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How to Improve Your Body Image with Gratitude

With Thanksgiving in Canada, literally around the corner, I wanted to chat about gratitude.

What I love about thanksgiving. It’s literally in the name. it’s that time of year that we pause and list all the usual things that we’re thankful for – our family, our kids, our spouse…

Which is great! BUT how many times a day, week, a year or even a decade do you pause to thank your body?

body image gratitude

I’m going to venture a guess that it’s not very many. Possibly even zero. Don’t worry, I think you’re in the majority.

There is a lot of media around body positivity and positive body image lately. But what does that even mean… because to me it sounds a lot easier than it actually is. I mean it took me a very long time to change those negative thought patterns. And to be honest, sometimes it still gets me. But now I have the tools to deal with it.

Body image refers to how an individual sees their own body, it’s your own perception of your body, what you believe about your appearance, how you feel about your body, how you move your body. The mental picture we have of our bodies is often held up against an image of what we think we should look like. The perception of your body can, however, be influenced by others. And often beliefs about ourselves begin at a young age. I know it did for me. If you haven’t yet, check out Episode 1 of the Nurture Me Podcast and listen to my story.

So, let’s talk about gratitude. Because gratitude has the power to shift your relationship with your body.

By definition, gratitude is the quality of being thankful, a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

I want to point out that our bodies are pretty remarkable, whether we acknowledge them for it or not. Just think about all your body can do without you actually thinking about it…

Maybe it’s the science nerd in me that is completely fascinated that our bodies do so much just on their own. Your heart continues to beat, your lungs continue to breathe, your liver detoxifies, your kidneys filter, your pancreas controls your blood sugar, your digestive system takes food and turns it into usable energy! Come’ on that’s remarkable!

And that’s just what your body does on its own not even what you ask it to. I’m a firm believer in that statement our bodies can do what our minds set out to do. Meaning if you think you can’t, you won’t. But if you believe you can, you will.

Researchers have actually proven that gratitude can improve body image. The simple act of offering your body gratitude shifts how you view your body. Notice I said simple and not easy.

When I talk about gratitude for your body, I mean all parts of your body. Even those parts you shame, that you criticize, that you wish were different.

This is a practice I have been working on for some time. As someone who began body shaming at just 6 years old. My wounds and negative tendencies were deeply ingrained.

I recently read a quote, “what could women accomplish if we weren’t so focused on our bodies?”

It takes a whole lot of energy to feel shame for our bodies. I know because I’ve been there. I have stared in the mirror and told myself the most hateful things. Things I would never even dream of saying to another human be