Loving the skin you are in
Women are often bombarded with messages about how their bodies should look. From advertising to social media, we are constantly told that we need to be thinner, curvier, or more toned. This can lead to low self-esteem and body image issues. When I was competing, I was never small enough. When I experienced weight gain with my tumour, I still wasn’t small enough. However now, I feel the most confident and comfortable in my body.
It is so important to remember that all bodies are beautiful. There is no one ideal body type. Every woman’s body is unique and special.
There are many reasons why women should love their bodies, but here are a few.
Your body is strong and capable. It allows you to do all the things you love, from running to dancing to hugging your loved ones.
Your body is resilient. It has survived everything you’ve been through, both physically and emotionally.
Your body is beautiful. It is a work of art, created by nature.
Your body is yours. It is the only one you’ll ever have, so make sure you love and enjoy it.
If you’re struggling to love your body, here are a few things you can do:
Focus on the things you love about your body. What makes you feel good? What are you proud of?
Surround yourself with positive messages about body image. Follow body-positive influencers on social media, and unfollow those that make you question your body. Read books and articles about body acceptance, and watch movies and TV shows that feature diverse body types.
Talk to someone you trust about your body image issues. A therapist or counsellor can help you work through your feelings and develop a more positive body image.
Practise self-care. Take care of your physical and emotional health by eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep.
Be kind to yourself. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a friend. Forgive yourself for your mistakes and focus on your strengths.
Celebrate your body. Wear clothes that make you feel confident and sexy. Take care of your skin and hair.
Find a community of body-positive women. Surround yourself with people who love and support you, no matter what your body looks like.
Remember, you are not alone. Many women struggle with body image issues. But it is possible to overcome them and learn to love your body for what it is. Loving your body is a journey, not a destination. There will be ups and downs along the way. But if you keep working at it, you will eventually reach a place where you truly love and appreciate your body.
• Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than a decade of experience. Look for B. ActiveForLife on Facebook