Do you have a love hate relationship with your body? Do you hate your thighs, butt, hips or fill in the blank?
Hear these nuggets of wisdom on how to love your body more through my interview with Amber Krzys, an expert who helps people embrace where they are in their bodies and lives.
Q: Why is it tough to love our body?
A: There is an image we get bombarded with every day of what beauty is supposed to look like in our culture. It's not so much the media's fault as it being a reflection of our culture. Our culture is semi obsessed with the ideal -- with perfection. It's about getting more and more and more.
We're always trying to outdo ourselves in the hopes of when I will be enough. The same happens when it comes to our body. When I have that then it will be enough. It's a constant battle to remind ourselves that we already are good enough.
There has always been a standard of beauty. During the renaissance the ideal was curvy, larger women. It seems like no matter what the ideal is though -- one thing is better than another. We're all beautiful. We have all been made to look exactly the way that we look. We constantly get the opportunity if we choose to not play this game of when I'm 20 pounds less then I will be enough.
Q: What are some of the common problems that come up when we don't love our bodies?
A: We easily get locked into this idea of perfection. A perfect example is X-Men where it's humans against the mutants and it's a lot like what our culture does. It creates this mutantized version of someone through Photoshop, using different tools, techniques, makeup and hair to produce an unrealistic image.
When we receive that messaging we start to think our body has to look like this idealized, unrealistic image. We start to turn our back against the body that we have and we start to beat it up. It's as if our body becomes the enemy. We start to criticize, blame, compare, stuff it, deprive it and ignore it. We punish our body.
If I'm constantly criticizing and blaming and feeling not enough that is going to show up in all areas of my life. I'm going to hide or go to the other extreme and for example do marathon after marathon after marathon even though I don't enjoy running. It's going to be reflected in the way I walk and talk. Would I really speak up and let my voice be heard? Probably not.
Q: How can we start loving our body more?
A: It's time to think about what it means to be in relationship with your body. Nobody teaches you -- there isn't a class to learn the language of your body. Yet our body is one of the most significant relationships that we have in our lives.
Here are three steps to get started on loving your body more:
1. Build a relationship with your body through communication, respect, trust and love. If they are present in any relationship it will thrive. Ask yourself how are these four foundational qualities showing up in my relationship with my body? How does my body communicate with me?
2. Slow down and pay attention to your body. What is your body telling you? For me personally I was like a dictator telling my body: do more, not enough, keep going. Yet my body was communicating with me in so many ways through feeling tired, getting sick, aches and pains, headaches or bloating or gas. We need to build a relationship with our body so that we want to care for our body from a place of love, not from a place of you're not enough and you need to be fixed.
3. Heal the unloved problem areas of your body. Place your hands together and think "who do I love, what do I love in my life" and infuse your hands with that love. Put your hand on the problem area and just say I'm sorry. No need to say I love you if it doesn't feel true. What organically unfolds can be beautiful, I'm sorry can become thank you and then thank you can become I love you.
Start to think about what if you loved your body, what actions would you take? How can you create a more loving dynamic? The beautiful thing is that everybody has their own answer.
To take this all a step further and to really start loving your body more join the free Rock Your Body Challenge here.