3. Embrace your Authenticity As as a society, our perception of beauty has become more and more skewed over the years. It hard to tell what is real anymore as images have been photoshopped, airbrushed and filtered to drastically alter the reality of how women really look. Smoothing out wrinkles, cellulite or concealing scars, freckles or age spots may create a “flawless finish”in photographs but it also robs women of their authenticity as they strive to fit this picture perfect mold in real life. Because these impeccable images register in your subconscious, they can play mind games when you look in the mirror and don’t look as flawless as the photos you see on Instagram or the magazines. This is why it is so easy to we become our very worst critics, magnifying our “flaws” which others may barely notice and striving to live up to these unrealistic standards.
How to LOVE the Skin You’re In
Comparing our current selves to a younger or more toned version of ourselves is something that many are culprits of, including myself. What I have come to realize over the past few years through both my personal journey and through the experiences that my friends and clients have shared with me is that as women, we romanticize the days that we used to be “in shape”. Some of us are actively striving to get into the best shape of our lives, which can become an obsession that affects our self-confidence and body image when we feel we are not living up to our potential. Comparison and obsession can sabotage your body image and stop you from loving the present you; the only you that exists. Time will continue to march on, and aging is inevitable. Practicing self-love through each phase of your life is an art that we must remind ourselves to implement on a daily basis. Here are 5 tips to LOVE the skin you are in!
1. Fitness Fluctuates
The most important thing to remember is that fitness comes and goes in seasons- there are going to be times when you are extremely focused on preparing for an event (wedding, vacation, reunion) and you will buckle down on your diet and get extra workouts, and there will be times when the stress of living will have you driving through for your dinner with little to no energy for the gym. There will be days where you feel more toned and days where you feel bloated. This is perfectly normal and part of being human. We are not robots and sometimes taking a little break from training hard may be just what your body needs to come back stronger. This is the reason why every girl has both skinny jeans and sweatpants in their closet. Your body will fluctuate, sometimes up to 10 pounds of water weight (depending your time of the month.)
2. Live in the NOW
Rather than striving to live up to what you used to be or what you could be, embrace the NOW. Your current body is unique and beautiful- there is no need to put yourself down because you are not living up to your self-imposed expectations or standards. Take the time to tune in to what you need at this very moment to feel healthy, happy and secure in your own skin.
4. Assert Yourself with Affirmations
On days you feel down on yourself, you need to look into the mirror and repeat these affirmations to yourself- until you believe them:
“I am beautiful the way that I am, right now in this very moment.”
“I love and accept myself exactly the way I am.”
“I have always been and will always be beautiful- no matter my size, weight or circumstance.”
5. Have Gratitude for your Blessings
Each morning, before you allow the rest of the world in (social media, emails, etc), focus on gratitude and write down 5 things you are grateful and 5 things you love about yourself. As the day goes on, the moment you find that you are beating yourself up with negative thoughts about your body image, shift your attention to the fact that you are alive and healthy and remember the beauty that you possess- not only on the surface, but more importantly, your inner beauty. That is, after all, the only beauty that will matter 50 years from now.