Relationship with My Own Body
“TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY, IT IS THE ONLY PLACE YOU HAVE TO LIVE IN” – Jim Rohn
Running, exercising, dieting, binge eating, not exercising, excessive drinking, smoking, and then detoxing, fasting, and dieting again. I joined the vicious circle at the age of 15 and could not get out of it for a good decade. All this effort to establish a healthy lifestyle for me was motivated by reaching that one and only goal of the ‘perfect physique’. Growing up and being surrounded by insane beauty standards presented on the cover of magazines, television social media, I created an unrealistic picture of myself and believed I could achieve it. Too large thighs, belly, arms, whatever I did to change it, I always ended up with a yoyo effect.
Finally, at the age of 25, I understood that I am getting older, like my grandparents, parents, basically everybody. Seeing my friends and family getting all kinds of health issues made me think, about what I could do to avoid these unexpected health problems in the future. I only needed to switch the motivation behind my healthy lifestyle efforts. Instead of getting out of the bed and going for a run to ‘get that flat belly’, I started thinking ‘go get your immune system boosted and heart muscle strengthened’. Once I started focusing on building a strong and healthy body, my demand for the perfect body subsided. I would be trying different kinds of activities, to find out which at the end of the day makes me feel good, not only to objectively look good.
When I slowly established consistency and a variety of physical activities, I started feeling differences from within. I felt stronger, my posture improved and so did my overall energy. I understood, that as long as I feel strong and healthy, looking good is just a side product. It has been a journey, and I am still learning to love my own imperfections, but I can say with certainty, that I won’t let any societal standards of beauty impact my self-worth and relationship with my own body. For women, we will always strive to stay attractive and satisfied with ourselves.
We need to be aware of how realistic are our own expectations and learn to create a standard that fits each of our own unique bodies. Instead of trying to look good in our skin, we should try to feel good in our own skin. Less criticising, more approving. I am at the stage of approving the way my body was built and appreciating how lucky I am to be healthy and strong. So each day I put my effort into healthy eating and exercise, but this time I am doing it for only one goal, maintaining and preserving that precious thing called health for years to come.