Today I'm excited to be sharing a guest post by my friend Melissa, creator & founder of Love Your Life Coaching. She's been coming to my classes at Barry's Bootcamp for a while now, and I am excited to have her here today to talk about a subject that is near and dear to my cause: our obsession with comparison to others, and the idea of what constitutes a "perfect body." (Spoiler alert: you may already have one!!!)
Are you Holding onto an Image of the Perfect Body?
by Melissa Fino
Women are obsessed with the perfect body. Our obsession with the perfect body is almost impossible to ignore, as we are inundated by images of beautiful women throughout social media & advertising. Our own inner critic incessantly repeats in our ear “look at how beautiful that woman is”, “you will never have her abs”, or“well I guess that means no lunch for me today”.
We continue to believe that the impossible body can be had and even worse that we may be the only one who doesn’t have it. Therefore, we covet another women’s body parts and we look at our own bodies with shame. Each and every one of us has been brainwashed. We seek the impossible. We strive for perfection all the while knowing that perfection is unobtainable.
It's our "flaws" that make us beautiful
I crave universal change. I desire to live in a society where women no longer starve themselves to be beautiful or forcibly attempt to change their bodies in ways that are virtually impossible. Our bodies are beautiful and it is our unique traits or flaws that makes us that way. So why do we continue to shame ourselves for our imperfections?
A quick look back in time reminds us that women have been struggling with body image and more importantly body positivity since we began to procreate. Each decade has brought with it a new fad and a new way for women to starve themselves. We’ve used diet drugs, replaced food with cigarettes, cut off our breathing with corsets, covered our bodies in spandex and latex, had plastic surgery, starved ourselves and used diets such as the grapefruit diet, Weight Watchers, the Atkins Diet and today the Paleo Diet. Why haven’t we learned that diets don’t work?
We each have our own vision of the perfect body. I ask you to take a moment and close your eyes. Visualize what life would be like if the world was filled with perfect bodies. Yes the same women over and over again. It’s a crazy thought. A world filled with identical perfect boobs, tiny waists and apple-sized bottoms.
I then imagine a world filled with horribly disappointed men because the truth is, they like variety! Unbeknownst to us they love everything that we see as imperfect. So why can’t we? Love ourselves that is. Imperfections and all?
Focus on all that your body can do!
We must remember everything that our body does for us instead of focus on all of the things we think it should be. After all our bodies allow us to run, swim, jump hurdles, walk, sleep, laugh, cry, think and eat. We need exercise to keep our bodies strong and our minds fit, not because we struggle with our own identity and intend to mold ourselves into perfection.
The perfect body is more than an obsession. Physically our bodies bring us life yet we shame and belittle them when we believe that we do not fit the perfect mold. We kill ourselves over the impossible. From today forward we need to begin loving our bodies for everything that they allow us to do, rather than obsess over everything they are not!
I suggest we start by throwing away our scales and getting back to the basics.
Take a deep look inside and ask yourself what is it that you are truly trying to perfect? What are your insecurities? Are you projecting them through your negative body image?
I encourage you to let go of the perfect body image that you are holding onto and begin to love yourself wholeheartedly (flaws and all) no matter what size you are. You have to understand that you are not just a helpless person that exists in this body. You, my friend, are a beautiful soul, with a beautiful mind, living in a beautiful body.
I suggest we develop healthy behaviors to be our best self rather than just our skinniest self. We need to nourish our bodies with more nutrient-dense whole, real food. We must drink more water. Continue to get the appropriate amount of sleep as well as allow our bodies to rest. We need to utilize exercise for the purpose it was originally intended to be, to keep our minds AND our bodies healthy.
When we nourish our bodies we feel good from the inside and it shows on the outside. We begin to laugh more, we love ourselves more and we surround ourselves with other like-minded individuals. Our minds begin to feed off the love that we are giving to our bodies, ultimately leading to us happier, healthier lives.
Remember: it's not just one type of body that is beautiful, it's CONFIDENCE that's beautiful, and that my friend comes from within.
Melissa Fino is the creator & founder of Love Your Life Coaching, a Conscious Change Coach, Writer & Blogger. Her gift and greatest joy is empowering women to let go of negative beliefs that are holding them back and guiding them in discovering their true passion. Find her at LoveYourLife Coaching, on Instagram, and Facebook.