Slim, Fit or Curvy: Love the Shape that Suits You!

The FIRM Master Instructor Team by The FIRM Master Instructor Team | March 4th, 2010 | 3 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness

Three young women jumping

How about all three?

Did you see the recent New York Times commentary, “Now Scrutinizing: A Rounder Golden Globes“? It’s a bit of an understatement to say that it made me angry. There are so many different issues to bring up with respect to this type of “reporting,” but the one I would like to focus on is the need for us as a culture, as women and as individuals to celebrate beauty in all colors, shapes and sizes, “celebrity” or “real.” The sole purpose of this article, from my point of view, is to point out that these women changed their appearance — maybe, slightly — and that somehow that should change how we perceive them. Um, “More Marilyn than Twiggy …”

Celebrity or not, they are the same women they have always been. They may have shorter or longer hair. They may have gained or lost 10 pounds. Regardless of whether they are with or without make-up, in a red dress or a black dress, they are the same beautiful woman that they were yesterday. And not only should we appreciate their inherent beauty, but we must learn to appreciate the inherent beauty in each of us. We need to stop scrutinizing one another and ourselves because we are all beautiful creatures.

To all of you, and to myself, I say: Love your body!

Unfortunately, that’s very hard for many of us to do, so …

Here are five steps in the process:

1. Look at yourself in the mirror, directly into your own eyes, and say, “I love you exactly as you are”

This can be very hard to do. It makes me cry just to think about doing it, let alone actually doing it. If you’re not ready to do that, put a Post-It on your mirror with the same message, or something similar, like: “You’re beautiful, inside and out.” You can find more ideas and spread it to others with “Operation Beautiful.” Start now.

2. Accept compliments

We all too often deflect kind words as flattery. “Oh, these pants just make my butt look smaller — I’m not really in that great of shape,” or, “It’s easier to look pretty when you actually get some sleep the night before — covers up those awful bags under the eyes I’m usually sporting!” Stop that behavior immediately. Look at the person who complimented you, smile and say, “Thank you.” End of discussion.

3. Give compliments

How does telling some other woman she looks good help you love your body? Well, you can believe in spreading good karma or chi or whatever you want to call it, as I do, and the goodness coming back to you. Or, you can do it to change your state of mind. Look for beauty everywhere, and you will find it in yourself as well.

4. Eliminate negative thoughts about your body

It’s easy to say, but be conscious of self-criticism and quit doing it. When you hear yourself say or think something ugly, remember the promise you made to love yourself as you are. And if that’s not enough to stop the behavior, try turning the criticism around. Instead of “Geez, I have a big butt,” think, “These are some of the sexiest curves on the planet.” Or, “I have powerful glutes.” There is always a benefit. You just have to allow yourself to see it. You are what you think!

5. Reward yourself for the positive things you do for your body

When you exercise, eat well, get rest, stand up tall, play up your assets, compliment others or accept them, verbally applaud yourself, then come up with either an immediate or a long-term reward for your success! Treat yourself to a manicure, pedicure, massage, new clothing or accessories, fitness tools, music, book or vacation.

Comments

  1. I LOVE this entry. I recently saw something on my Facebook that disturbed me, Victoria’s Secret was urging women to view a video ad called, “I Love My Body” to sell its new line of undergarments for the five types of female bodies. First of all, there are MORE than five types of female bodies, there are millions! We are unique and clothes fit us all differently. Secondly, the VS Angels only have one type of body: unrealistic. And, not to mention that they all look the same in the “five different” types of bras and panties. So many of the women or young ladies commenting on the video campaign were saying things like “I’d love my body if it looked like Hiedi’s”, etc. It was the first time I was prompted to comment negatively on anyone’s posts. So, I’m extremely happy to see this type of entry out of the millions that preach the thin-as-a-wafer fad. Thank you.

    ashleystrain | March 4th, 2010 | Comment Permalink
  2. The US is probably actually pretty cruel when it comes to expectations of what a woman should conform to. Like we should all be the same “cookie cutter” look. Even men today are starting to feel the pressure of conforming to weight and beauty standards.

    Growing up and living in California, Bay Area, I love the diversity and general acceptance of being unique and individual that San Francisco fights for. However, body image is a constant struggle because it has to do with ego. Meeting the expectations of others and what is considered the ideal. And, we now live in a society where it is the media that dictates what is acceptable and what is not.

    We are continually evolving and I hope to see a better reflection of body image in the future, as well as continued efforts to clean up and create a more healthy food industry and a culture that is less sendentary and cultivates a climate of an active and outgoing lifestyle.

    -Layne

    Layne | March 8th, 2010 | Comment Permalink
  3. To underscore the message of this article – I suggest that Gaiam add some variety in the shapes and sizes in the models posing for this article.

    For Gaiam, taking that simple step to acknowledge that people of different shapes and sizes seek healthy lifestyles in balance with the planet, can help people to take it seriously when it publishes an article like this.

    I am in great shape, and I love my body, and I still a get little fatigued with articles telling me to “Love Yourself the Way You Are”, and then using models with only one body size. I think Gaiam shouldn’t publish an article criticizing Victoria’s Secret for doing this, and then do the exact same thing.

    It just says, “GAIAM thinks you should love yourself the way you are – if you are pretty darn skinny”.

    Final grades:
    Content: A
    Imagery: D

    Malinda | March 10th, 2010 | Comment Permalink

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