Someone once said “Think of your body as a temple. Love it and be grateful to it. As you wouldn’t dishonour a holy place, a temple, do not dishonour your own body”.
Maybe I got this phrase wrong, I cannot cite it exactly as I heard it, and also cannot find it online. But the point of it stands. Even if you’re not religious, even if you’re not a believer, you wouldn’t go to a temple or a church and say bad things about it, right? Why do we do that to our own bodies then? Our body is the only one we’ve got, it is a shell, our home, without it there wouldn’t be us. True and wise words are those that tell us we should love our bodies for what they are. But while some people say they can’t love their bodies and give in to the negativity, others take it to the extreme, loving their bodies and themselves so much that no consequences matter to them. By the latter I mean those people who wouldn’t be able to refuse their beloved selves in a slightest indulgence (because that’s how you show the true love to yourself) and it doesn’t matter what those indulgences do to their bodies and health over the years – they love their bodies as they are.
Positive set of mind means positive attitude in life.
Indeed, no matter what your body looks like, you must love it and care for it. Without acceptance and love there is no improvement. How would you work on your body if you hate it so much and think that it doesn’t even worth a minute of your attention? But at the same time, thinking all the bad things about your body you, unaware, give it a lot of attention. Negative attention. And that brings a lot of negativity into your life.
So the first step would be to learn to love your body. Even if it means saying it to yourself every day. If you can find 10 minutes every day to whine about how fat/thin/unhealthy/unattractive you look, you could find 10 minutes to tell yourself what you love about your body. Start doing it every day in front of a mirror. Find what you love about yourself and say it out loud. Practice it often to set a positive attitude. Accept your imperfections and promise to work on them to love yourself even more.
But remember, it is not simply about loving your body.
It is also about caring.
Start pampering yourself with beauty treatments and massages, something that will make you feel good. But do not ‘pamper’ yourself with desserts and bad foods, even if you love them. Do a ‘Fruity’ day – eat a lot of fresh fruits and berries. They are tasty, healthy and known to brighten your mood. Start changing a few things in your diet and add a short walk to your daily routine. Walking is a gentle exercise that is also capable of bringing your mood up. Choose a path that you like and try to look at the world around you with love and appreciation. Forget about any negativity in your life, do a walking meditation. Relax and breathe.
Love means nourish.
I am sure I have already written it before, but so many people say that it is because they love themselves they let themselves eat all the unhealthy things they like. Because they enjoy it. They say, what kind of love is it if you make yourself eat the things you hate? It is a self-torture. That’s right to some extent. It would be a self-torture if I made myself eat a bowl of spinach. Or lettuce. But loving your body means feeding it so it can flourish. Think of it as a flower that you’ve planted. Would you water it with dirty water? Would you water it with some chemicals or acids? Knowing that it will kill the plant? That’s what we do to our bodies when feeding on fast-foods and such. Maybe it is not straight-forward, it will take years (although it can take a few months) to take a real toll on our health, but it’s still the same thing.
But since loving yourself doesn’t mean stuffing on the things you hate, you need to take it slow. Start with a few good things that you know that you like or at least don’t mind. Like some fresh veggies. Add them daily to your meals, progressing with time. Substitute whole grains for refined. For some people it is a big change, so be sure to introduce them gradually. Remember, that it takes time to get accustomed to a new menu. But you, probably like me, didn’t fall in love at first sight with all the bad things either. For example, I remember the first time I ate a McDonalds hamburger. I hated the taste and my stomach felt bad after it. I never came to like those beef burgers, but over time I’ve fallen in love with chicken burgers.
It all started with photo shooting trips with friends, when after a long trip to the country we would stop at McDonalds for lunch or dinner. At first I didn’t know what to get there – I hated McDonalds from my first and only experience. At that time they have introduced Chicken Royale. Not a burger with processed chicken breasts but a whole chicken breast with mayo or salsa and lettuce in a bun. It took me a few trips there to really hook onto those burgers, but after that I would always prefer McDonalds to Subway, despite knowing that at Subway I could get a healthier sub with as many fresh veggies as I’d like. The thing was that I didn’t like veggies. But now, a year after I stopped eating burgers, I go to Subway and ask for fresh veggies with olives on a plate, no subs, no sauces. And I feel good, not only because it’s a light and healthy meal that doesn’t harm my health, but because I know that I’m doing good to myself. Knowing that you make good choices is very encouraging and satisfying. Even though it doesn’t come to you straight away, even though it takes time and discipline, by the time you get there you will be whole new person with a brand new set of mind, much more positive, much brighter, and a brand new body.
Your body is your temple. Love it, honour it, and be grateful to it. It is your home, the only one you’ve got. Without it you wouldn’t be you.