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“You’ve lost weight. Why? It looks good on your body, but dear, your face looks terrible!”
“Why have you gained so much weight? You have such a beautiful face; it’s a shame you can’t lose some weight.”
It seems like wherever we go, people have a superpower; their eyes are a living walking weight scale.
Yes, this is another one of those articles. Only I don’t necessarily want to talk about self-love, for I’ve realized that it’s not enough to write “love yourself.” How is it possible to achieve it?
The first reality check is this (and let’s not lie to ourselves at least): we will never reach complete self-love.
I can say I have a beautiful body, yet I’m doubtful and hate on something I see as a flaw in it. Then is it really possible to love myself completely? No.
Is it possible to love ourselves at all? Yes. Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean that people’s opinions won’t bother us. It doesn’t mean we won’t find flaws in ourselves, and that is okay, because to be human is to always want to become better—or if not better, we should opt for change and curiosity. It is what I live for at least.
And this won’t be one of those “love yourself no matter what” articles because I’m a firm believer in taking care of our bodies no matter what. I believe in working out and eating well because we owe it to our bodies—this amazing system that works perfectly all these years regardless of the sh*t we put it in.
So no, I don’t think we should accept our bodies the way they are if we have the opportunity to work on them, especially if they’re not in the healthy range. But I’m against setting the trend to what is healthy and sexy—big butts, flat abs, thin waists, curved hips, broad shoulders, no cellulite, no stretch marks, and so on.
And this is where I draw the line. For me, it’s body shaming when someone wants us to look a certain “way.” If we are healthy then we are healthy, even with that extra body fat on our abdominal area; mind you, Egyptian belly dancers are considered one of the sexiest women and once were the sexiest.
But we should draw a line on when it’s okay to tell a person “love yourself no matter what” or “love yourself enough to judge yourself”—not be judged. But if we are not comfortable in our skin, believe me, we have the power to change. It’s in our hands. If we are overweight to the point where it’s unhealthy, then please love yourself enough to change.
At the same time, who are we to judge? Who are we to body-shame? Who are we to decide what looks good and what doesn’t?
I have a client who has a good body—she is a genuinely beautiful person. Unfortunately, sometimes we are controlled by the partners we are with (it happened to me before, and I know it might have happened to all of us). Her partner loved women with a nice derrière (sense the accent here), and all she did, day in and day out at the gym, was work on her glutes (butt muscles) until she developed problems in her lower back because of the tension.
Now this is a simple example, maybe not that serious, but how much do we damage ourselves—body and mind—to achieve the socially accepted image (which changes quite frequently)? Is it just me or is this utter bullsh*t?
So if it’s not just enough for me to say “love yourself,” I want to try and tell you how you can at least judge yourself.
Once we realize that our bodies are machines, we don’t necessarily have to be athletes (it’s not everyone’s calling in life). Our bodies can move and change and become stronger. So judge yourself, or better yet, assess yourself.
But like it or not, we are human beings, and all we do is judge. Is that okay? No. But instead of judging each other, how about we judge ourselves, and maybe then we can find how and why we can better ourselves.
Whenever they ask me what I aspire to do in life, I literally say every time, better myself mentally and physically. Not only because I can (I’m not special); because we all can, and since we can, why not try?
No one has the right to tell us how to look or think, so don’t neglect yourself or your health.
Love yourself enough to assess yourself.
Better yourself, but keep in mind, you will never reach perfection and might never fully love yourself—and that’s not a bad thing. It will only trigger you into becoming better for you!