Embrace Your Body as it Changes
Love your body as it is today instead of missing your younger self.
The only thing constant in life is change and yet we spend our lives fighting it instead of enjoying the phenomenal capabilities of our body.
Can we normalize loving our changing bodies?
We seem to recognize that bodies need to change and grow through childhood. We start fighting it during adolescence because we want our body to change how we think it should change. Into adulthood we engage in a constant battle with our physical body – it is “never good enough”. Here is the thing. Your body is supposed to change. If it stays exactly the same, then something is up.
Embrace Your Body as it is Today
The real issue with idolizing anything other than the body we have today is that we miss so many amazing moments of being able to love and admire who we are.
For example: When you were a competitive athlete, you were always striving for more strength or power. Now, in your retired body, you strive to maintain the same athletic physique even though you are no longer living the life that requires those intense levels of training. You have more time for friends, family, travel, and other passions and your body will change as your lifestyle changes. Yet you continue to put that previous physique on the pedestal of what you “should” look and feel like, despite the fact that you probably didn’t even slow down to appreciate it then.
Can we force our bodies to be “better” or to look a certain way? Are we trying to get back to how we looked in our twenties? Do we miss the athletic bodies of our youth and idolize that physique?
Is all of this hyper-focus on our bodies really just fighting the fact that we can be confident in who we are and how we are now?
Embracing Your Body Means Embracing Change
Courage comes from living curiously and bravely embracing change as it happens. You grow and change throughout your life in all aspects from your knowledge and life experiences to your physical capabilities.
If you are not the same person you were then, if you have become older and wiser, why do you need to look the same? It only makes sense for your body to have evolved at the same time you have.
To be honest, your body is smarter than you and it is going to change as it needs to in order to continue to support you. You only hold so much control over this outcome.
Ways to Embrace Your Body
Here are three steps you can take to start practicing body respect and courage at all stages of life.
1. Express gratitude for what your body can do
Remind yourself of the things your body does well.
I also like to practice gratitude for what my body has survived, for there have been many years where I have put it to the test.
2. Have a body-positive mantra
Use this mantra when you catch yourself thinking about your body more than you need to.
“I am not where I was and that is the point.”
3. Spend less time thinking about your body!
Let’s be honest. Your body is not the most interesting thing about you, so why do you spend all your time thinking about it?
When you can, try to redirect your thoughts away from the negative body spiral.
Redirect ideas: Where would I travel if I could go anywhere right now? What was my favourite part of last week? What am I looking forward to tomorrow?
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Fitness enthusiast and lover of all things food, Jana is passionate about helping her clients improve their relationship with food and their body. She is a strong, motivational leader. Jana also offers the balance of a warm, supportive coaching style to nudge her clients from their comfort zone while feeling safe and supported. She specializes in mental health, eating disorders, body image and sports nutrition.