When was the last time you stripped your clothes off, stood in front of a mirror, took a good look at yourself (no sideways, peek-a-boo-type glances, please), and actually liked what you saw?
When you think about it, there are few instances in which we're naked -- the moment you're born (not counting the time you spent safe, sound and secure in your mother's womb), during a shower, the brief transition while changing clothes, during sex (even then, not always), and then finally, in death (well, you can't clean up and dress yourself for your own funeral, can you?).
Feel free to add more if you're used to being naked all the time, but if you're not, then reading the rest of this post might at least help you get used to the idea of it.
The truth is that for many of us, being naked is a huge problem... literally.
Beer belly, bat wings, sagging and/or excess skin, cellulite, stretch marks, scars... the list could go on forever.
Plus, it's especially difficult and uncomfortable when you're Asian (not all the time though. Visit any Japanese bath house or onsen and you'll know what I mean).
Cultural restrictions and norms aside and like it or not, being naked at some point is something none of us can avoid, and how you feel about it pretty much depends on you.
So how do you become "OK" with what God gave you (in part) and mostly, what you've helped shape from your daily living habits?
These three steps might help:
Accept that having flaws is the norm, not the exception.
There was a time when being full-figured, with rolls and all, was hot.
Now, not so much, thanks to the media's unrealistic standards of what's beautiful.
But unless you have the discipline to stick to the habits that are required to help you get into that kind of shape, you're pretty much going to feel like you're falling short, if you let yourself go there (I personally prefer not to).
Get naked more often.
Take a nap in your birthday suit.
Read a book without anything on. (In private, of course. Doing this in public WILL probably get you arrested).
Go to a spa for a bath, scrub-down or full-body massage -- I can't tell you how uncomfortable it was to be bathed from head to toe by someone else during a recent spa visit, but I left feeling liberated, strangely child-like and more at ease with myself.
Go for a Brazilian or Boyzilian wax. Do as the locals do at a birthday suit-friendly beach in Europe. Or, volunteer to be part of a Spencer Tunick installation.
Do something, anything that'll help you get over the discomfort of being just in your own skin.
Nurture your naked self.
Get used to what you look like, minus the expensive clothes, designer watch, push-up bra, gut-smoothing Spanx and butt-boosting stilettos.
There are few things more humbling than being utterly conscious of your soft, naked, vulnerable self.
Not happy with what you see?
Then do something about it! Eat foods that will change that. Exercise with purpose to achieve your desired shape. Considering surgical enhancements? Know what you're getting into before committing.
Moisturize, scrub, nourish, hydrate, care for and protect your body.
Treat your earthly vehicle like a temple, and you'll soon feel differently about what you have.
Michele is a food coach and the author of michelelian.com, where she helps food lovers eat what they want, lose fat and keep it off for life with more ease and less overwhelm. Learn how to stop yo-yo dieting and start dropping those jean sizes permanently with her free, Lose 4 Pounds in 4 Weeks Without Going On A Diet email course
This article originally appeared on michelelian.com.
Photo credit: DanielSantalla