1. Better mind-body connection
Only viewing our bodies in terms of how they aesthetically please ourselves or others ignores so much of what our bodies do for us on a daily basis. If we eat or exercise purely for a goal of looking conventionally attractive in a bathing suit, for example, how attuned are we to our body’s needs? How likely are we to notice when adjustments need to be made for overall health? By seeing our bodies as much more than an exterior shell, we can remain connected to all of our systems and how to keep them running smoothly.
2. More present focus and happiness
Goals are fantastic and nobody should knock having something to strive toward. Yet, if we are constantly delaying our satisfaction with ourselves to some future point in time, we are seriously missing out on the here and now. Being happy with ourselves wherever we are in a given moment is a skill that can lead to tremendous relief from pressure and an increased sense of happiness. Practice appreciating whatever you look and feel like in the moment and that nasty, nagging, “not good enough” self-talk just might quiet down.
3. Healthier relationship with food
There is no denying it: the food we eat has a large influence on how our bodies look and perform. The industries that push fitting a certain physical mold can keep us captive in a cycle of deprivation, obsession and downright unhealthy habits—but only if we let them. As appreciation for our whole selves grows, so do our relationships with food. We get to decide what we “should and shouldn’t” eat. We are empowered to make the best food choices for ourselves without having to consider what others will think.
If struggling with body image and acceptance feels like a mountain too high to climb by yourself, I highly suggest finding someone with whom you can talk it out.