By Kristi Bracewell, Owner, Totasola, LLC –
Calling all women (and men you should read this too so you understand your lady a little bit better)!
Suppose a sketch artist contacts you and asks if he can draw you without ever seeing you. You agree to this. So, what words would you give him to describe your shape? How would you describe your face and your body? What adjectives would you use to describe your arms, legs, stomach, chest, and dare I say, backside? Pause. Think about this. If the sketch artist requested that you could be as specific as possible so he could draft the most accurate portrait of what you look like, what would be your descriptors? This is an interesting question as it will force you to self-audit your perception of how you view your body. Notice that I said your perception – meaning how you perceive your body to look, but that does not necessarily mean this is how it looks to others. Once the sketch artist completed his sketch of you, would it resemble how you really look or would it more closely match the mental image of how you think your body looks?
Now, repeat this scenario with someone else giving a description to the sketch artist of your face and your body. Would it not be interesting to hold up both sketches and see if there are differences based on how someone sees you versus how you really view yourself? I am going to venture to say that you are likely more critical of your shape that someone else. As women, we generally are. How often do you see a photo of yourself and rather than appreciate the positive characteristics about yourself, you quickly point out something you do not care for. Why do we do this? It is in my opinion, that women, more so than men, are the masters of self-deprecation. We undervalue and belittle ourselves, especially as it relates to body image, for reasons that I have not fully understood myself. I would not be telling the truth if I did not share with you that I unashamedly edit and crop out an area of my body that I do not like in a picture before I share it on Facebook. I have girlfriends who have made pacts with their husbands (who are also on Facebook) that no photos can be posted without prior viewing approval.
Well, ladies, it is Women’s Health month and I write to all of you to say let’s celebrate us! I wish I could wave my magic wand and hit reset in our brains that will shift our thinking as to how we view our physical body. Putting an end to the drain of negative self-talk and refilling it with positive messages. Here’s what I can say as a wellness professional who has coached many over the years: take baby steps towards self-improvement. Plan out each day with the attitude of honoring your body – physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. In doing this, you will begin to witness the following: You were born with the innate and instinctive wisdom to know what your body wants to eat, what it wants to do (physical activity), who you really want to spend time with, and what your soul truly seeks after. Ask yourself each day what am I doing to honor my body? What you will discover is that most weight-loss diets make you eat in a way that ignores your internal authority that naturally tells you when and what you should eat. Rigid exercise programs tell you what you should and shouldn’t do but often ignore what is best suited for your shape, size, and natural ability. Watching what you eat is important in addition to daily physical activity; however, what if you could trust that your body knows best and listen to those cues? Imagine becoming your own authority over these decisions. Unleash this natural instinct and it will reshape how you think, how you eat, how you move, and how you connect with others.
Most importantly, ask those closest to you to share what they love most about you. Accept the compliments and receive the positive feedback to fuel your soul. Celebrate your natural beauty, embrace your curves, show off you best attributes, and remind yourself that you make a positive difference in people’s lives. If you are ever asked to be sketched by an artist sight unseen, check your insecurities at the door and allow a genuine appreciation for your natural beauty to be the basis of your descriptors.
Finally, be in charge of your health, ladies, because no one else is. I encourage all women to seek out the preventative healthcare services we have here in our country. Check with your healthcare provide for age-appropriate screenings and follow through with them. If your employer offers health insurance, it is very likely that many of the preventative screenings, including an annual woman’s wellness exam, is 100% covered by the plan. Seek out local wellness seminars provided by many local healthcare providers, including our local hospitals, that help educate and inform you on various topics of women’s health. Shift your thinking to one that honors your body, be in charge of your health, and without realizing it, you will be redesigning your sketch. A sketch that you are proud of and don’t need to edit or crop before it is acceptable for others to see. Here’s to no editing, ladies!
For more information please contact:
Kristi Bracewell, Founder/ Owner
www.totasola.com | 941.586.4327