Do you love your body? Do you appreciate it?
In this Fittest Year Ever episode, let’s talk about how we feel about our bodies. Did you know that you can feel more confident in your body? Did you know you can love your body right now, just as it is, without changing it?
A whopping 91% of women are dissatisfied with our bodies. It is possible though to improve our body image and body appreciation.
Here’s what helps:
•Journal and examine your thoughts in order to change their perspective on their body.
• Begin to question where the negative thoughts come from and realize that the negative thoughts are actually programming and conditioning you’ve received from others.
• Notice and appreciate the differences and appreciate body diversity.
• Stop using your body to judge your morality.
• Practice loving and appreciating your body everyday using mindfulness, gratitude, and self-compassion.
"Body Dissatisfaction in Women Across the Lifespan: Results of the UNC-SELF and Gender and Body Image (GABI) Studies", https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3745223/
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In this episode, I’m going to share with you the three thoughts I use right now to help me love my body just as it is, and what I’m doing everyday this week to double down on that body love.
Hi I’m Jen Larimore. I’m the host of mom first. You are listening to a special episode series about how I am making 2023 my Fittest Year Ever. This isn’t your typical fitness podcast series. I’m not a trainer. I don’t run marathons. I’m just a regular working mom, who after 5 kids, 20 years of desk work, and a pandemic, is ready to make 2023 my fittest year ever–mentally and physically. That means, loving myself–just as I am today, nourishing my body, and giving it the joyful movement that it needs today so that it will be able to serve me for decades down the road. Imagine what it would be like if you ditched the body shame, toxic diet culture, and yo yo results, so that you could make 2023 your fittest year ever too. So come with me! Get those ear buds, grab your yoga mat, and let’s go…
When you think of your body, what’s the first feeling that comes to mind?
Is it sadness, disgust, despair, frustration? Did you know that 91% of women are dissatisfied with their bodies! And this dissatisfaction generally remains throughout one’s lifetime. Body dissatisfaction is linked to low mood and disordered eating, reduced quality of life, and ironically, people who have poor body image and are dissatisfied with their body are LESS likely to engage in the behaviors that will take care of their body and thus possibly increase their body satisfaction, like physical activity, wearing sunscreen, and stopping health threatening behaviors, like smoking.
Mothers can be particularly vulnerable to body dissatisfaction. And we pass that on to our children. One of the best predictors of whether a child, especially a girl, will have a negative body image is if her mother has her own negative body image.
My friends, its time for a change. And we are the ones that have to make that change. We have to go first. That is why I’m starting this Fittest Year Ever series out by sharing what I am doing to LOVE my body right now and to have more body appreciation today, even though I’m not at a “ideal” weight, I can’t run a mile without stopping right now, and there are some days, when, I cannot bend over and touch my toes–even though I’ve had a steady yoga practice for the last year!
I believe that even if my body can’t do these things, I can appreciate it, and even love it, right now as it is today.
I’ve been working on appreciating my body, as it is for a long time. In 2019, I had a health crisis, where my hormones, stopped working the way that they should. My hair started falling out in clumps. My fingernails were breaking and even completely falling off. I got unrelenting hot flashes and night sweats. I couldn’t sleep. But I was so tired I couldn’t think clearly either. And my bones physically ached in my body. I swear to you. It was like I could feel the soreness in my bones. I remember laying on my bed, looking up at the ceiling fan, and thinking, that this could not possibly be normal. That this could not possibly be how my life was going to be. I went to the doctor for a check up and sure enough we ran some tests, and things were not right. After a number of months and lots of tests, I was diagnosed with a condition called Premature Ovarian Failure. It was a devastating diagnosis that rocked my world. And it felt like just one more way in a long list of ways that my body had failed me. It was a painful and uncertain time. And it was just what I needed. Don’t get me wrong. I wish it wouldn’t have happened, but it did propel me forward and force me to change. And it finally, was the catalyst that actually taught me to care about and appreciate my body, for all that it has done and continues to do for me.
You don’t have to have a health crisis like me to love your body.
You can start today.
Here’s what worked for me.
I’m doing two journaling exercises right now to embody and more fully embrace these three thoughts and to continue to work on loving my body, just as it is right now. This takes a small amount of my time, but I know that doing this work and loving my body as it is now, makes it more likely that I will actually create the habits that I need to make this year my fittest year ever.
SO the first journal exercise that I’m doing is that I right down 1 full sentence each day about something that I appreciate about my body. I write down something new each day.
Here are some of my examples:
-I appreciate that my body grew and birthed 5 healthy children.
-I appreciate that my body overcame covid earlier this year.
-I appreciate that my body is more flexible today than it was last year at this time.
-I appreciate that my body can carry and snuggle my babies, even as they grow. Today, I sat and snuggled with my 2 year old, 6 year old, and 9 year old at the same time!
-I appreciate that my body can support me in creating these podcast episodes for you, even when I don’t get enough sleep because I’m up late podcasting, so that i get this creative expression and have the opportunity to support other moms.
The second journal exercise that I am doing is I write down one thing that day that I promise that I will do to take care of my body.
So today, for instance, I am committed to giving my body enough water.
Yesterday, I committed to allowing my body to sleep for as long as it needed, even though I had a lot of things that I wanted to get done and I wanted to set an alarm. I know I need the sleep to stay healthy and well.
And the day before, I committed to using a hand balm regularly to deal with the dryness in my hands. My hands do so much for me. The cold and dry air though has taken their toll and they have been dry and chapped. I’m using a hand balm to try to repair that quickly and that means I need to stop what I’m diong and regularly moisturize my hands.
So there you have it. This is how I grew my own love and appreciation for my body, the thoughts that I’m using right now to continue to love my body so that I can make it the fittest year ever, and the two journal exercises that I am doing every day right now to really put this into action.
If today’s podcast resonated with you, then please join me on this journey. Make 2023 your fittest year ever too. You can reach your physical goals and do it without beating yourself up and punishing your body. Let’s support and empower each other to get started and keep going, so that 2023 is our fittest year ever, together.
If you’re in, then be sure to hit subscribe on this podcast and come back each week for another special episode in this series, Fittest Year Ever. And be sure to head over to Mom First on Facebook where you can share with me what you are doing to make 2023 your Fittest Year Ever.