AVOID BODY SHAMING
Our bodies are what enable our souls to have life experiences, so to say anything less than complimenting is an injustice to its unyielding beauty. It is often easy to listen to our mind while ignoring our body, and as a person who craves intellectual stimulation, I have fallen victim to it myself. We have all heard that old saying that the mind can play tricks on us, so why do we so willingly listen to its criticism, hesitation, lies, doubts, and fears?
Being conscious and present allows you to quiet the mind and helps you be more in tune with the body. Meditation and yoga are both practices I use to help draw awareness to my body and leave behind a lot of preconceived notions which no longer serve my life in a positive, loving, open way. Most people have a deep rooted sense of shame when it comes to their body. We are taught to cover up (even when feeding a child) in public, yet photoshopped bodies are all that we're bombarded with in advertisements.
This sense of shame we carry around in regards to our bodies is unacceptable! We harbor such negativity that we project it onto others. It is usually an inadvertent cycle of throwing shade on someone to hide your own insecurity. I say it all the time- embrace your imperfections...they are what make you relatable. Nobody is perfect and it's time to remind more people of that and promote self-love. After all, these are the lungs that allow us to breath, the eyes to see, a brain to think. SO THINK! Think positive.
Here are some ways that I've noticed people body shaming and how I consciously make an effort to avoid the behaviors myself. This post is in no way meant to offend anyone or call them out personally. I believe a lot of these behaviors are done in an unconscious frame of mind, but by being aware of them- you can take more mindful control over your thoughts and actions about body image.
FOCUSING ON A SPECIFIC DIET AND NOT OVERALL NUTRITION
The body uses food as fuel. For your body to perform its best, you must provide optimal nutrition. I have come to notice that people who do things like avoid carbohydrates or strictly count calories are more focused on image than health. The body needs a variety vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbs, and fats to fully function and feel its best. I make sure to get proper nutrition through controlled portions and the most amazing superfoods shake. It's loaded with dense nutrition that helps me feel my best even when my nutrition isn't perfect. Hey, we're all human and that whole nobody's perfect thing ;)
I see this all the time and I just don't understand it. There are people who say things like 'a moment on the lips- forever on the hips' or things of the like. LOL...no thank you with your passive aggressiveness. I will never be the kind of coach, or person in general, who tells people not to drink or enjoy dessert on occasion. I say this frequently: it's all about moderation. Moderation is key! There are lots of healthy ways to enjoy a treat as well. I use my superfoods powder to make deliciously gooey peanut butter cups, ice cream, or pomegranate bark-- crazy good and no guilt at all. Not that I feel guilty when I occasionally have a treat or drink anyway. This is the season of holiday parties, and enjoying life is obviously what it's all about. A healthy life is fully living, loving, treating, expressing, creating and being well- mind, body & spirit.
IDOLIZING BODY TYPES PORTRAYED IN THE MEDIA
While it may seem cliché, stopping the perpetuation of body-shaming starts with the realization that bodies come in all shapes and sizes. I know right, shocking?!!? Lol ;) Majority of body types are overwhelmingly absent in the media. So these ridiculously unrealistic standards of things like having a thigh gap are just that...ridiculous.
IT GOES BOTH WAYS YA KNOW
Saying someone is so skinny that they 'need to eat a cheeseburger' or look like their 'on drugs' or 'have an eating disorder' or even outright calling someone 'too skinny' is body shaming. I mention this because a lot of people only think of associate shaming bodies they deem 'too big', but the same is true for those who think someone is 'too small' as well. Some people enjoy exercising, and as a reward they have banging bodies. Don't hate. Everyone has preferences- thick, thin, with muscles, without muscles, tall, short, light eyes, dark eyes, light hair, dark hair-- whatever it is...it is a personal preference. Not everyone will like you, but if you love yourself you won't be concerned in the least.
I've seen and heard people making fun of the larger people in the gym. NOT COOL AT ALL. I mean, where else would they go to proactively change their situation? People who have the nerve to make fun of people trying to improve their bodies are mean and looking to divert attention from themselves. That being said, I have also seen and heard people talking poorly about men or women in great shape too. Comments like 'does she think this is a beauty competition or something' or 'is he really working out without a shirt' or 'yeah, you're not impressing anyone'. All of these things are negative, hurtful and unauthentic to what you're really feeling. Insecurity or jealousy tend to be the driving forces behind people who think it's okay to body shame others.
JUDGING THOSE WHO CONFORM TO SOCIETY'S BEAUTY STANDARDS
Learning to love yourself exactly the way you are and living authentically are two lifelong journeys that some people aren't ready or willing to take. Some people, for a variety of reasons, will choose to undergo cosmetic surgery. Passing judgement or assuming these people don't fully love themselves is a negative outlook and is untrue. Some people choose to dress very fancy on a regular basis and others are super casual. Again, realize that people have unique perspectives and preferences. Respect that.
DEFINING BEAUTY AS A LOOK INSTEAD OF A STATE OF MIND
When we start to realize that we are more then just our bodies, we can let go of some of the burden we place on them and begin to appreciate all of the things they do for us. Beauty is reflected through intelligence, kindness, compassion, humor, loyalty, fun and in so many ways that i lack words for. It's a feeling. Let it flow. Finding joy and fulfillment in simple moments will allow you to see the beauty in any situations. Even a possibility is a beautiful thing because it represents the hope you have for progress. Be beautiful- BE YOU!