Celebrate your body this summer
LIVING ALIVE - LIVING ALIVE By Dero Pedero () - April 3, 2007 - 12:00am
It is summer — the heat is on, the skies are blue, and the beaches beckon. Once again, it’s time to worship the sun, and celebrate your body.

"Huh? Celebrate what body?" you ask.

It’s okay. You are not the only one who’d react this way. Many people are unhappy about their bodies, and while a good number would hide their bodily insecurities under thick layers of cloth and makeup, more would change certain features if only they could.

Some want whiter skin; some want a narrower, high-bridged nose. Some desire to be taller and leaner, while others want to have well-defined abdominals, voluptuous breasts, fuller lips, more hair, lesser hair, etc. And the list goes on and on.

A lot of this dissatisfaction is caused by what the media, film industry, and advertisements bombard us with every day. The models and actors they hire are tall and thin, with aquiline noses, pouting lips, silky hair, and perfect bodies. We are constantly pressured to conform to these images (most are digitally corrected!) which focus on outward appearances.

Whoever brainwashed us into believing that white skin is better, and that blonds have more fun? That thin girls always get the dream boy, and that the beautiful naturally deserve the lush, easy life? Blame Hollywood, the fashion magazines, television, and advertising billboards. You may also blame Barbie with her impossibly long legs, the muscled superheroes with six-pack abs, and all the other unrealistic dolls children play with.

But the one to really blame is you — you who buy the ideas and standards of beauty they are selling. And if that isn’t enough, it is you who end up wallowing in the gloom of self-dissatisfaction and sub-beauty misery.
Appreciate Your Body
Many people don’t give their body the due recognition and appreciation it deserves. Rather than praise and value all the extraordinary things that it can do, people focus on its negative aspects and imperfections. (When Marilyn Monroe was asked what she saw each time she looked in the mirror, she answered, "Only the flaws.")

The human body is a marvel of creation, a most efficient machine. When you get sick, it can heal by itself. When your skin gets cut, the body mends the wound. Your heart keeps pumping and your lungs keep breathing on auto-pilot even while you sleep. Your body renews cells, grows your hair and nails, digests your food, distributes the nourishment, fights disease with its antibodies, etc., all without your conscious control.

And here you are worried about your skin color, your not-too-perfect nose, your weight (which you put on anyway by overeating through the years), and all the other superficial bodily imperfections that you nitpick! It’s time to change your mindset and have a more positive attitude towards your body.

This summer, discover and celebrate your body. Face the reality that it is the only vehicle that will get you through life. Love it and make it your friend that it may serve you competently for a good number of years. Besides, if you didn’t have that body now, where would you live?
Love Your Body
How do you love your body? Here are a few tips on how to start loving it:

• Discover your body. Learn more about it by observing and examining its physical appearance, being conscious of the feelings it generates, and reading books and publications on how it functions. Look at your image in the mirror and take note of all the beautiful and remarkable things about yourself.

• Accept it. Be comfortable with your body. Don’t focus on what you believe are its "flaws." Be less self-conscious about your negative features and attributes — instead, focus on your other strengths, good qualities, and virtues like intelligence, creativity, kindness, trustworthiness, etc.

• Be grateful for it. Thank the universe for giving you the body that you have. It is perfect for you right now and besides, you really don’t have much of a choice. Realize all the amazing things it can do for you, and all the things you cannot do without it. Should it be not so desirable or somewhat impaired, be grateful anyway because you possess the priceless gift of life.

• Keep it healthy and nurture it. Treat your body with respect, kindness, and tender loving care. Feed it right, keep it active, exercise it, and give it the rest and sleep it needs. Follow an exercise regimen that you enjoy and keep your body flexible and well-toned. And develop your mental and spiritual faculties as well.

• Enhance it. Keep your body clean and beautiful. Try the countless cosmetic products that can make it more beautiful and attractive. Mind your posture. The best additions you can enhance your body with are a brilliant mind and a loving heart. Remember that true beauty shines from within.

• Pamper it. Find out what makes your body feel good. Take note of what gives it comfort and pleasure. Listen to its needs and give it the luxurious pampering it deserves every now and then. Treat yourself to relaxing bubble baths, invigorating massages, beauty treatments, and occasional food binges.

• Be proud of it. Quit comparing your body to someone else’s! Develop a positive body image, no matter what shape you are in. Think positively about your body and stop negative self-talk. Relax your inhibitions, and show off your body every chance you get.

• Love and celebrate it. Your body is a temple. You must respect, revere, and love it. You must initiate changes that would result in its being more loved by others. But remember that nobody will love your body unless you love it first. Celebrate it and savor all its wonder and glory.
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For your comments on this article and inquiries about our summer self-enhancement seminars, e-mail deroseminar@yahoo.com.

APPRECIATE YOUR BODY BARBIE BLAME HOLLYWOOD BODY LOVE LOVE YOUR BODY WHEN MARILYN MONROE
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