February 28, 2014

How to love your body

Winter seems to kind of wear down on me. You know the feeling of grey skies, rain (or snow) and just that "blah" feeling. That is why I always look forward to spring. I just love turning over a new leaf (metaphorically of course. I have never literally done that), the freshness of everything, the soft sweet colors. Yet. with spring comes summer, and although I am fond of warm weather and blue skies, I don't like the summer time, because it is a time (for me) about body insecurities. 

Last year, I really didn't feel content with myself. I can't tell you why, but I did. I've always been shy and insecure about my physical appearance. I think every woman and girl goes through this, and I have improved throughout the years. But I used to always have these moments of despair, always comparing myself to other girls my age. I always thought I didn't measure up, that I wasn't pretty enough, my clothes weren't quite right, you name it.  As I have grown older, those insecurities seem to fade, but at times I am back to my teenage self. Last year was particularly difficult. I was just really dissatisfied with how I looked and how I felt. Seeing as I really don't want to go through that again, I have come up with four reasons to help me "love my body". These are things I am in the process of doing to help me and my inner/physical self. 

1. Work out. I have always loved to work out. I remember as a child putting on my leotard and having a grand old time keeping up with our Crystal Light Aerobics video. I always loved that feeling of liberation, and being one with your body. I always loved pushing myself to the next physical limit to see what I could achieve. Although I love working out and the amazing endorphins I receive from doing it, I have never been good at being consistent with it. I have always worked out to take care of my body, and it needs to happen more. I usually do a cardio workout three times a week, and then alternate with yoga on the other two days. So because I love it, I need to do it more often. Goal number one--consistent exercise routine.

2. Compliment myself. I know for me, sometimes when I am in a slump, I think negative about myself. Nothing ever looks right. Nothing I wear seems good enough. I pick myself apart with imperfections and by the time I'm done I am even more depressed about myself. (No wonder.) I know by doing that I'm kind of saying to my Heavenly Father, "I'm not grateful for the life You gave me." I can't imagine how that must hurt our Father in Heaven. So, instead of all that negative talk, I'm going to compliment myself more often. I like to write on sticky notes and put them on my bathroom mirror. Maybe it's a little cheesy, but it works. Goal number two--compliment myself more often. 

3. Wear bright colors. Ok, so this may seem a little silly. But my goal this summertime is to wear brighter colors. Now I have always shied away from those bright vibrant colors. Part of it is I'm a reserved person. I don't like drawing attention to myself or standing out.  But I truly want to be in a state of contentment with myself, and to be happy with the clothes I put on myself. And if you are happy on the inside, you should show it on the outside. Goal number three--Brighten up! 

4. Spiritual uplift. I have always believed that "you" consists of three parts. Physical, mental, and spiritual. I am the happiest when all three of those aspects are in balance and harmony with each other. I have found during the times I constantly work out, think positive about myself, and am spiritually at ease, I find my reason for living. I love those little moments when I am just so happy with life. I need to have those happen more. I love to learn. When I really get in those modes, I devour the scriptures and talks and books like there is no tomorrow. I need to have that drive to improve my spirit. Goal number four--Spiritual lift. 

So. That is my plan for this summer, although I really should continue with this all the time. So although summertime is a phase of insecurity, I plan to come out on top this year.