Just for Me
Self Love: 5 Ways to Love the Skin You're In
Before I had kids, at four feet 11 inches and three quarters (hey those three quarters are precious to a petite girl like me) in order to stay thin and feel good about donning a bikini or anything other than an over sized sweatshirt, I had to skip meals. Working out was never enough- because quite honestly, being a tiny person, there is simply no where for the weight to go. I remember being that 15 year old girl dieting, and never feeling quite enough. I also remember being 95 pounds at my wedding, and while I finally felt comfortable with the skin I was in, internally I was a raging mess. I was always hungry, I spent an inordinate amount of time obsessing and calculating my daily caloric intake and just feeling deprived and hostile. Loving the skin I was in, has never been instinctive and has always been colored by the way I felt the world perceived me, and whether or not I could pass for one of those skinny girls we're all told we should long to be.
I am now 38, and this body of mine, this skin, these organs have blessed me with so much. This body has allowed me to give birth to two children, it's granted me the ability to kiss the lips of all those who I love, it's given me an opportunity to intimately embrace my husband and in all these ways it's essentially forced me to worship and revere it. Of course that's not to say that I have left my body issues fall away. Continually being bombarded with messages that thin is in it's hard to ignore. But most importantly I've come to realize and feel grateful for the utilitarian nature of my body and count the blessings it has allowed me to partake in. So in some ways I guess you can say I'm extremely comfortable in the skin I'm in, but more so than that, I finally get the value of my body- beyond it's facade. And, therefore I am determined to continue loving the skin I'm in and finding ways to feel sexy (not SKINNY) while keeping it healthy enough so that it can carry me through another 50 years of embraces.
If however, you've run into a bit of a snafu when it comes to permitting yourself to embrace the skin you're in and really own and feel good about your body, keep reading for a little inspiration to help you get your self love on!
#1 Take care of you body in simple ways that show your respect for it. Diana Tenes a celebrity make-up artist offers these easy tips: Smooth lotion on dry places, massage in. Toss garments that are itchy, uncomfortable or with holes or stains. Wear fabrics and colors that feel good on! When you're tired take a short nap or close your eyes for a moment. When hungry between meals; eat nuts, fruit, yogurt or dark chocolate instead of chips, candy or soda. And of course don't forget to stretch for a few seconds or more for every hour: sitting in the car, at the computer, etc.
#2 Start wearing a satin night gown to bed. Jada Michaels, a lingerie expert says lingerie is a simple way to boost your self-esteem and feel comfortable about the way you look. When you wear a nice bra or stockings, even though you are the only person who knows what's underneath, it makes you feel good! There is something very self pampering when you slip on a nice nightie and crawl into bed. Even when it is just you. It's the fact that you cared enough about yourself to treat yourself to something out of the ordinary. She also advises women to start building a lingerie collection with standard pieces like a beautiful robe and a sexy garter belt with thigh highs. Remember, being you is what makes you sexy. Your lingerie collection is the first step in starting to feel sexy again.
Tip #3 Hire a wellness coach. Even one session with a coach can help you change the way you look at your life and yourself with something called positive re-framing, notes Ashley Karr, M.S. Essentially that means your coach will ask you a series of questions that lead you to uncover all the good in your life and in yourself. You discover how much you have grown in the past from overcoming challenges and how all that you need at this moment to live a beautiful life is inside you right now.
Tip #4 Invest in some jewelry. Whitney Fields, an Independent Stylist for Stella & Dot, says women should remember that jewelry does not discriminate. There is something for everyone at every size and age.
The key to style is fitting it to your personality. No matter what you choose - or how you choose to wear it, it is all about your personal style. Whether it is a pair of chandelier earrings, a delicate charm necklace, a cocktail ring or a bold, statement necklace, if you feel sexy - you will be sexy!
Tip #5 Practice self compassion. When you raise your voice to your toddler, are late for a meeting, eat an extra few pieces of chocolate, be kind to yourself. We all make mistakes, and you are human too. Rachel Starck, a licensed professional counselor, says as women we are often our own worst critics which does not help with self love. She says women should use their mistake to learn how to handle the same situation more effectively next time! Over all, if you think about how you treat your children, with compassion, understanding, forgiveness, trust, and encouragement you can use that as a guide for how to begin treating yourself with acceptance and love.
So how are you practicing self love in your life?