Tag Archives: body image

Gratitude for our Ungratifying Traits

Inspiration from the iGnite Archives

iGnite - Journal_June5_2016

Point to Ponder:
What physical attributes of yours do you regularly wish were different?

Kathleen Parker

by Kathleen Parker

A couple of months ago I went to lunch with a group of friends that I have known for a very long time. All of our kids grew up together and we gather for birthdays and other celebratory events. One of our interesting topics landed on plastic surgery, which drifted to that despite our efforts to keep our faces looking youthful, our hands show our true age. At that moment I looked down at my hands and smiled. I noticed that they were larger than most women my size, and my fingers are long with maybe more “knuckle wrinkles” than most too. I also have a sunspot on my right hand that looks like a huge freckle.

As I was driving home, I continued to look at my hands on the steering wheel. I felt this overwhelming sense of gratitude as I was reminded of all the amazing things my hands have done and continue to do. They held, loved, and raised our four babies. They may not be delicate and beautiful, but they are strong! They can grip and hold a ski rope behind any boat (which is when I am my happiest!). They even won the “grip test” at the Austin’s Fittest Competition and they were great to have at the pull-up station, too. They enable me to live my dream job everyday! They are holding my husband’s hands.

Realizing that one of the least aesthetically pleasing parts of my body is actually one of my best assets has made me appreciate my big, long-fingered and sun-spotted hands.

Through our critical eyes we may see some of our greatest blessings as unattractive, too big, too small, or not good enough, but they are actually allowing us to walk, run, hold, clap, see, hear, hug and so much more. We are all perfectly made, and we are all given different gifts. So, rather than wishing we had less, more or were created differently, let’s focus on being grateful for everything we do have.


Action Item:
Practice appreciating your so called “flaws” by saying “thank you” and making a list of all of things that body part allows you do.


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The Compliment Dare

Loving Yourself & Others, Part IV

compliments

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

When I sat down in January to plan what I was going to write about in February, the idea of loving ourselves and others felt natural because February is all about love. As I pondered different actions we could take that would demonstrate love, the one that continued to stir in my head was the ability to receive a compliment with a simple and gracious “thank you.”

Let’s face it, we women are THE WORST at receiving compliments with a “thank you” or without the extra “oh”, “well”, “but”, and “really?” On the flip side, we are THE BEST at giving compliments! We have no problem showering others with compliments, but when it comes to loving ourselves and the person giving the compliment enough to graciously receive it with a “thank you”, as a whole we’re pretty bad.

How do I know this? Because graciously accepting compliments was something I once stunk at, and I continue to struggle with. It wasn’t until a friend called me out many years ago that I became aware of how rude, ungrateful and unflattering it was for me to not to be able to say “thank you”. I thought a lot about why I couldn’t receive a compliment. Did I feel unworthy? Did I not love myself enough to receive a beautiful compliment? Or was it because I was too focused on my imperfections that I couldn’t see or appreciate what others saw? Honestly, it was probably all of the above.

Taking it a step further, my whole life I’ve wished I had long, slender legs. I’ve never been satisfied with my long torso and short legs until Dietitian Anne Wilfong spoke at one of our winter retreats. She too referenced her dislike of her short legs and long torso, and said that it wasn’t until she ran her first marathon that she realized how grateful she was for her short, strong legs. Not only did they carry her for 26.2 long miles, but they allowed her to train all of those miles! It was then that I realized I needed to stop wishing I had longer legs and simply be grateful for what I do have. So, to my short legs: I am blessed to have both of you. You are strong and allow me to run, jump, walk, play, skip, ride my bike and go everywhere I need and want to go. Thank you, and I will never wish you were longer again!

Gratitude. I’m learning that expressing gratitude is the key to living our best life, and while being able to receive a compliment with a gracious “thank you” and complimenting a body part that we are typically critical of might seem trivial, to me it all equals loving ourselves, loving the person who was kind enough to give us the compliment and appreciating what we’ve been given.

This week and moving forward, I invite you to join me in the Compliment Dare. The goal is to begin receiving compliments with a simple “thank you”, while also loving yourself enough to say “thank you” to your unique features and characteristics. And as you embark on the Compliment Dare, below are two beautiful iGnite leader examples of complimenting a body part that will inspire and encourage you to start saying “thank you”.

Amy

Amy

“On a good day when I’m feeling confident and self-assured, I call them my “character lines.” On a rough day when I am feeling anxious, worried and insecure, they show up as “old lady wrinkles.” What I realize when I am honest with myself is that every single one of the deep groves in my forehead and furrowed brow carry a lifetime of rich living. The etched wrinkles are complemented by the crows feet around my eyes that light up my face every time I smile and laugh…..which I must have done a lot of in this lifetime if their prominence is any indicator!  I have earned every single one of my wrinkles; a testament to a life well lived!”
-Amy

Catherine

Catherine

“When I get the occasional compliment on my hair, my tendency is always to respond with the bad — “oh really? Wow, it’s so fine and straight and flat and there’s so much of it…and this…and that… but thank you though. ” When really I should just rock it. Why am I responding with negativity when someone is saying something nice to me? The fact that my hair is relatively ‘easy’ to handle is something I should be incredibly grateful for and stop nitpicking about the things I wish were different about it. So, there — thank you God for this crazy head of hair that I should be nothing but grateful for!”
– Catherine

Action Item:
When given a compliment, practice receiving it with a gracious “thank you” and begin complimenting and being grateful for the physical features you are often critical of.

When We Really Feel Most Beautiful

We think it’s safe to say that we all enjoy feeling physically beautiful, but we also think it’s safe to say that feeling physically beautiful is fleeting. It comes and goes, and often times depends on who we are standing next to. Ugh. It’s that comparison thing!   We think you’ll agree with the women in this video who share the times they feel the most beautiful, which, interestingly, have nothing to do with appearance.

Enjoy the wholehearted video 🙂

Video not working? Watch it here on YouTube

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Learning to Shake It Off

Everybody’s got a past. The past does not equal the future unless you live there.
– Tony Robbins

Point to Ponder:
What words from the past are you hanging on to and allowing to limit the way you live your life?

Action Item:
Make it a goal to overcome the negative and hurtful words of other people and start living an uninhibited life.

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

Last week, while talking with a group of friends about our goals, we realized we had one thing in common: we were hanging on to negative comments from the past and allowing them to affect our self-esteem. Let me explain.

When I was in the third grade, I was definitely a chubster. My parents never told me I was anything but perfect, so I really didn’t think much of it. However, my opinion of myself changed after our neighbor looked right at me and said, “Well aren’t you a little fat thing!”  Granted, this comment was 28 years ago, however I still vividly remember how hurtful it was. And, despite being told I was too thin at different times in my life, her words have always played in my head and I often times have to give myself a body image pep talk.

As for my friends, one of them hasn’t worn shorts since junior high because she was once called “thunder thighs,” while another is paranoid about her forehead because one time, many, many years ago, she was told she had a big forehead! After talking to my friends about our ridiculous, yet real insecurities, we realized that we were allowing the words of other people affect how we feel about ourselves and essentially limit the way we live our lives. Therefore, we decided that one of our goals would be to shake off the comments of the past so we can start living for the future.

So, in the event you are struggling to determine a goal to set for yourself between now and Christmas, maybe consider shaking off a negative comment that is haunting your spirit and preventing you to live a full and free life. Not only do you deserve it, but your family, friends, and community deserve to see and experience the very best and uninhibited you!

What do YOU think? Share your stories & join the discussion by leaving a comment 

 

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