A discussion on body image and self-love beyond physical aesthetics. Your body is more than what it looks like. Honor it, appreciate it, and take care of it daily.
Aside from all the news articles, magazines headline, fitness pins, and social media shares that will be featuring ways to ‘get back on the wagon’ or to ‘shape up’ during the summer, it’s no secret that ALL YEAR LONG people are bombarded with messages about changing their bodies. Changing them to be thinner, thicker, toned, bulkier, curvier, straighter, leaner, more muscular, less soft, more feminine, more natural, stronger, sexier…you get the point.
Most of these messages that promote changing our bodies make it seem as if our bodies are inanimate objects, separate from ourselves and our minds, and only in existence to be changed, morphed, and made something different from what they naturally are….because obviously what are bodies naturally are is not good enough and will never meet the expectations of society’s fad of the moment, right?! Wrong.
Our bodies are more than just things to look or to change for aesthetic purposes. When we focus on and use words like ‘sculpting’ and ‘molding’ all the focus is put on our outward appearances and we neglect to see and appreciate what are bodies can do far beyond their appearance. It’s almost as if we separate our bodies from our true selves and view them as a separate entity to be changed and made to look a certain way. But this is so far from reality. We, as people, are who we are because of our mind AND our bodies. How they work together synergistically and cooperatively is what makes us who we are and enables us to live our best lives possible. I’ve started to take this into consideration a lot more recently and have been a lot more mindful of all the ways my body works with me to serve the needs of my life and of others….
- My arms and back allow me to shovel heavy snow when the weather gets bad. I am able to clear sidewalks so people can get by safely!
- My legs are my new favorite form of TRANSPORTATION (since I sold my car)! Running, biking, and walking are much more than fitness activities to me. They are efficient ways of getting around and accomplishing tasks during the day. I feel on top of the world when I run somewhere just for fun instead of driving!
- My body has the stamina and endurance not only for exercise but for getting through long days of work where I am on the go and/or standing a lot.
- I recently read a Runner’s World article about a man teaching a business class by having his students train for a marathon…so our bodies can even be used to help us understand real world concepts and think in new ways about our careers!
Our bodies are just as integral to our existence as our minds are and they want to be loved, appreciated, and taken care of. But not just for their exterior. I’ve written about the importance of the health of our bodies versus the look of them in the past, and the thoughts in this post sort of go along that same line.
The health and capabilities of our bodies is what truly matters. The more we focus on how miraculous our systems really are and begin valuing ourselves based on those things rather than the exterior, the less important beauty, body shape, body size, and physical attributes will become in our society. I mean think about it, our bodies are like truly AMAZING. The millions of functions they involuntarily fulfill on a daily basis to keep us alive and well are incredible. All they ask in return is for a little TLC, kindness, patience, and gentleness.
We need to stop thinking of our bodies like clay: to be shaped, sculpted, and made to fit impossible molds. Clay is for manipulation by another force. In the literal sense, our hands…but in the metaphorical sense, the pressures society puts on us. Instead of thinking of our bodies like clay…we should view them more as crayons. Crayons are for use WITH your hands. Crayons have beauty on their own (like our bodies do as well!) because of their vibrant colors, but when used in collaboration with our hands they can create amazing pictures and art. In the same way, if we use our bodies and minds together, we can create a life full of color, vitality, and authenticity.
You all know I don’t really make seasonal or monthly goals, but I know they can be very positive and helpful for some people! Maybe this summer instead of resolving to lose weight, tone up, or ‘remove’ things from your life, consider things like this:
- being more mindful of the connection between our minds and bodies and begin viewing them as one
- use our bodies as a tool to accomplish our goals rather than making it a goal to change our bodies
- be more grateful for what our bodies do for us and with us on a daily basis
- take a moment each day to reflect and appreciate all that we are, all that we have, and all that we can do RIGHT NOW….without judgement, standards, or consideration of what the rest of the world thinks we should be!
Just some things to keep in mind and consider as we move into the ‘summer bodies’ and pressure to change who we are.
Do you sometimes fall into the trap of wanting to make your body look a certain way or achieve a certain aesthetic?
Do you make monthly or seasonal goals?
Tell me one thing you want to be more mindful of in this summer regards to health and happiness! NOT fitness, nutrition, or outward appearance!Stay connected:Subscribe to Healthy HelperInstagram: HealthyHelperFacebook: Healthy HelperTwitter: @Healthy_HelperPinterest: Healthy_HelperBloglovin’: Healthy HelperTumblr: Healthy Helper BlogSnapchat: KailaProulxCheck out my travel photography on Pixels and Etsy! Shop with me on Amazon. Favorite products, fun finds, and more! Want to get FREE products for review and make money as a blogger? Check out Linqia!Vacation budget a little tight? Get a discount on your AirBnB booking!
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