For those of us working towards a goal in the area of health & wellness, it is no secret that changing our bodies can be a frustrating process.
In order for one to visibly see the change that he or she desires, one must take control of his or her diet and exercise. We all know this to be true. From there, we are required to develop good habits and make healthy choices on a consistent basis. However, some will swear that it just isn’t that simple. Years of personal training experience have called forth many cases of individuals who say they eat healthy, exercise consistently, but still cannot seem to look in the mirror and see the body they desire. What can be worse than putting in the work and not seeing the results? If this situation is resonating with you, you have come to the right place!
On the path that many refer to as their “fitness journey,” there is a key factor that is often missing. The good news is that a simple shift in perspective may be all that is needed in order for a breakthrough to occur. And the simple shift, the missing factor, the magical answer is: LOVE YOUR BODY, NOW!
It all starts with a vision. Whether it’s the washboard abs, the toned legs, or the muscular arms, we see the vision of our goal body in our mind. When we set the goal of our “new body,” and we become active in the process of changing our current body, there is a part of ourselves that is saying “I don’t accept my body the way it is.” There is a part of ourselves that we do not like, and we want it changed NOW! As a result of this resentment, we often become attached to the goal/vision of our new body. Our resentment (for the part of ourselves that we want changed) may lead to a conscious or unconscious obsession with the goal. Of course we should focus on and be driven towards the goal, but we must also be careful and make sure it doesn’t immobilize us. The more we attach to the idea of the “new body,” the more we disconnect from the body we have now.
That is why it is very important to understand the origin that inspired the desire for change in our body. Think about it. If it weren’t for that part of our body that we didn’t accept, we would not have found the vision and motivation to make a change. The negative aspect is what inspired the positive action. We must be grateful and show appreciation for the body we have NOW (including the parts we don’t like) in order to see the body we hope to manifest. Many of us take all the right practical steps towards changing our bodies, but get lost along the way as a result of a simple mindset glitch. The glitch is a loss of love, appreciation, and gratitude for the body we have now in this moment. So, how do we become more grateful for the parts of our body we resent?
We are not referring to just saying the words “I love you, body.” We are talking about a true, deep appreciation for the body. We are talking about pure gratitude for our flesh and bones. Our bodies are sacred temples and deserve to be treated that way. Our brains and hearts allow us to imagine and feel. Our sexual organs allow us to enjoy pleasure and procreate. Our central nervous system and all other systems of the body work so seamlessly that we don’t even have to think about it. The human body is a magnificent phenomenon. We often lose sight of ourselves when we want to change so badly. If we come to know our bodies more intimately, we may recognize that there is no limit to the amount of gratitude that we should be giving to our bodies in every moment. This is the Love that will empower us to make any desired change in our bodies. Self-awareness is a simple technique that can help develop this Love. This technique allows us to slow down and connect to our bodies on a deeper level. Our awareness of what is going on with our physical bodies will grow with repeated, focused action.
Let’s take a break right now, and close our eyes. Then, take three slow, deep inhales and exhales. After the third exhale, open the eyes. Go ahead! Now, how did that make you feel?
Here’s another one; Next time you are using the bathroom, take those same three deep breathes with the eyes closed. During those seconds, really try to focus on what is going on. Become aware of the process that is occurring before your eyes. Mentally take note of the sensations that are felt in that moment.
One more; Next time you are exercising, focus on what is happening. If you are running, imagine your heart pumping blood all throughout your body and your lungs expanding with every breath. If you are lifting weights, feel the contractions of your muscle on every rep.
These are just three approaches to becoming more self-aware. It can be done with any and every action throughout the day. Just slow down, connect, and be aware. There is no limit to the number of ways it can be done. Just be in the moment. We must each find what works best for us. What matters most is that we set the intention to Love our bodies.
As we strengthen the connection to our bodies, we naturally start wanting to treat our bodies with love. In the state of loving the body, taking action is easy. Eating healthy changes from a “should” to a “must.” Exercising becomes more enjoyable. As this Love grows, we become more and more inspired to hold ourselves to higher standards of health and wellness. At this point, any goal of ours will have dissolved into a lasting behavioral change. It takes patience to come to truly loving our bodies, but we can be driven by the idea that if we are still breathing, our bodies are already perfect. Because of our bodies, we are alive! We have the power to make any change we want to see. Let’s aim to become more grateful for these vessels we have been born into, and through that gratitude, Love will be created! We won’t have our bodies forever, so why not choose to Love them NOW, regardless of what we find “wrong” with them?
We won’t have our bodies forever, so why not choose to Love them NOW, regardless of what we find “wrong” with them?