Is it truly possible to love and embrace your body in a world that’s telling you not to? Is it possible to stop comparing ourselves to society’s limited idea of beauty?
Chelsea from Muslimah Healthy shares with us her story on her past struggles with body image, and shares with us her tips on how to love and embrace your body unconditionally as a Muslim Woman.
I spent many years of my life hating my body and wishing to look like the women in magazines. I was never happy with my appearance. It started out with innocently wanting to lose a few pounds and quickly spiralled into an eating disorder.
No matter how thin I got, I wanted more.
The thing is, we tend to think that changing our body is going to make us happier or more confident in our appearance. What I’ve learned is that it is not our bodies at all that need changing. It is our thoughts.
We need to focus on changing our body image, not our bodies. The definition of body image is a person’s perceptions and attitudes about their body and about how other’s perceive their body. You can’t love something that you think negatively about. We need to stop concerning ourselves with what our body
We need to stop concerning ourselves with what our body should look like, and start focusing on what it does look like and why that is beautiful. We need to learn healthy thought processes and positive ways of perceiving our bodies in order to embrace them for all that they are.
As someone who went from hating her body so much that she wouldn’t give it its basic right of food to someone who now genuinely loves her body and cares about keeping it healthy, I would say it’s 100% possible to learn how to love your body.
I am completely recovered and I never have to urge to be as thin as I once was. That doesn’t mean that I think my body is perfect. That doesn’t mean I am complacent. Of course, there are aspects of my body, and of myself, that I want to improve. It’s just that I no longer hate those parts of me. They are who I am and they give me the push I need to become better.
Here are some of the steps I’ve taken that have helped me to completely change my relationship with my body.
Focus on Health and How You Feel
It should not be all about looks!
It’s OK to want to lose weight. It’s OK to want to work on your body. And it is necessary to be comfortable in your own skin. But this is not what it should be all about. Focusing on your inner health and wellbeing before your appearance will give you a deeper sense of meaning and gratification.
Nourish your body with healthy food not to get the perfect body but to be healthy, strong and energized. Exercise as a way to relieve your daily stress. Think of these healthy habits as wonderful things you are doing for yourself.
When you take the pressure off of yourself and start focusing on how your inner being can benefit, everything else will follow.
Compliment Yourself Daily
Girl you are amazing! You are beautiful. You are strong. You are capable of so much. Stop focusing on all of the things you dislike about yourself and focus on all of the wonderful, phenomenal, incredible things that make you, YOU!
Give yourself daily compliments. When you’re at the mirror getting ready don’t be afraid to tell yourself that you look beautiful. What do you love about yourself? Say it out loud!
Anytime you find those negative self-thoughts creeping up, reverse it with something positive. With time those positive thoughts will start to come naturally.
Did you know that, when awake, the human body produces enough electricity to power a small light bulb? Did you know that the human eye can distinguish about 10 million different colors? Did you know that your body produces 25 million new cells each second?
Our bodies are astounding. They are so much more than what is apparent. Release negative self-thoughts and remember how truly amazing your body is. Be grateful each and every day for all of the good it brings you. Be grateful for the simple fact that you’re body works day in and day out with no rest to keep you alive, SubhanAllah!
Most importantly, remember that these bodies of ours were made by Al-Musawwir (The Shaper of Beauty). How then can you ever feel not pretty enough?
Treat Your Body to Something Special
When you love someone, you want that person to feel special. You might buy that person gifts to make them feel good. Treat your body the same way. Take a scented bath, spend the day at a spa, or indulge in some of your favourite chocolates.
Do anything that makes you feel connected to your body. Once you start treating your body like its special it will eventually become a priority.
Understand That You Can Love Yourself While Working to Become Better
Know that loving your body does not mean you think it is perfect. You are allowed to have flaws and you are allowed to recognise those flaws. The key is learning to accept your imperfections and work and them little by little.
You are allowed to love yourself while working to become a better version of you.
Loving your body takes a lot of work and effort. It won’t happen overnight but with these simple tools you can slowly learn how to love and accept your body by changing the negative beliefs about yourself and turning them into positive, loving, caring thoughts.
What are three things you love about yourself? What is one thing you can do every day to show your body some love? Share below!
About the author
Chelsea is a blogger, Certified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist specializing in Healthy Eating for Weight Loss. She is passionate about healthy, natural living and Islamic Medicine. She wishes to inspire other women to live more natural and healthy lives for the sake of Allah (swt).