I’ve got 99 Problems, Body Image Ain’t One

Everyone knows that Jay-Z song…. but if not, here is the video:

*credit to YouTube music license

One of my roommates Jana (who is a very active person, and does some sort of exercise every day of her life) has been asking, no begging, me and my other roommates to come take a yoga class with her. Yesterday, when this question came around again, we really had no good excuses left, so Kenna (another roommate) and I said ‘why not?’ and decided to go.

She took us to CorePower Yoga in Bethesda, and let me tell you, I woke up sore as heck. We did the “CorePower Yoga Sculpt – Heated Power Yoga with Weights.” Aside from a wellness event that my sorority did a few weekends ago, I have never taken a formal yoga class. This was definitely not a class for beginners, but for Jana this was just another workout.

When we got there, it was a sweltering 110 degrees in the room, and I immediately began sweating. I was also looking around the room and thinking to myself everyone here is so thin and toned, I look like a whale in comparison. For a majority of the yoga class, I kept looking at myself and comparing my body to others in the room (no thanks to the giant mirrors at the front of the studio). I was supposed to leave behind everything in my mind and let it roam free during the class, but somehow I couldn’t shake the idea that I was much larger than at least half the people in the room.

On our way home, I was disgusted in myself and I couldn’t stop thinking about my own body rather than thinking about what a wild yoga class that was! So when I got home, I started a Google search about how to improve self-esteem and body image, because I was in some serious need of repair. I stumbled across this article from BodyBlissCentral, and it gave me a much needed reality check. This blog takes a logistical approach to improving positive body image in all women, and now I’m a fan.

Here is BodyBlissCentral‘s list of five quick ways to improve body image:

  • Start and end the day by saying: “My body is my friend,” even if you don’t believe it right now.
  • Stop buying the magazines that crow about the imperfection of women’s bodies and then sell you hundreds of pricey so-called solutions, they only make you feel worse! There are great alternatives on the newsstand, just look for them! They will feed your mind and take your focus off the plastic princess celebrity culture.
  • Start watching your thinking. When you notice you’re comparing yourself to other women, examine what you’re saying and decide if that’s what you really want to believe, or if it is adding to your negative body image.
  • Stop criticizing your body’s “imperfections” – yes you can! Start with the free body-loving inspirations here.
  • Start appreciating what your body actually can do, achieve, and help you experience. That body you’re in is helping you read this page right now, carrying all the negative energy of your thoughts, and still doing the thousands of little tasks it must do every second to keep your soul/life force/whatever you believe, connected to life on this planet in this time.

The author ends her post by saying “One person at a time loving their body can change the world!” You know what? She’s right. If I can’t learn to love my body and what it is capable of, how will other people? Sure I might have big thighs, but they’re pretty damn muscular because I played Field Hockey and Lacrosse from 7-12 grades and I work them out regularly.

If I don’t start being proactive about loving myself, I’m only going to continue hating myself and incidents like me comparing myself to people in that yoga class will only continue….

It’s impossible to eradicate negative thoughts altogether, but this is a good starting point to always think positively, no matter the situation. After all, I only get one body in this life, so I had better treat it right!

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One thought on “I’ve got 99 Problems, Body Image Ain’t One

  1. Hey Rebecca, thanks for stopping by 🙂 I wanted to say “I’m happy I could help” but what I really want to say is it makes my heart SING to know there are young women like you, actively looking for the support you need to stay out of that awful comparing game. The more we do this, the more WE change the world. Rock on 🙂

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