Loving Yourself Unconditionally

It is not an easy thing to accept our bodies as they are. BELIEVE ME I KNOW THIS. As a former ballet dancer, I understand what it feels like to have to look in the mirror everyday and face what you see looking back at you. The question is though, why is it so hard to love ourselves and our bodies unconditionally???

Obviously I can get into details about how the media portrays a specific esthetic of what we are expected to be, but I would rather talk about learning how to love and be comfortable with what we have been given.

It has been a struggle of mine since age 10 to accept my figure. Obviously being 10 years old and a dancer I had a great little body but I always noticed that even though I was really small, a friend of mine (very skinny), always got the most attention and praise from our coach at the time. No matter how hard I worked or how many successes I had, I could never compare. When I moved away from home at age 12 to receive professional training, I caught on quickly that if you were the skinniest, you were the one the teachers and directors adored. So began my battle with eating disorders.

Many years have passed since then and it always shocked me that people would only say I looked great if I was at my lowest weight. That can really screw you up. You become addicted to hearing the words “You are SOOO tiny”. I have always longed to be set free of these beliefs that have weighed on me since I was a child. Have you ever noticed how often people focus on a person’s weight??

“Oh my gosh you’ve lost weight!! You look so good now”. “Oh my, have you seen__________? He/she has gained a ton of weight”.

Really????? A person’s size is the most important thing to discuss?? I think it is time to start letting go of all the emphasis we put on a person’s shape or size. Yes, it is crucial to live a healthy lifestyle that includes eating well and exercising, we all know this, and I highly recommend doing so. But from now on I think it would be a lovely change if we directed our focus towards accepting people just as they are, including ourselves. I think once we accept ourselves for who we are, and give ourselves love on a daily basis, we become happier and feel more positive about our lives in general. I know for me, when I am happy, I feel more inclined to become active and step into the dance studio again, free of judgement. And I also have so much more energy and I genuinely look healthier! Think positive thoughts about you and your body and you will get positive results! Instead of looking in the mirror and picking apart the things we “believe” are bad, focus on the things we like!!

Today begins with some self talk. It is important to think about all of our positive attributes and realize how wonderful we are as individuals. Listing ten or more qualities we find great about ourselves can really get us on the right track. So I encourage you to do the same. Instead of focusing on the things you would like to change, talk about the things you already like! Guaranteed there are WAY more than 10 :) . Take notice how you feel after thinking or listing them. Most likely you will start to feel a bit better about yourself! We all want to feel better about ourselves and HELLO…..SHOULD feel better about ourselves.

Love yourself first. The world will follow.

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