How’s your New Year, new body, resolution going? Have you replaced self-loathing with a positive body image?
Gym memberships consistently spike every January as women and men alike make promises to lose weight and get in shape. I find this simultaneously both noble and disheartening.
Noble because I believe it’s important to take care of your health and to feel good in your skin.
Disheartening because a vast majority of people take on this promise for reasons other than health.
I include myself because every gym membership I’ve ever purchased has been for reasons of vanity and nothing less.
I want to share a major shift that’s been happening for me.
Over this past year or so I’ve somehow managed to out grow some of my clothes (and I’m not talking length).
It seems like every time I turn on the TV (which isn’t much btw) I’m being told I won’t be happy until I lose the extra weight. And forget about feeling confident or sexy.
“Lose 10, 20 or 40 pounds and fall in love with life.”
“… and those pesky love handles? There’s nothing to love about them.”
When it comes to understanding how photoshopped and phony most ads are, it doesn’t appear to matter how enlightened we are, we still fall prey to marketing.
But a radical diet or ass-busting workouts aren’t going to help you love your body.
Loving your body first will change how you experience your body.
Focusing on the perceived problem of carrying extra weight only made me feel worse. So I started including different aspects of my body in my gratitude journal. Loving my curves. Appreciating my mobility and my strength.
Guess what happened. As I started loving my body I naturally and easily started taking better care of it, choosing to fuel it for health instead of comfort eating and moving it for pleasure instead of strenuous exertion. And… I started fitting into some of my clothes again.
I’m not dissing gyms or people who benefit from going. I actually admire them. I wish it was something I enjoyed – but the reality is I don’t.
What I am promoting is that you choose to love your body first and know there are pleasurable ways to stay fit. Sex is fitness and fun all rolled into one. Taking a walk in nature is both fitness and soul rejuvenating.
To gym goers everywhere, I applaud you. To those of you like me, I understand. To everyone, I encourage you to show your body some love by being grateful and making pleasure count.
Dr. Gayle Friend
p.s. Part of my 29 Affirmations for an Exquisite Love Life include ones for loving your body. You can download them here for free.