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Body Image | Loving Every Part of You

Body Image | Loving Every Part of You
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I discuss body image a lot.  It is more than just something that I do. It is a passion of mine.  I am quite intrigued by the way that we as human beings view ourselves and value ourselves. I enjoy talking with people about their bodies and how they feel about the skin that they are in.  It is very interesting to dialogue with both women and men about their relationship with their bodies.  One thing that I find common amongst almost everyone, is the fact that most of us have at least one thing about our bodies that brings shame, embarrassment, or frustration.  There is at least one thing about most of us that we wish were different. The level of dissatisfaction varies between each person.  Some of us just want a slight change in appearance or physical ability.  There are others who experience complete disdain around their entire body.  Either way, most of us have something about ourselves that we wish we could change.  

 

Although I am a body empowerment activist. I am certainly not immune to the need to heal my relationship with certain parts of my body.   I have parts that I absolutely adore: my eyes, my lips, my legs, even my breasts and I get along pretty well.  However, there are certain parts that require a bit more effort to Love.  You see, our relationship with our body is just like any other relationship. It takes effort and patience to build a healthy, loving relationship that will be strong and long lasting.  What I have learned works for me is shifting my perspective about my body from shaming and complaining to Love and thankfulness. Here are some examples:

 

 

Body Part  

Negative Thoughts

Positive Thoughts

My hair

It is very coarse, difficult to manage, and challenging to style.

It is strong, unique in texture, thick, and full. I am thankful for having hair and I am learning care techniques that work for me.

My stomach

It is round and full, not lean and firm.  It has stretch marks from years of weight fluctuation and isn’t smooth and even in tone. It should be smaller and in better proportion to the rest of my body.

It has supported my digestion for all of my life and houses the nourishment of my food.  I am thankful that it functions properly and I commit to proper nutrition and fitness to achieve Divine health and wellness

My arms

They are not as toned and firm as others.

They have climbed, carried, hugged, protected, and enabled me to be a productive person all my life.  I am thankful that they work perfectly. I commit to fitness and exercise to empower me them to be strong and healthy.

 

Okay, so I was open and honest with you. Now it’s your turn! I invite you to take a moment to write just three parts of your body that deserve more Love.  Maybe it is parts that you don’t give thanks for enough: your nose, your thighs, your toes.  If you have any negative thoughts around those particular body parts write them down. Go ahead, be honest with YOURSELF. Then take the time to think of how you can be more thankful for those body parts.  How have they served you up until today? Write positive and loving statements about those body parts. Once you make the list, save it somewhere that you can access it regularly. The moments will come when your love relationship with your body will be tested and this list will be a good reference point to go back to.  Just remember, that it is a journey that we are all on.  We have to give ourselves patience. Love takes time!

 

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Ivy Cooper, The Body Relationship Coach™ is a professional health coach and body image expert. She offers education, empowerment, and encouragement to help people build health, loving relationships with their body and self.

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  • Rebecca

    I can definitely relate to some of the same body issues you described here. I need to appreciate my body more despite all the imperfections and your honesty and openness had inspired me to do that.

    • / Ivy LaArtista

      Hi Rebecca! Thank you for reading. I am glad that the post inspired you. It’s a journey for a lot of us. The good thing is that you are aware, so now you can put that more Love into action! I appreciate you sharing your feedback too!!

  • / Ivy LaArtista

    Awesome Nikki! I look forward to hearing your feedback! Feel free to email me about your journey seebodyloveself at gmail (dot) com

  • http://www.execumama.com/ Execumama

    Ivy, as usual, you’re a total #radicalselfie and I love that about you. Thank you for risking expression in this way. I feeeeeeel you on this one. I am learning to love my belly as well, with it’s stretch marked, multi-toned self. It was the home of my two Life Guides, and it helps me to love on myself through my food intake. That reframing has helped me to eat better, feel better, and to slowly (still on that journey) lessen the criticism and increase the love-ism :) My beautiful belly and I both thank you for the gentle reminder.

    • / Ivy LaArtista

      Akilah, thank you for reading! I’m glad that my nakedness resonates with you. I’ve learned so much from your example as a self expressionist. After reading your comment, I was thinking about how beautiful art is when it has patterns and lovely tones all mixed together. Is it possible to see the fluctuations in our bellies as the artistic expression that tells our own life journey. Yours includes motherhood. Mine includes the ups and downs of learning to love and care for my body. What a wonderful way to look in the mirror huh?

      • http://www.execumama.com/ Execumama

        For sure! Sounds like a photo shoot to me :) [Enter Kahran and Reg]

  • Lisa R Charles

    Thank you Ivy for being so open about such a touchy subject for women and men. For years I struggled with my tummy and longed for corrective surgery, which is something I’m still going to do, however, the most important thing was for me to love what I have first. It’s been a long journey and one that has taught me that what matters is that I love my tummy and think it’s the prettiest of all. It’s mine and for that reason alone, makes it beautiful.

    • / Ivy LaArtista

      Lisa, I am so glad that you found support and Love here for your journey. Thank you for sharing your experience with embracing your tummy. Finding beauty in our uniqueness is always an awesome thing!

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