When you stand completely naked in front of the mirror, what do you see? How do you see yourself?
When I am stood naked in front of the mirror, my first thoughts are: oh how does my face look today, is it spotty, and inflamed? Do my abs look defined enough, ok let’s tense real hard. Hm I wish my boobs were slightly bigger. Why does my butt still look so small even though I’ve been been doing x29002958 squats everyday?
But of course, there are also days where I feel beautiful, I feel strong, I feel contented with myself and my body, I feel grateful that I am alive and healthy. I usually feel good about myself and my body after a long and intense workout and having eaten super clean the entire day. And in certain lighting, I would feel satisfied with my body, my more sculpted abs, yet even then, at the back of my head, I would convince myself it is the lighting at work.
Analysing my own thoughts, I realised all these thoughts that came to my mind when looking at myself are all physical attributes of my body. I wondered if I am becoming overly obsessed with my appearance….
Whenever I see a photo of another girl’s body, be it a friend, or a fitness model, my mind would go on to compare it to my own. I would then start tensing my abs, and do a couple of sit-ups or abs exercises on the spot.
It has gotten to a point where I would tense my abs or do abs exercises or some squats when watching a video or a movie; when I walk past a mirror, I would to lift up my shirt to see whether I look “fat”; I am afraid of overeating, I get hyper aware and irritated at myself and guilty whenever I feel like I have eaten just a bit too much, or if I ate anything “unclean”. I would often consider skipping my next meal, or I would tell me sister that we HAVE to do a fat workout later after a big or unclean meal.
Becoming more aware of how toxic my thoughts on my body are, I decided it is time I mend my relationship with my body, the food I consume and exercising 🤝😤
Rather than seeing my body as it is physically, I choose to see my body as my biggest supporter, the vessel of my character and personality, a machine that enables me all the opportunities life throws at me. Each part of my body has a role in keeping me alive, and making my life convenient. I think the human body is so magical, so resilient, so amazing. I am so thankful to my body and its ability to bounce back no matter what. Even after a night out where I douse my system in alcohol; or push my heart, my lungs, my muscles to their brink through a hard workout, my body never failed me. It has always been there for me no matter how torture it, no matter how much I “abuse” it, call it names, in a way harass it, it still never stopped working for me. My body does all these things for me that keep me alive, so dedicatedly and unconditionally no matter how I treat it, so why can’t I love it completely, to accept it when it looks bloated, when it doesn’t fit perfectly into the societal standard of “perfect”
In an attempt to improve my relationship with my body, I started to meditate on loving kindness, towards myself every night before going to bed, which goes a little bit like this. I thank each part of my body for carrying out its role which keeps me alive. I thank my brain/ my mind for helping me process my emotions, rationalise out things, be logical, carry out my daily functions such as moving my arms, which all require the fine motor of our brains; may my brain stay healthy and well. Then, I move on to my eyes, I thank my eyes for allowing me to see all the beautiful things in this world, and for bringing so much convenience to me, my eyesight grants me the ability to drive, to observe people’s emotions and expressions, and etc; may my eyes continue to function well and stay healthy. Then I move on to my nose, my mouth, my heart, my lungs, my digestive system, my liver and kidneys, my limbs.
I love my body, I want to love and embrace my body completely for all it has done for me. I no longer want to eat healthy and to avoid unhealthy food, and to workout to be “skinny”, to be fit, or to look a certain way. I want to eat healthy and workout as a way to show my appreciation and love towards my body for doing so much for me, rather than to change the appearance of my body.
It is really hard to not focus on the physical aspects of my body when I look at it in the mirror, but I am actively choosing to focus on all the good attributes of my body and to look past its mere appearance. I want to shower my body with love and care every day, no matter the way it looks.
The next time I look at myself, my body in the mirror, I will give it my biggest and warmest smile, tell it how much I love and appreciate it. I will compliment my body just like how I always effortlessly compliment my friends.