It's DAY TEN of the Confidence Blog Carnival and today Ivy Felicia is talking about embracing confidence whilst managing difficult body changes.
Every day for 11 days there will be a brand new blog post on the topic of Confidence written by some of the top powerhouses in the body positivity, health at every size and confidence arena.
Written by Ivy Felicia
As human beings, our bodies are always changing. In fact, we have been constantly changing since the very first day we arrived here on earth. Every part of our body has been evolving over time. It’s a natural part of our human evolution and it’s our body’s way of adapting to our needs, our behaviors and the environment around us.
So why do we feel stress, shame, or even judgment around certain body changes and not others? Why do we feel bad when we go through transitions and our body begins to change in appearance? Because we have been influenced by societal messages about beauty and appearance. We have been inundated with messages of body shame and patriarchy that attempt to confine us into an impossible standard of beauty. Some body shaming messages you may encounter often are:
- Weight gain is BAD and weight loss is GOOD
- Hair LOSS on your head is shameful and so is hair GAIN on your body.
- Being CURVY is sexy but being too ROUND is unattractive
- Plump LIPS are beautiful but plump HIPS are not
- Large BREASTS are desirable but a large TUMMY is not
The bodies that meet these outrageous standards are seen as more valuable and honorable in our society. The bodies that do not fall within those beauty standards are considered to be shameful or inferior. What’s even worse is that society does not only judge the exterior appearance of the body, the person is automatically judged by their body as well. So if a person lives in a body considered to be inferior or shameful by society then the person is assumed to be the same way. Can you see how easily our thoughts about our bodies or the bodies of others can be shaped by social messages?
Unfortunately sometimes when we go through changes in our body, we allow those social messages to shape how we feel about ourselves. There are many things in life that can cause our bodies to change in size, shape, appearance, and ability. Some of them are within our control, some of them are not. Some of those changes feel good to us and some do not. If you do find yourself in the middle of a body transition that is difficult or painful for you, I want you to know that it’s okay to not be okay. Sometimes body changes catch us off guard and we don’t quite know how to manage them. Having gone through many challenging body changes myself, I truly believe that it is possible to have Body Peace in any stage of our Body Relationship. Even while you are adjusting to a dramatic change in your body, there are tools that you can use to help you embrace peace:
- Honor your feelings– When your body begins to change you may go through a gamut of feelings. No feeling is “better” than another. It is important not to rush through your feelings or to guilt yourself about them. Each feeling has the potential to teach you more about yourself. When a feeling comes up, ask yourself questions to help you understand where it is coming from and why you are experiencing it.
- Accept your truth– Embracing your truth about yourself and your body may be painful at first but that truth will help guide you to the next step in your body relationship. When you can accept the truth about your body and release resistance to that truth, clarity will come. That clarity will help you manage the changes you are experiencing. The truth you accept brings you liberation.
- Set your intentions– Decide how you want to feel, how you want to move, how you want to experience life in your body amid the changes that are taking place. Set intentions that honor what you learned from your feelings and your truth. Some examples:
- I want to be at peace with my body
- I want to be confident in my body
- I want to enjoy life in my body
- Create affirmations– Use your intentions to create positive affirmations that will align with your goals for your body relationship. They will help you shift your thoughts and energy to a positive space while you are managing body transition. By shifting your thoughts and energy you will see that your relationship with your body will begin to flourish, even during your body changes.
- Practice patience and compassion– It may take a while to get to the point of feeling confident after body changes. Trust the process and be patient with yourself. No matter how long it takes to feel confident about your body, you can be peace with your body at every step. Peace is a choice that you always have available to you.
We cannot always control what will happen to our body or how it will change over time. However, we can manage our response to body change and commit to choosing Body Peace and Self-Love in every stage of our body relationship. Even with all the messages that society tries to tell us about our bodies, we have a choice in how we will see ourselves, treat ourselves, and conduct ourselves in life.
Are you feeling overwhelmed, frustrated or sad about changes that have recently occurred in your body? Does the change in your appearance, size, or abilities feel uncomfortable for you? Would you like to get support in learning how to use the tools I shared to get to Body Peace?
IVY, THE BODY RELATIONSHIP COACH™ IS A CERTIFIED HOLISTIC WELLNESS COACH AND BODY IMAGE EXPERT WITH A GIFT FOR HELPING PEOPLE EMBRACE THEIR BODIES AND PRACTICE SELF-LOVE AT ANY STAGE AND ANY SIZE. HER BODY RELATIONSHIP COACHING WORK IS CENTERED ON HER PERSONAL LIFE EXPERIENCES WITH BARRIERS TO BODY LOVE, AND MORE THAN A DECADE OF SOCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL INVOLVEMENT IN THE EMOTIONAL WELLNESS AND HEALTH EDUCATION MOVEMENTS. YOU CAN EARN MORE AT ABOUT HER AT MEMYBODYANDLOVE.COM.