The other day at the beginning of a corepower yoga class…the instructor (like always) encouraged all of us to close our eyes and set our intention for the class. Not gonna lie…I rarely do this and always think it’s kind of ‘woo woo’ lol but something very specific came to my mind last week. I had the thought “what if I just accepted my body, exactly like it is right now, in this moment.”
A little backstory on where that thought came from. In corepower yoga classes, you are in front of a mirror during class which is helpful for checking your form and finding balance. I noticed though that some days I would come to class (on a ‘good body image day’) and look in the mirror and think “wow I like how my body looks today! i look strong!” OR i’d come in on a “bad body image day” (which was this particular day) and think “ugh…why did I have that bowl of ice cream last night. I look huge. I don’t like how my body looks.” So, this particular day in class when I wasn’t feeling great about my body…instead of looking in the mirror and seeing my flaws or what I didn’t like about my body or beating myself up for pizza and ice cream (4 nights in a row…) I made a conscious choice to just accept my body, exactly like it was.
In today’s culture, as women I feel like we aren’t constantly trying to change SOMETHING about our bodies. Ask any woman if she’d like to lose 5lbs and I think almost every single person would say yes. Or they want to be more toned. Or a smaller jean size or…fill in the blank. As women, our bodies are constantly changing. Maybe we’re in a season of trying to conceive, or you’re pregnant, or breastfeeding, or you’re at that point in your cycle where everything feels bloated. Our bodies were not meant to stay the exact same month after month, year after year. They change through certain seasons of life. They change as we age. And the #1 thing that has helped me fight body shame or negative body image has been a conscious choice to just accept my body exactly as it is, today. To fight thoughts I have of “maybe if I didn’t eat dessert” or “maybe if i did more strength training” or whatever it might be. The constant desire to want your body to change is exhausting. And it’s robbing us of so much life and joy in THIS present moment, and also affecting our relationships with others as it keeps us so focused on ourselves.
So whether you are having a great body image day or if you’re feeling a lot of shame towards your body…I want to challenge you today to stop and think “what if I just accepted my body today? exactly how it is, in this moment?” Y’all know I am all about nourishing your body with good things and moving it in a way that brings about peace and health. This acceptance mindset does not negate those things. But what if we laid aside this loud voice that’s constantly telling us we need to change something about our bodies or improve it in some way? I think on the other side of that is where we find true rest and LIFE and joy.
There is no magic pill you can take that will make you “accept” your body. But I’ve found that my THOUGHTS and where I allow my thoughts to go is SO powerful. You have a choice. When your mind starts to wander into the land of ‘i need to change my body’…bring it back to this place of acceptance and appreciation for your body. Let’s be women who fight this never-ending battle of needing to improve our bodies and choose to say “hey body. i accept you and i appreciate you exactly how you are in this exact moment”.