How to Stop Hating Your Body

Stop Hating Your BodyDo you hate your body?

You are not alone.  Eighty percent of women are dissatisfied with their body.  Eighty percent – that is a pretty depressing statistic.

So if your in the majority, does that make it ok to hate your body?  Well, let me ask you, how do you feel?  Do you like hating your body?  Are you happy?

Of course not – so hating your “bod” isn’t a good thing.

The Effects of Hating your Body

When you have a poor self-image, you are drained of all enthusiasm for life.  Even little things like hanging out with friends are tainted with the “comparison-gremlin” who takes stock of your friends and points out how you fail to measure up to them.

And you can absolutely forget about enjoying a meal with friends, with family or even all alone.  The “guilt-gremlin” monopolizes the conversation with how bad your food is, how much you are eating and how many calories you are consuming.

You have a whole host of other gremlins chattering away all day at you as well.  The “your-not-good-enough-gremlin,” the “nobody-like-you-because-you-are-fat-gremlin,” and how about the all time favorite – “you-have-absolutely-no-will-power-gremlin?”

No wonder by the end of the day, you are completely exhausted and just want to flop down on the couch and drown your sorrows in a bowl of popcorn!  You’ve been beaten up all day.

The Picture Perfect Body

In your mind you have an ideal image.  The woman you think you should look like.  Maybe it’s an actress, or maybe it’s an imaginary version of yourself – but everyone has that perfect chick in their mind.

Here’s the deal with little miss perfect – she doesn’t exist.  No matter how close you get to that image, she will just move further away.  You will never have slim enough thighs, a trim enough waistline or firm enough arms.  Forget it!

The ideal image is a moving target. If you are not satisfied with your body now – you won’t be satisfied no matter how you mold or shape it.  Perfection will always elude you.

The Secret to an Amazing Body

The secret to having an ideal body is to love your body right now – with all it’s imperfections.  I know – not the answer you wanted.  Sounds a bit like a cop out – doesn’t it.

Well, its time for a dose of reality.  You will always want what you don’t have unless you learn to appreciate what you do have right now.

I am not sure if it’s a w0man-thing, an American-thing or a generational-thing – but whatever it is, we are trained to always want more/better/faster everything.  However, you can break this vicious cycle of hating your body.

How to Stop Hating Your Body

theholidaykate_winsletWhen you accept that you can’t win by hating your body – it’s time to raise the white flag and accept yourself just as you are.

Corny?  Yep – you bet.  But as they say in one of my favorite movies, the Holiday, “I am looking for a little corny in my life.”  Let go of what TV commercials and magazines say you should look like.  Comparing yourself to models hasn’t worked so far, so let’s try something new.

Start a Body Gratitude Journal.

Start every day by writing a few sentences about what you like about your body.    Do your arms work today?  Can you brush your own teeth?  Can you dress yourself?

Already your body is doing things for your that thousands of people wish they still had the ability to do.

How about your health?  Are you strong enough to get out of bed?  Well enough to make yourself breakfast?

What about the beautiful brain of yours?  Are you smart enough to hold a job?  “With it” enough to get the kids off to school with everything they need?

We can go on and on – and I encourage you to do so.  Every day!

Become a VIP Member and download our Free Gratitude Journal.  (A new journal is delivered every month.)

The Benefits of Loving Your Body

When you stop hating your body and start loving it instead some amazing things happen.

First off, the gremlins are forced to take a day off.  Since you are not being beaten down all day, your energy soars and you have plenty left at the end of the day.

Maybe you don’t feel like flopping down on the couch.  Maybe instead you feel like taking the dog for a walk, or maybe just spend a few minutes dancing around your kitchen to your favorite song.

(Highly recommend Katrina and the Waves – “Walking on Sunshine” for kitchen dancing 🙂 Just sayin’ )

Once you train your mind to look for positive things about your body, you will shift your focus from the negative to the positive and more and more positive things will come your way.  You will start to enjoy meals when you focus on the positive aspects of them.  You will enjoy your friends more when you focus on all the ways you are healthy like them.

It becomes a snowball of good feelings after you make the shift.

What do you need to do next?

You may start healthier routines, or eating healthier foods…or you may not.  The point is, when you lift the weight of guilt and depression that comes from hating your body off your shoulders, your mood will improve.  Your body will use the fuel you give it in a better way, you mind will be clearer to make different choices and your energy level will be higher to motivate you move more.

You don’t need to focus on forcing changes.  Start appreciating your body and let your body draw you toward healthy changes effortlessly.

It all starts with a simple Body Gratitude Journal.  Grab any notebook or if you want to have a set of journal prompts to help you along, download the guided Body Gratitude Journal by becoming a VIP Member.  Either way, take steps right now to appreciate your body.

Posted in BODYscape

The Happiness Challenge – A la Volunteerism

Take the Volunteer Challenge

Take the Volunteer ChallengeHappiness is only a volunteer moment away!  Take on the Volunteer Challenge.

Over 60 million people spend time volunteering on an annual basis.  Why?  Because the more you give, the more you get in happiness.  Volunteering feels good.

The challenge for your this month is to find a way to volunteer some of your time each week.

Here are some suggestions for how to find time to fit volunteering into your busy schedule.  You will get the happiness benefits without overloading your schedule.

Volunteer Challenge Suggestions

Help a neighbor with household chores.  Perhaps winterizing or summer-izing their home, repairing something or make it easier for them to get in and out of the house.  Perhaps you could even pick up a few things for them when you do your weekly grocery shop if they give you a list ahead of time.

Write to a soldierAnysoldier.com specializes in soldier who don’t get much mail from home.  Write a letter.  Don’t know what to write share a poem or song lyrics, tell a funny story, share a heart warming new story, create images with a special message.

Arm wrestling to raise money – You have to love this one.  The Collective of Lady Arm Wrestlers use arm wrestling to raise money. (clawusa.com)  They support various charities around the country.

Adopt a fire hydrant – Cities like Boston have formal programs but you can just do this on your own.  Find a fire hydrant that is often buried in snow or weeds and make it your mission to keep it clear.

Help others get donations – Have a gift for writing or speaking convincingly?  Try helping other charities get the donations they need by writing or calling on their behalf to garner items that they have posted on their wishboard. – wishuponahero.org

Record your voice – Help others who cannot speak create a vocal translator.  By recording 2-3 hours of speech, your voice can be used to set up a speech program form someone who does not have the ability to speak. Visit Vocalid.org for more information.

Yard sale for charity – Host a yard sale and give all the proceeds to charity.  You will get a double benefit from this one.  Not only will you support a great cause, you will declutter your home.

Be Santa’s helper – Some post office’s participate in a letter drive during the holidays.  The collect letters to Santa from underprivileged children and distribute them to volunteers.  You can write back and purchase a small gift for one of these children.  Check and see if your local post office participates.  If it doesn’t – perhaps you could be the one start this in your community.

Use your brain – Are you great a trivia?  You can use your brain to feed others.  Freerice.com donates 10 grains for rice for every question you get right via the World Food Programme.   Have a little fun for a good cause.

Start Your Volunteer Challenge Today

These are just some ideas that won’t take you a lot of time and many that you can do without even leaving home…or your neighborhood 🙂

Your volunteer challenge is to pick one small thing from this list or an idea of your own each week this month.

Get your family and friends to take the volunteer challenge too and share the good vibes.

Posted in LIFEscape