Body Image

Embrace It

A common symptom of body hate is constant comparison. We are constantly comparing ourselves to the looks of others; to those on social media, in magazines, even when we are walking to the store. Critical thoughts about your own appearance tend to spread to how you think about others as well. If you are in the habit of scrutinising every little flaw on your own body, it’s not much of a leap to start doing the same to those around you too.

Comparing is competing! Someone has to win and someone has to lose. “She may have better hair, but you have better thighs.” Comparing and judging are just different ways of keeping your own body hate alive and kicking. It just perpetuates the cycle of determining your self worth and the worth of others by measuring imperfections and making sweeping judgements.

Now that you are getting to know yourself as a complete package, it is time to start doing the same towards others. We are all who we are, a complete and unique package with different traits and attributes. We have different strengths and weaknesses, different pasts and different futures. Comparing means that you are judging at a surface level and not looking at the big picture, instead of valuing yourself and others as complete people. One person’s unique beauty does not cancel out another person’s unique beauty. We all have our own beauty, we just have to find it and embrace it.

It might be difficult at first but once we start embracing how beautiful we are and not compare any of our unique features to others, the self love will become stronger.

Zindzi Rowney

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Body Image

Getting to know you

Getting to know yourself and learning to love yourself as a person can work wonders for how you feel about your body. Your body is this wonderful vessel that makes YOU. It is hard to love someone you don’t even know, so take the time to get to know yourself.

If you feel like you do not really know yourself, then it is time to get digging!

You just want to put together all the little pieces that make you the unique individual that you are. Ask yourself:

  • Do i enjoy socialising with friends or do i prefer to spend time alone or do i need a little bit of both?
  • What brings out my creativity? Is it music, art or speaking to groups of people?
  • What is something i have accomplished that makes me really proud and how can i learn from that experience?
  • What people are important to me?
  • What helps me relax and unwind? Is it music, a walk outside, a good novel, a good movie, talking to friends or journaling?
  • What hobbies bring out my passionate side?

There are no wrong answers…..

It is just about learning who you are and coming to appreciate yourself from different angles. When you get to know yourself as a person, you discover what makes you feel happy and fulfilled in your life and what does not.

Over the years i have discovered different things about myself. These are things i would never have thought would be me or make me who i am. I learn everyday and the discovery of these different aspects of myself allows me to appreciate and love myself more. Self discovery is quite important, because not knowing can leave you confused and lost in life. So let’s get digging to really get to know ourselves more.

Zindzi Rowney

Body Image

Expand your sense of self

Your body and physical features are part of who you are, but they are not close to being the whole you or the most important part of you. The way you feel about who you are as a person needs to extend beyond what you feel about the way you look.

If your entire sense of self comes from the way you look, then it is safe to say you will feel defeated on days when your hair is not looking its best, your outfit does not fit quite right or your skin has a breakout. You do not want your self esteem to come from one place (YOUR LOOKS). Having a job you enjoy, friends and family you love, a cause that makes you feel passionate, a hobby that absorbs you will lead you to a happier, healthier and more confident you.

Be more than just what you look like – you are more than the colour of your hair, the shape of your legs, or circumference of your waistline. These are only some of your features. If you primarily think of yourself in terms of the way you look then you are discounting the rest of your unique qualities. If your appearance is your priority then you are not allowing other aspects of yourself to develop. When your time, energy and thoughts are wrapped up in worrying about your body, then other parts of yourself and life will be neglected.

So do not get wrapped up in thinking that having a small waist and constantly trying to cover up your imperfections is a way of life, because IT IS NOT. There is more to you as a person than looks.

Zindzi

Body Image

POSITIVE CHANGE

It is easy to get confused about what it really means when talking about loving yourself, accepting your imperfections and embracing your body.

Some might think that accepting your body is about giving up on it while others say that if you embrace your body, you would not want to change it in any way. There are also some that feel that loving your body means keeping a strict diet and exercising regularly. Every person has their own idea of what it means to love and accept your body but actually it is all about degree and attitude.

By that i mean; if you want to make changes and set goals for yourself or body, it can be a positive thing within the right framework, however it can be the opposite if you approach it with a negative attitude towards yourself and your body.

Weight loss is probably the most common way women want to change their bodies. It is then all about the attitude towards pursuing the weight loss and the degree to which you go to do it. There are some important questions you need to think about:

  • Do you want to lose weight because you would be healthier at a lower weight or do you just feel like your body is unacceptable and unworthy until you lose weight?
  • Are you sacrificing your health in order to achieve a certain weight?
  • Are you sacrificing your peace of mind because you are constantly thinking about the calories, the fat or the size of clothing that you can wear?
  • Are your expectations realistic and sustainable?

