By Jen Gendron: Health & Wellness Coach
Body image – it is a touchy subject and one we are all likely to have some issues around. I was recently involved in a conversation with a group of really fit women who were talking about the things they would like to change about themselves – how they would like better thighs, bigger breasts, smaller breasts, a tuck here, a nip there . . . the conversation went on. It has been on my mind ever since as I found it really bothersome that no matter what shape we are in, there are always things about ourselves that we are not happy with and in today’s society, this is becoming an epic problem. Although body issues abound with both genders, this is an issue that is especially big for women. The endless magazine covers and online exposures we have daily to having to have to the “perfect body” has caused us to obsess over how we look.
Not too long ago, I did a drum making workshop with a Native elder and his talks about how they lived in his village and how proud his people were of every scar, every stretch mark, every wrinkle was something that made a dramatic impact on me. For these people, these things that we consider “imperfections” are badges of honour. They depict a life well lived, each mark or “blemish” representing a story or a chapter in that person’s life. Hearing these stories made me appreciate my own body that much more and to think that this is something we should all be more conscious of. The “twin skin” and stretch marks that make me self-conscious in our culture would be seen as incredible reminders of the miracle of life in theirs. Is this not the kind of thinking we want to bestow upon our sons and daughters? To be proud of the people that they are and happy with themselves? To love the bodies and the skin that they are in?
While it is not something that is going to change over night in our culture, I ask you to stop and think about it for a minute and reflect on your “imperfections” and how they impact your thought process and your body image. Would you want your children thinking about themselves the way you think of yourself? When was the last time you thanked your body for getting you where you needed to go? For moving you throughout your day? For carrying you through all the tasks that you face each day and for keeping you functioning as the strong, independent and healthy woman or man that you are?
The next time you start to get down on yourself or start to criticize yourself or pick out flaws, think of all of the amazing gifts that you have and all you have lived through and thank you body for getting you to where you are today! Be proud of yourself and love the skin that you are in!