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Posts Tagged ‘body’

Feeling good about our bodies is a great challenge for millions of people across the globe. The infomercials are endless: “Is your butt drooping? Need a lift? Call us at 555-1234 and we will give you the bottom you never imagined;” “Frizzy hair? For just four easy payments of $19.95 you can try our anti-frizz product line that is guaranteed to give you the hair you always dreamed of or your money back;” “I lost 100 pounds on NutriSystem and now my life is so much more meaningful and exciting.”

The only thing these type of infomercials should guarantee is lower self-esteem.

We’ve all seen such things on television, along with the endless advertisements in fashion magazines that leave us feeling like we are the least attractive people on the planet. But how do you respond?

I stopped buying fashion magazines three years ago and refuse to look at them while in waiting rooms. I didn’t make this decision solely based on how I felt even more imperfect after viewing them, but also because I have seen videos on how such advertisements are created. Most of the things we see are computer-generated touch-ups that quickly dot out a pimple, red spot or mole. The technology can also cut around individuals to make them appear several inches smaller than they are in reality and can change their hair color to reflect the most admirable shades of brown, blonde and black.

Sad, but true.

I grew up hating myself and my body. I still don’t completely like my appearance, but I’m working hard to build my confidence and self-esteem. One of the things that is helping is identifying which body parts I dislike and instead of changing them, I’m focusing more on what purpose those body parts serve; their function.

Each time I’ve looked at my toes this week (which, by the way, are in the picture above), I’ve reminded myself that they help me to stand up. When I’ve felt as if my stomach is growing, I’ve said to myself, “It digesting food and it’s a very important and necessary part of life.” See my point?

It’s odd how when I’ve heard others complaining about their looks this week, I’ve instantly thought of how silly they sound and how I sound like that more often than I care to acknowledge. I’m finding that I’m now more able to take the thoughts and feelings about myself and my body and turn them into self-esteem builders.

My challenge for you this week is to make a list of the things you like and don’t like about your body and then make another list that states what functions those parts of your body serve. Then, try focusing more on the function list and see if your perspective changes at all. It may or it may not, but what’s the harm in trying?

Until next time…

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In a previous post I talked about how important acceptance is in our daily lives. I also mentioned that accepting something doesn’t mean we must like it. After a long conversation tonight, I started thinking about how often I don’t accept things about myself that are simply part of my personality or my physical being. Instead, I constantly feel as if I have to change everything I am and everything I do so I can fit some sort of mold that I’m not sure even exists.

How many times do we stop to think about who we have always been in relation to who we have become as a result of life’s circumstances? Do we assume that we don’t like this or that because it’s a dislike that was placed inside of us at conception or do we consider that it could be a result of a situation that happened to us or an experience we had?

Where am I going with this? Well, I think I all too frequently feel as if everything about me is inadequate and must be improved. I try stopping myself from being funny assuming that I need to be more serious all of the time. I tell myself, and others, “I’m trying to work on not doing…” when in reality it’s part of my personality; it’s who I am. Rarely do I say, “I’m trying to work on embracing my hilarity,” or “I really love that I have a lot to talk about.” No. I just try to fix it when no one is even complaining about it- no one except me.

When we find ourselves picking apart our entire being in an attempt to adhere to perceived standards, I think we miss out on the great characteristics that were carefully selected by the higher power upon our creation. I think we can get so wrapped up in fixing what’s not even broken that we fail to see the beauty in ourselves. One of the greatest things about life and the human race is that we’re all different. We all have a story and we’re all unique. It’s what makes us, us.

I’m making an internal vow (and I suppose external since I’m posting it here) that instead of assuming I need to change all that I am, I will accept that there are characteristics that make me Meredith. I may not always like these things about myself, but the point is that I can’t spend the rest of my life trying to change a personality and a body that were both given to me with care. I can, however, embrace that personality and my body while using my uniqueness to my advantage. I simply don’t want to find that another 28 years has passed and I’ve done nothing more than try to continually change who I am.

What about you?

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