If weight loss feels like it is taking over your life, stop and make time for other important things like your mental well being, relationships, physical health. Try and be flexible with yourself and take the long term approach instead of focusing on short term results.

Only you can make the decision, but its is important to be aware and honest about your attitude towards your body and how it is affecting your life.

Body Image

Keys to Loving Your Body Part 2

Good Morning, this is just a continuation of ways to love your body. Your body is your temple and you should take care of it as much as you can. Here are a few more ways to show your body that you love it.

5. Make downtime a priority

– Always try to incorporate some downtime into your schedule, give your mind and body the chance to relax and not be under the constant pressure of to do lists or scheduled activities. You can read your favourite book, sit outside under the stars, have a walk; you will feel better.

6. Accept Compliments

– I always find it hard to accept compliments, because i feel like people just say things i want to hear, so I always end up dodging or deflecting any compliments i get. Compliments are beautiful and we should own them. If someone says “Oh, you look wonderful today” then thank them. Always try and show the person who complimented you that you accept and appreciate it. Let compliments empower you and do not feel embarrassed by them.

7. Forgive yourself

– Negative emotions tend to steal our energy and motivation, they keep us focused on things we can not change. We need to forgive ourselves, in order to move on and move forward. We can’t change the past but we can do things differently in the future. Forgiving yourself allows you to put your energy into making better decisions in the future; learn from your mistakes and do not wallow in them. None of us are perfect!

8. Wear clothes that you love

– Always wear clothes that make you fell good! Women especially are very hard on themselves when it comes to clothing. Buy clothes for the body you have now, don’t buy a pair of jeans that are two sizes to small because you want to force yourself to lose weight. You will never feel good in your clothes if you are shopping for a body that you do not have.

Zindzi

Body Image

Keys to loving your body

1. Do not starve yourself

– Starving your body is not loving it. Skipping meals and crash dieting isn’t healthy for you; physically or mentally. If you want to love your body, give it the energy it needs not only to survive but also to thrive. This means eating enough to support your lifestyle. If you are active then eat enough to support that activity. How much you need to eat will vary based on your body size, body type and activity level. More importantly, listen to your body. If you are constantly hungry, thinking about food or binge eating then you are probably not eating enough. Moderation is fine, but restriction is not healthy.

2. Choose higher quality food

In general, go for the quality stuff. Focus on eating food in a more natural state. Avoid too much processed food or food with lots of additives. Keep it simple, keep it fresh and maybe buy from the local farmers market who raise quality food the old fashioned way. Try and aim for food with plenty of nutrients to support your body and mind. However, do not get too rigid. Enjoy a night out at a restaurant now and then without worrying about the exact ingredients.

3. Move your body in a way that brings you joy

Exercise should never be torture or used as punishment to make up for eating the wrong food or too much food. Exercise is about feeling strong, healthy, vibrant and moving your body in a way you enjoy. Being active is healthy, but there is such a thing as over doing it, especially if you are exhausted or not eating well. Walking can sometimes be the most healing exercise until you give your body enough sleep and quality food to support more vigorous activity. Choose an activity that makes you feel positive about yourself and your body. This may be weight lifting, yoga, swimming or dancing; the choices are endless.

4. Get plenty of sleep

Your body needs to rest to recover and rebuild. Most people feel best on at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. If you are regularly getting less than this, your body will suffer for it and will generally be a lot harder to work with. If you want to feel rested, energised and youthful; a good night’s sleep is a must. Prioritise sleep and also take naps if needed.

Body Image

Society’s Plan

It is easy to get out of touch with your body’s true needs when you are constantly pushed to follow the latest ‘plan’ that tells you how to eat, how to move, even how to breathe. Plans always focus on the latest fads and buzz words and rarely take into consideration whether or not something actually works for your body and in your life. You are just supposed to follow the plan and if it does not work then it means you are not doing it right.

First things first: FORGET THE PLAN

Start viewing any diet, exercise or lifestyle recommendations as a guideline, a starting place that you can adjust as needed. Most of all pay attention to how your body responds and make adjustments as needed.

You should start taking action! Stop skipping meals, eat a balanced meal or snack when hungry instead. Buy more fresh fruits to snack on. Cut off the television at 10PM so that you can get enough sleep. These are the small changes you can make today to start taking care of your body.

Zindzi