Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How to Improve Your Relationship With Your Body: Body Ideals



Your body allows you to enjoy and thrive in this physical world we live in. 
Yet many of us experience a tumultuous relationship with our bodies at some point in our lives. 
Many of us place limiting beliefs on ourselves due to our lack of satisfaction with our physiques. These limiting beliefs create feelings of despair, inferiority, and hate. 
These feelings may cause us to look for validation and approval from entities outside of ourselves, to project our insecurities and ideals onto others, and to choose unhealthy  and unsustainable "fixes" which may culminate into destructive lifestyles. 
In order to have a good relationship with our bodies, we must accept and nurture our bodies.

I must preface this article with my own personal standard-
I do not believe that a healthy relationship with your body can be attained and maintained without proper diet and exercise. I believe that health and fitness can marry with aesthetic ideals to gain satisfaction with your body. Ultimately, I do not think unhealthy excess weight is desirable. This is not an article that promotes loving your body without working on it. If you are looking for validation to allow your self to "love" your body whilst engaging in chronic overindulgence and laziness.

Accepting Our Bodies

The media often aggrandizes the beauty of one body type. 
In reality, people are much too unique to possess only one body type; we all look different. 

Some of us are small boned. Some of us are heavier on top.
We all have different bone size, fat distribution, and limb lengths. We have different waist to hip ratios, upper body to lower body proportions, and different levels of muscle mass.

Accept your body type. Accept the fact that no matter how much you exercise, you will retain your natural body type. This does not mean you are limited to the body you have now, rather, this means that you will never be able to change the shape of your bones and your height.

Over everything else, you have the power to change.

Taking Control of Your Body

With diet and exercise, you can change your body fat percentage and muscle development. 
You can change your body's capabilities and transform yourself into someone who is physically strong/agile/graceful.
These are all personal preferences which you and only you have the power to pursue with your own time, energy, and resources.

Only you can burn your own fat, gain your own weight, and build your own muscle. Do not blame genetics for your unhappiness with your body. Claim all responsibility for your current body composition and know that you have full power over what you do and want to do with your physique.

Why Do You Want Your Dream Body?

Visualize your ideal body type.
Why do you want this body?

When pursuing body recomposition goals, avoid chasing after illusory paths of success.
If you want your body to look a certain way in order to meet the expectation's of others and gain the approval of others, you will always disappoint yourself.

Choose a body type that pleases you.

You Are Not Your Body

Making peace with your body through out all stages of change or maintenance is much easier once you stop over-identifying with your body type.

The stereotypical traits that are subconsciously ingrained into certain body types are merely gross generalizations.
You do not have to be thin and delicate looking to feel vulnerable and feminine.
You do not need voluptuous curves in order to feel sexy and seductive.
You do not need to be tall and athletic looking to be strong.

You define yourself.
You control the way you live.
Keep in mind that the way you live is mirrored in your appearance-
your body is a reflection of your lifestyle.

Although you are not limited by your body,
your body is limited by your choices.

Aim For Health

You will never be able to please everybody with your body type, and you should never have to.
What you look like does not affect anybody else.

Your body affects you.
Allow your body to affect you in a positive way.

Aim for healthiness and inner satisfaction over mass media promoted aesthetics and externally projected false validation.

You are the only one who can accept your self.