroking the cheeks of those you love. Don't tell your hand it is ugly because it's showing the unique history of your journey on the planet. Do you really want the hands of a twelve year old forever? When you pay attention to what really matters, every invitation to compare yourself with others will turn into a moment of celebration.
Keep a journal. Write in it every day and celebrate yourself and other people. If you are not good at this to start with, don't worry. You will get better.
Technique #3: Look at Yourself Naked in the Mirror and Celebrate Your Body "As Is."
You can see why I saved this technique for the last. You might have to "cheat" when you try this habit at first, at least it may feel like cheating to you. That's okay. Is your lip worthy of love? Your temple? How about the inside of your arm? Your ears? The area between your thumb and your index finger? Your fingernail? Find some part of your body you find acceptable as it is.
Focus on one body part until you love it. Then find another part to love just as it is. You might say: "I love you, Thumbnail. You are great. You protect me and I would be in a world of hurt without you. I have taken you for granted until now, but I am through with that!"
You Can Do It!
If three techniques feel like too many, pick the one that sounds the most fun and start practicing it every day. You deserve to be loved just as you are! Be the first one on your block to love your body "as is" and see the startling benefits. On second thought, who cares what the rest of the block is doing? Love now. You won't regret it.
About The Author
Vicki Hannah Lein is a singer/songwriter, international speaker, author, trainer, and life coach. For a free sample of her song "I Deserve to Be Loved" and the introduction to her new book Woman with a Voice, visit http://www.stepintoyourgreatness.us.