Jenny Eden Berk is a certified eating psychology coach, body image mentor, international speaker and best-selling author. She is the founder of Jenny Eden Coaching, a practice devoted to helping women, men and teens heal their relationship with food and their bodies. She resides in Boston with her husband, 3 young daughters and in addition to coaching and writing she loves to cook, entertain, travel, as well as practice hot yoga and kettlebell training. She shares her tips on how to set yourself up for a path of body-positivity, love and acceptance.
Women and men often feel that the only way they will feel good about their bodies is if they change or transform it. We are always on the hunt for the next diet, beauty product or service that will help us shape shift into a size, shape or style that is different than what we are right now. In living this way, we are forced into believing that we will be happier, more satisfied and confident if only we lost weight, gained weight, got rid of those varicose veins, fill in the blank.
While it’s true that sometimes these measures make us feel better about ourselves, it’s often a pyrrhic victory as ageing and changing life circumstances have us face the next “issue” with our appearance that needs to be fixed. And the next, and the next….
Do you see the problem here?
What if we were to instead look for ways to feel good in our skin right now, as it is, imperfections and all? It is often said that depression lives in the past, anxiety in the future but bliss is right now. This may seem like a lofty goal to you right now and one that does not feel achievable or acceptable. I get it. But let’s use these four examples below as ways to get started and plant a seed that can helpfully set you on a path for a glorious garden of body-positivity, love and acceptance.
1. Practice mindfulness.
Sit with yourself and notice the places in your body that feel content, alive, and vibrant. Notice where you may be feeling discomfort, pain or where you tend to direct your negative self-talk towards. Acknowledge all of it and breathe through the thought bubbles that arise. All good relationships are based in trust, communication and respect. By just allowing yourself to be. By noticing your breath, and the subtle ways our bodies speaks to us, we can begin slowly begin to build more trust and respect for the incredible vessels we are lucky to have.
2. Explore bodies of water
Our bodies feel different in water than on land. Enjoy the sense of lightness and expansiveness in various pools, oceans, lakes and hot tubs. Notice the sensual aspect of being in water. Getting in touch with our different senses be it smell, sight or touch, can bring us gratitude and awe about the ways we can experience pleasure and comfort in our skin no matter its size or shape.
3. Do something you absolutely love to do and brings you joy
Horseback riding, pottery, poetry writing or whatever else you enjoy. When we can pursue our passions and express ourselves creatively in a way that feels truly aligned with us, we can move towards balance and be who we are supposed to be, irrespective of our exterior packages. It’s a way of tapping into what lights up our souls which can far transcend our physical bodies.
4. Splurge and buy clothing with materials that feel soft, comfortable and/or luxurious
Buy clothing that fits your own particular shape and size, as it is right now. Don’t pay attention to the size or number on the label. Don’t get into stories about how you used to fit into x but now you lament that you only fit in y. I truly understand the grief and the mourning of a certain size or number, but it is just that. A number. It’s an external, subjective measure that we human beings have ascribed meaning to. Nothing more, nothing less. So, go into that store, and buy what feels good on YOUR skin and on your own beautiful body, right now. And then go strut your stuff!
For more information on Jenny visit www.jennyedencoaching.com