Cultivating gratitude for your body is one of those things that sounds a lot easier than it is.
In theory, it’s as simple as appreciating your body exactly as is - theory being the key word here. In practice, at least for me, mustering up even the smallest amount of gratitude for my body is a rare occurrence. When it does happen, it’s quickly overshadowed by doubt, self-loathing, comparisons to others, and the ugly list goes on and on. Learning to appreciate and love your body is a long, but worthy process (that I am nowhere near the end of) but here are a few thoughts that have helped me on the journey so far.
Focus on the feeling, not the look. We take this approach with everything we do at the ness, and it’s certainly applicable here. More often than not, fixating on how you look leads to nitpicking at what you/society considers to be flaws or imperfections, and generally spirals away from embracing and appreciating your bod. Instead, find ways to shift your focus to how you feel both physically and emotionally.
My suggestion? Try to do a day without mirrors; it’s surprisingly harder than it sounds, but it can be empowering and rejuvenating to reconnect with yourself in this way. Playing devil’s advocate with myself, there will be some days that your body doesn’t feel great. Simply put, it’s annoying. Remind yourself that everyday is a journey with its own unique set of highs and lows. In that same vein, the way we feel (and look) differs from day to day, so give yourself some grace before you let judgement and negativity creep in. By no means do I have the answers on how to cultivate complete gratitude for your body all day every day.
Ultimately I believe if you have the patience to meet your body with love and respect exactly where it is each day, you’re on the right path. Tt may be cheesy, but it’s true; if you allow yourself to feel strong, confident, energized, beautiful, powerful, happy, or (insert any positive feeling here) in whatever you’re doing - fitness related or otherwise - that is gratitude worthy in my book.