When the new year arrives, why do most people gravitate toward the idea of changing their bodies?? I, too, have been a victim to the idea of changing my body as the ultimate goal every January. Every year I thought “This is it! Beach body ready!” Why couldn’t I simply be kind and accept my body as it is? Why can’t we simply praise and show gratitude to our bodies as they are rather than trying to change them in every way possible?
Can’t we simply set an intention to be the same and awaken new sides of ourselves we didn’t know existed? Rather than focusing on changing everything about my body, this new month of another year’s rotation around the sun, I’m focused on how to help myself live up to the potential I know lies beneath the surface.
When we put nearly impossible expectations on ourselves or our bodies, we have an increased chance of falling flat on our face. I’ve had this happen year after year when I set resolutions. A few years ago I decided “That’s it! No more!” I stopped giving into the resolution phenomenon of changing my physical body and rather put my energy behind setting some goals or intentions to further my education, my self-acceptance and my love for this temple I exist in.
New year – same body.
Body acceptance isn’t about changing your physical body to match what society says it should look like. Rather it’s about changing how you view your body. It’s retraining the mind to see the beauty that your body presents rather than demonizing it in its current form.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve not always loved my body and I still have my days of “ick” but I remember this is my body; it works for me even when it’s working against me. I don’t need to punish it by depriving it of food, excessively working out or doing some wacky diet. A reset is always welcome but for me it’s about balance. Exercise should be a celebration to your body and a testament to what it can do. Eating well should be a form of self-respect rather than a way to control your physical form. This radical act of self-acceptance of my body while seeing what it needs to physically thrive is exactly what the new year is about for me.
The new year is a time for me to reflect on my emotional and spiritual body rather than solely focusing on my physical form. As a chronic illness sufferer, it’s important for me to take stock in how my body feels over how it looks. For me, a reset including whole foods and spiritual growth along with personal self-work are exactly what my body needs to feel better. It’s not about the best body or a fad diet but a lifestyle shift – away from conventional ways of eating and going back to my roots. It’s a new year but it’s my same body.