The Cure For Body Image Blues

“Our unique physical make-up is a part of the fine art of the world.”~Nadirah A. Shakir~

I’ve been blessed to work with so many beautiful people as a wellness practitioner. Aside from the uniqueness of their spirit, one of the things that makes them beautiful to me are their bodies. Short, tall, long hair, bald, “pancake” butts, and butts and bust that are rotund—it’s all beautiful to me. I’ve been in the presence of vanilla skin, and coco hues, brown eyes, hazel, grey and blue too. These are the things that make us unique. In a matter of physiques, I’ve trained and massaged shredded, ripped, voluptuous, full figured and petite. I still think, that our unique physical make-up is a part of the fine art of the world!

So why are we all trying to be the same? Who and what are we allowing to define what’s beautiful. As a personal trainer, people always come to me with their list of things they want to change about their physical appearance, because I’m not a plastic surgeon I get the list of things that they want to change about their bodies. A busty woman wants to know if I have exercises to help her loose her breast. I never do; but I always tell them that when they loose weight they’re cup size will probably go down a size or two. A man with rounded shoulders wants to know if he can get his shoulders to look like Lebron James. His shoulders will never grow that big naturally. Besides, that’s a matter of bone structure. The ladies want to know if I have exercises to give them a Beyonce’ butt. That’s genetics. Let’s work on the butt you have, and the list goes on and on.

Unfortunately, I’ve met some people who are actually depressed about their physical appearance. I call this body image blues. The following are suggestions to help you embrace your natural body type, and overcome body image blues.

1. Ask yourself are you healthy: Is your body expressing health? Are all of your bodily systems functioning properly? Are you dis-ease free? Are you able to comfortably perform physical fitness activities? If you are healthy then you are blessed. The next time you get in a funk about your physical make-up remember that while some people may have the “perfect” body, not everyone can say they are healthy.

2. Don’t allow social media to dictate how you should look and feel: Remember, the media is always trying to sell something. When one body type goes out of style, another body type will come in. Love the skin you are in regardless of what’s being promoted in the media.

2. Avoid comparing yourself to others: You may be in a family where everyone has a particular body type, and your body type would have you believe that you were adopted. It’s all good! You’re probably just the splitting image of a family member a couple generations back. You’re special!!

3. Study your ancestry, heritage, and family genetics: Of course genetics and DNA play a role in how we show up in this world physically, and it doesn’t just stop at our parents and grandparents it goes waaaaaaaay back. So do your research and accept the physical make-up of your tribe!

4. Avoid drastically changing your diet: Drastic changes in your diet will drastically change the composition of your body, and before you know it, you won’t even be able to identify which body is truly yours. Stick with a well-balanced diet that composes all of the nutrients. Eat in moderation, and the body type that is truly yours will reveal itself.

5. Embrace your body type as fine art, a perfect manifestation of the Heavenly Creator: An artist takes his/her time to perfect every sculpture, every painting, every poem, every photograph, and every fabric. The heavenly creator approached the design of you with the exact same delicacy if not more so. Just as you would take care with a fine piece of art. Take care of your unique physique just the same.

6. Be sensual with yourself or allow someone you share in love with to be sensual with you: Something as simple as applying lotion to your body after a warm bath can help you appreciate your unique physique. Or have someone else do it who respects, loves, and honors your body. Massage therapy is a wonderful way to ground yourself in your sacred body.  Practice sensuality, to make loving your body a reality!

7. Check yourself out in the mirror in the buff: Look at yourself in the mirror from head to toe. Stare into your eyes—check out your thighs—watch your hips dip—and hug yourself with your arms—and tap your feet gently as you view your entire frame in your birth day suit, in a full length mirror. Admire all the things that make you unique, and tell your body how much you love it. It’s our gift. It’s our vehicle for our soul…for a time. Love it while it last.

For more stories about body image issues and self acceptance visit,http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000141255/Before-You-Work-Out-Exercise.aspx, and read my memoir. What a journey! Blessings!

I wish you self love and fierce self acceptance! Nadirah A. Shakir

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