Last Friday’s blog was all about learning to love our body – exactly as it is right now. (Here is the link if you want to go back and read it.)
However, in a world that bombards women with images and standards about how we should look and act, it can be hard to shut out the messages that tell us we’re not good enough or that we need to associate our well-being as a benefit to others. These notions, often ingrained through media and societal expectations, can deeply impact our perception of ourselves and impact our wellness journey. Today, let’s look at two beliefs that have subtly shaped many women’s ideas about health and body image, and explore how they influence our journey toward self-love and wellness.
Belief #1: Our bodies must look a certain way to be acceptable
Take a look at magazine covers and headlines, especially in women’s magazines. GET A BIKINI BODY! GET YOUR SEXIEST BODY! MELT BELLY FAT!
Everywhere we turn, we’re met with images dictating an ideal look. We’re supposed to be lean, but not too lean, strong, but not too strong. We’re supposed to fight the signs of aging and maintain our youthful appearance. Heaven forbid we head to the gym or the grocery store without looking perfectly put together.
The constant exposure to such standards leads to comparisons and leaves a lot of us feeling perpetually inadequate. So we shy away from pictures, we hide behind baggy clothes and avoid the pool or the beach, we try desperately to get back into our high school jeans or get back to pre-wedding or pre-baby bodies.
Some women shy away from spaces like the gym, feeling they don’t have “gym bodies”, forgetting that while it’s totally possible to get fit and healthy without going to the gym, the gym is designed as a space to get a gym body!
We are so much more than the outer shell. We bring knowledge, insight, experience, wisdom to the world around us. What we look like does not define our value.
Belief #2: We are here to be of service to others
So many women tie their health goals to how those outcomes will benefit others. I hear this from my clients. They decide to get healthy so you can take better care of their children, their family, their community, etc. I’m not saying that is wrong, but what is wrong with choosing to get healthy because you deserve to feel strong, healthy and energetic!?
When we believe that we are put on this earth for the sole purpose of taking care of others, we stop going to the gym or to yoga or for a walk or to spend time with friends because we feel guilty for time away from those commitments. We worry that the relationships we have with others will be affected when we put our own self-care into our agenda.
So yes, you have responsiblity towards others but you are also responsible for your own health and well-being. Taking care of yourself is not less important than taking care of others. How you do that may change dependent on the stage of life you are at, but making time to take care of yourself for no other reason than you are an amazing human being who is worth the time and attention, is a good thing!
I encourage you to challenge these beliefs and others that are holding you back. Embrace your unique strength, ditch unrealistic standards and reclaim your body and your health – on your terms – for you.
Your worth doesn’t depend on fitting into external ideals; it’s about feeling strong, healthy, and exceptional, just for yourself!
Hey there! As a Women’s Wellness Coach, my goal is to help women create a healthy, lifestyle that works for them – on their terms, with their personal goals in mind, one step, one habit at a time! The first step is a free 30 minute Wellness Breakthrough Session. If you’re ready to learn more, book your time here!