You know that feeling you get when you finally have some alone time with your partner? Your obligations for the day have been handled, the kids are snuggled away in bed and you realize that you actually have some adult alone time. You dim the lights, put on some nice music and get ready to relax …….. The scene is set and you recognize the initial stages of “that” lovin feeling.
So, you slip into something comfortable and check yourself out in the full length mirror. The next thing you know, your mind turns on you and wreaks havoc with your confidence. You soon find that you are yelling……at yourself. “If only I didn’t have this damn baby belly. I’m not attractive. How can my husband be attracted to me?” Then…..poof!
Suddenly, your flush isn’t so hot, your desire turns to inner angst and instead of embracing the moment, you flick the lights off, jump into bed and hide under the safety of the covers….feeling less than sexy. As your negative thoughts build, the passion dwindles. Hubby is understandably upset, but has no way of understanding your feelings. You both turn your separate ways and go to bed frustrated.
Does this ring a bell? I’m guessing I’m not the only person who’s had these negative thoughts crush my libido and cause conflict in the bedroom. Maybe you have a permanently three-month pregnant looking belly, a spare tire or breasts that – after breastfeeding – aren’t so perky as they once were. Maybe you have none of these things but still do that internal “I’m not good enough” dance.
We’re exposed to images and perceptions of beauty that, at the best of times, are very hard to live up to. But add a pregnancy (or four in my case), pushing middle age or struggling with a weight issue, and it’s impossible to measure up to these external concepts of beauty.
The question then is, since we can’t (and most us wouldn’t want to) go back to being a teenager, except possibly for the energy levels we had then, how do we learn to accept ourselves in our own skin? Ultimately, we want to love ourselves – and I mean all of ourselves – just as we are. Our aches and pains, our swollen bellies, our hips and thighs, our chests and our faces that show the stories of our lives. Love is the endpoint, but acceptance is the start of the journey.
So how do we become better at accepting and loving ourselves? Well, I’m sharing a few ways that you can start!
3 Tips to Help You Love Your Body:
- Open your eyes to reality. If you think you’re not as attractive or as perfect looking as you’d like to be, make sure you’re not holding yourself up to unrealistic expectations. Look around at other real women and moms….not the airbrushed creations we see on magazine covers or those ones who have personal chefs and workout coaches. Otherwise, temptation to hide yourself away on the couch starts to creep in.
- Get yourself moving. You don’t have to be an athlete or exercise fanatic to get the benefit. Doing even basic things like talking a walk, stretching to touch your toes or some downward dog will have you feeling better about your body. When you move, you feel it….and that tells you that you’re doing something! Add a few half-pushups and sit-ups, and you’ll really be connected to your body.
- Make healthy food and lifestyle choices. This makes a significant difference and affects you inside and out.
In the next part of this series, we’ll dive a little deeper into accepting our bodies and how our thoughts can either help or hinder our efforts.
In the meantime, think about your relationship with your body and what – if anything – you’d like to change. Try out the three tips above and see how it affects you. Have questions, comments or tips of your own? Share them below! Getting the conversation started is the first step!
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Photo Credit: https://icraved.wordpress.com