Do you feel less confident about your body? Do you feel anxious about the way you look? Do you feel upset that you don't look a certain way? Do you experience negative self talk regarding your body and how you look?
If you do, I hope this blog may help you get perspective.
My Relationship With My Body
I have always been called 'fat' in my life. From childhood to even as an adult in my previous job, there was a clear reference to me which was 'fat'. Although, it came in different ways whether it's rolling eyes at my plate of food, whether it's a mention of me not being able to 'squeeze through the chairs' in the tiny office or whether it's direct comments from my very blunt Sri Lankan fellas like 'Jesus! you have put on weight. You must go on a diet!' there has always been a reference to my size.
Being quite a rebellious character my response often was "what the f**k has that got to do with you?" or something along the line of "well, do you think you look fit?" sarcastically. Most of the time I often laughed at my own fatness. But the truth is quietly I was often questioning "why me?"
I don't remember feeling victimized by fat shaming. My struggle was different. Having experienced sexual assault as a child, I had been hyper vigilant about any touch, hugs or any type of physical contact.
As a result, I suppressed my own feelings and emotions. I can say that I had never allowed myself to feel 'butterflies' in my stomach or get close to anyone more than I could handle. When the inner world was is in chaos, I tried to control outer world by pushing people away, not allowing touch or hugs. Such was my relationship with my own body. Needless to say it affected any kind of relationships I had with anyone.
No amount of external work was effective enough until I was able to deal with my own inner demons. After many years of futile efforts that gave me temporary comfort, I realized that inner work was the way to move on.
Resolve Trauma - I did exactly that. I had to resolve traumas that's been haunting me in my subconscious driving my fearful decisions.
Re Connection - As my subconscious no longer weighed down by past traumas and beliefs, there was one more step to take. Get body and mind re-connected. This involved more inner work.
Mindset - I had to work on my thought patterns to move forward. I was stuck in the past for over 3 decades that my mind had to be trained to think about future. So, I began creating an intentional future.
Consistency - There has been so many set backs. Slip ups are a part and parcel of any journey. I learnt to forgive myself for slip ups but kept taking positive, intentional actions.
Acceptance becomes a way of life when we take actions consistently.
Social, cultural and religious condoning has contributed to us believing that our happiness comes from material achievements. This conundrum has made us leave our bodies and constantly live in our minds driving ourselves for certificates, financial success or any other material gains in order to be accepted in the society. We grow up believing that when we live a certain way or when we earn certain things (often money and status) that we will be accepted. The mirage is that unless we have accepted ourselves in the first place, the social acceptance becomes just a moment of glory. It comes and it goes until you are working for the next goal.
Don't get me wrong. I encourage and urge people to go for success whether it's financial or any other. But, make sure to take yourself with you. You are enough the way you are.
If you don't know where to start changing how you see yourself, I have partnered with amazing Emma Clayton who is a Confidence Coach to deliver a workshop on the Thursday 10th at 7 pm - 'Kick Start Your Body Acceptance'. The registration can be found below.