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This is how you can embrace your changing body

Your relationship with your body lasts a lifetime, and certain factors might affect your shape as you go through life changes. A positive attitude towards your body will help you respond healthily. Joburg-based Life Coach Sharon Piel weighs in.

Age, pregnancy or even illness could cause your body to change, which may result in feelings of insecurity. Throw in social media, where people seem picture-perfect, and you might start to put unnecessary pressure on yourself to look a certain way. Joburg-based Life Coach Sharon Piel notes that the images we see on social media of celebrities, models or people we know can cause us to feel less confident about ourselves. Here, she cautions against comparing ourselves to others and offers advice to encourage you to love your body through its different stages.

Image: Unsplash

Appreciate your body and everything it does for you.

You may not have the body you want, but you can appreciate it for everything it does and has done for you. For example, post-pregnancy, rather than worrying about stretch marks and saggy skin, appreciate that your body created the beautiful miracle that is your baby.

With ageing comes grey hair, wrinkles and, possibly, weight gain.

It can be difficult to accept these changes, especially when we’re bombarded with articles and adverts in almost every magazine promoting maintaining a youthful appearance, reversing the signs of ageing. But you need to be realistic and accept that you’re getting older and your appearance is going to change over time.

Having a chronic illness or disability can make maintaining a healthy self-image difficult.

Acceptance is vital, as, with ageing, we may not be able to change our appearance but we can learn to love and accept ourselves.

Don’t talk negatively about your appearance.

If you have children, don’t criticise yourself in front of them – and certainly don’t judge them by their appearance.

Get comfortable with the idea that your body and appearance are going to change throughout your life.

Focus instead on being the best version of yourself at your current age.

Practice self-care.

This means leading an active lifestyle, eating healthily, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep. There’s more to life than your appearance.

Don’t make how you look the focal point of your life.

Concentrate on your relationships with people you love and care about, enjoy life and live it to the fullest by creating beautiful experiences and memories, no matter your size and shape. And, most importantly, practice self-compassion and self-love. No matter the season, learn to love and accept yourself, warts and all!

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