In a world where the ideals of ‘beauty’ are splashed all over Instagram, TV and magazine covers , it’s easy lose focus and begin hating yourself.
I’m not as pretty as her; my stomach isn’t flat; my thighs jiggle when I run; I’ll never be that skinny.
Sound familiar? Yeah, me too!
I do believe we are trying to change the dialogue when it comes to our perception of what healthy, beautiful and happy look like, but there is still a lot of work to be done. Self love is probably the most important thing you can practice, closely followed by kindness and compassion. When you start to love yourself, you worry less about what others are doing and/or saying.
Self love is something I have personally struggled with for most of my adult life. It’s too easy to let the whispers, the judgemental glares and the outright rude comments bring us down. And for a long time, I had almost sentenced myself to seeing myself through those narrow minded attitudes. Throw in a failed marriage and side of anxiety, and it’s I was spiralling.
Even when I was out running today, I felt self conscious that I was ‘too fat’. I worried that people were staring at my tummy wobbling (they weren’t) and I almost resorted to walking the rest of the way because I couldn’t possible run (I didn’t).
For too long I felt ashamed of myself, of my body. I couldn’t bare to look in the mirror and was just miserable. That’s until I decided No More!!! And you know what, it’s ok to love myself. My body is capable of anything, and that’s what I’m working to prove!
I realised that cycle of hatred will continue for as long as we allow it to. So I decided to break that cycle. Yes, that is much easier said than done, and my epiphany will not stop fat-shaming, skinny-shaming or anything in between, but it’s a start…
A drop in the ocean if you like.
But if we all make one single drop, the ripple effect will go on and on.
The effects of simply changing your mindset, make a difference straight away. And here’s what you can do to make a start.
- Surround yourself with people who love and support you. Why would you want to be around someone who will bring you down?!
- Be kind to yourself. It’s ok not to love every single part of you, but at least accept you as you are right now.
- Know that any changes start from within (mentally, physically, spiritually, etc). The approval from anyone, or even everyone, will not make any difference if you don’t love yourself.
- Don’t let someone else’s negativity or hatefulness invade your space. Stay in your own lane. If that’s how they want to be, let them carry on.
- Don’t compare yourself to anyone. It’s ok to admire them but know that you may not ever look they way they do. Bodies are different and that’s just the way it is.
- Be kind to others. Always. You don’t ever know what someone is going through. Compliment them, say hello or even just smile.
- We all have a responsibility to spread happiness. I know it sounds cheesy but we can each make a difference, even if only to one person.