According to the Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report, 90% of women opt out of engaging with friends and loved ones because they’re unhappy with the way they look.
That means that on any given day, as many as 90% of women are opting out of fun, love, career moves, their bucket list items, their dreams, a day at the beach — all because of embarrassment and shame.
Can you think of a time when you panicked about showing up somewhere because you didn’t have “anything” to wear? RSVP’d no or simply flaked because you just weren’t feeling great about yourself? Put off a trip, skipped a pool party, or didn’t go out with friends because you were worried about judgment?
We’d bet money that you have, because we all have.
So much of what we’ve learned about how to value women’s bodies is backwards. Make no mistake — your body is your greatest asset. For so long, though, we’ve been told that our bodies are for other people’s valuation. That the way other people view our bodies determines our worthiness of joy, of being seen, of being heard, of being valued at all.
But what if the opposite is true? What if we only need to show love and appreciation and celebration of our own bodies?
Here’s the challenge:
Over the course of 24 hours, pay close attention to how you interact with and acknowledge your body throughout the day. Jot down how you feel about her, how you see her. What you think about her. What you say.
Do you apologize to others for your body through your body language or clothing? Do you look for flaws? Do you ignore the things you don’t like altogether? Do you appreciate the things you do like?
Now, looking over what you’ve discovered in how you interact with your body — would you ever treat another human being that way?
As S Factor founder Sheila Kelley says, “She’s your girl, your confidante, your best friend, your baby, your lover, your nurturer and your workhorse. She does things for you that you don’t even think about or appreciate. She houses you, pumps your blood, hears the good and the bad news, smiles for you, communicates for you. She’s vulnerable, your body. She only wants to make you happy. She only wants to keep you alive. She will do anything you tell her to do within her range. She only wants to make you love her. She only wants to make you proud of her.”
If you wouldn’t treat another human being this way, why would you do it to yourself?
For body whisperer and women’s empowerment speaker Sheila Kelley, body love didn’t come naturally, and it definitely wasn’t something she was taught. “It really started when I began to see my own body as a gifted child and my entire relationship with ‘her’ changed,” she says. “First, I began to think of my body as ‘her’ instead of ‘it’. I stopped saying crappy things about her and even tried to stop thinking bad things about her. I saw the vulnerability of her and grew protective of her. Instead of being hard on her. I listened to my body when she was tired and let her rest instead of pushing her too hard.”
What would happen if you radically changed the way you approached your body? If you saw her as a friend, or even a child? What would change for you?
“I encourage you to give it a try, to consciously see your body like your very own gifted child,” Sheila says. “Treat her the way you would your own flesh and blood. (After all, she is!). The change in your behavior might be subtle and almost unnoticeable, or it might be earth shakingly eye opening. It was for me.”
How could loving your body reignite your life?
Want to learn directly from body whisperer Sheila Kelley to make this shift in self-acceptance and body love? Join Sheila online starting October 7, 2019 for Woman Ignited: Body Love, a four-week digital course and supportive space focused on helping you get the life you want.
In this course, you’ll learn how to:
- Break the patterns of negative self-talk.
- Stop putting your needs last.
- Build confidence and self-worth.
- Take back your Me Time.
And so much more.
“You run the world, girl, and that body you live in is taking you along for the wonderful ride of life,” Sheila says. “The choice is yours; love her and protect her, or stay trapped in the vicious circle of self-judgment and criticism. Your body is a walking miracle, a wild work of art of major proportions. Treat her that way.”