This is one of those forever projects. It gets easier at times and other moments it’s a real effort to work through.
Whatever stage you are at in your life; puberty, entering adulthood, pregnancy, post-natal or menopause – us women have the guarantee that our bodies will adapt and evolve with these milestones in our lives. Our hormones, our genetic makeup and our lifestyle have an effect on the changes that come about but our mentality is something we have the power to manipulate to best compliment the life stages we go through.
I personally have had issues with my body for as long as I can remember. Not physically, but mentally having a warped view of myself – body dysmorphia alongside an eating disorder and diagnosed with symptomatic depression. I had always been hard on myself as a child and through my teen years which evolved to me struggling as an adult with my appearance, shape and size. Constantly wanting to be better.
With Cognitive Behavioural Therapy I began working on my symptoms and realising how often I was checking my body and comparing myself not only to others but to my former self (a young slim teenager that I was). I was not accepting my body for changing and becoming more womanly, more adult like. I was never judgemental to other women with curvy feminine figures, as a matter of fact I thought they looked fantastic, but I couldn’t acknowledge my body too must change.
With the many different experiences, obstacles and challenges we encounter as women. It’s fair to say that our mental state has a huge affect on how we best handle the changes within ourselves.
The bloating and cramps that come with menstruating, the weight gain and discomfort with pregnancy, the difference in your body post pregnancy and the new sensations, shift and transition into life through and post menopause.
It’s not as easy as saying it. You have to practice acceptance. Accept where you are, what you’re going through and accept why it’s happening.
Our bodies are uniquely built and will respond to mother natures feminine life cycle different to others. Try to accept and know that your body knows what to do and when to do it.
The power of acceptance comes from your power within. The belief that your body can transition smoothly, as have many other women before you.
The practice of acceptance starts slow. It seems almost staged at first. If you typically look at yourself in the mirror and judge your body, when you find yourself doing just that STOP – interrupt the typical comments and replace with compassion for your situation and acceptance of yourself. If you start to interrupt yourself each time you critique yourself negatively, that will eventually become a pattern and the harsh comments to yourself will become displaced and unnecessary as you will have learnt to accept and be kind.
Acceptance doesn’t mean to settle and be okay with not being okay. Acceptance means that you acknowledge the space that you’re in and the reasons why you’re there. Body acceptance becomes more challenging with change. As you change so must your acceptance of each circumstance.
Accepting your body is a step toward acknowledging the realities of your lifestyle and being woman.
Being woman is a gift and with acceptance comes gratitude. Without these changes in our bodies; we wouldn’t be able to fulfill the wonderful duty of bearing children or connecting to other sisters within our cycles.
Accept your body and if you’re not there yet, keep practicing.