In a world where everything is about what you see instead of what you feel, our appearance, our physical body has become so very important. That’s how there has been a huge fitness-boom recently and lots of people use sometimes crazy diets and very strict workout schedules to get into shape. In the spiritual scene however, people preach practically the opposite: love yourself and your body as you are. I would like to write a little bit about these two ideas and where I believe it is best to stand.
The point where we start this conversation is that you are not happy with your body as it is right now, most probably because it doesn’t fit into a beauty ideal propagated to you by common public media. You want to change this and you have two possible ways:
First, you can get your body to the size and shape that you are admiring on others. For that, you will need to change or regulate your diet and do physical exercise.
If you choose this way, I want to recommend you, as I have done before, too, that you focus on being healthy. This means that you should not, in any case, go on a diet that harms your body! The same goes for any kind of pills or shakes that are supposed to make you lose weight. They often contain chemical ingredients that have side-effects you cannot even think of. When it comes to physical exercise, please take the help of a professional for finding out how to exercise properly without hurting yourself.
And I want to warn you about two things: for once, it is impossible to actually reach the figure of the bikini models on public posters – because Photoshop played a big role in making them look like this! Secondly, you may not gain happiness and satisfaction in this way. You may never be really happy with how your body looks like and just keep on trying different diets or workouts to achieve something that may not be possible for you – simply because you are another body type or it is an unrealistic ideal you are having!
So we get to the other possibility: learning to accept and love your body however it is. You will probably assume that I would vote for this option. I don’t. At least not completely.
Yes, you should love your body, yes, you should accept yourself. At the same time however, I think you should also be healthy! If you are overweight and you will just work on accepting yourself, you may go further and accept your unwillingness to move and your urges to eat more than your body actually needs! You may even accept any unknown health problem that causes your weight to skyrocket! You will accept knee problems and back pain because you accepted your weight. You will just try to accept things as they are and will thus avoid any change that could come out of it.
So no, I don’t agree with this concept either. I believe we should focus on being healthy and feel good. You cannot tell me that you feel good if your knees hurt when walking for ten minutes. Don’t try to convince me that you feel good when your body is craving more than the apple you have eaten the whole day long.
The common beauty ideals are contorted and wrong, as we all are different and cannot fit in one frame. You don’t need to starve yourself to a certain weight if you feel good with pants that are one or two sizes bigger. But please take care that while you accept and love your body, you love it enough to keep it healthy. Eat good food, not junk food. Stay fit and enjoy moving.
Make it right for you!