Have you ever spent time with a person whom you just adore? You think they are the bee’s knees, the cat’s pajamas! This person seems to be everything you wish you could be. She is smart, funny, talented, altruistic, kind, and totally beautiful. It might not even be her physical appearance that makes her so beautiful but, because you know her so well, you see her inner light shining on the outside. And because of this, she is so unbelievably attractive, not just to you, but to others. People just seem drawn to this person because of her warmth and kindness. And yet she can’t stop criticizing her appearance.
You know the type:
You: “Wow, you look beautiful today!”
Friend: “Oh no, I look so tired. My hair is a mess and my makeup came out terrible. I can’t even fit into my clothes.” You: “Huh?”
You constantly see the beauty in this person, but she cannot see it in herself. Well, enough about her—what about you? Can you see the beauty in yourself?
Something that really helped me to learn to love my body was to take an objective look at it. (Yeah, this is the uncomfortable part.) I stood in front of the mirror, totally naked, and scanned my body. My inner hater came right on out to the surface, saying all the lies I had always believed: “You need to lose that belly, it is disgusting. Ugh, your thighs are huge and covered in cellulite. Oh my god, your calves are bigger than your husband’s calves.” And on and on the lies went.
And then I took a deep breath and looked again. Only this time I glanced around my bathroom. I saw that it had cream-colored walls. I noticed my husband’s toothbrush on the counter and the sweet smell of the soap from my shower. And I thought, “Wow, this is my life. This body, these chunky thighs, walked me down the aisle the day I married my amazing husband. These hands painted this room when we first moved to this apartment. This belly laughed so hard at the movies we just watched with friends last week.”
And all at once I was filled with gratitude for my body—this perfectly imperfect body that has been the vessel for my spirit through all my time on this planet. This strong, soft, curvy body that has cooked meals for people she loves, held friends when they were crying, and built a company out of nothing. This sometimes tired, aching body that works hard, leads people, loves yoga, hates wearing high heels, and loves to give hugs. My body. I started to fall in love with my body at that moment, because I could see the inner beauty and strength that was beneath the surface, and the journey it has been on. And I was filled with gratitude for each and every moment I’ve spent in it.