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08: How to Love Your Body (Even When You Don’t)

You might want to sit down for this episode because it’s a big one. We know it’s not news to you that our society has created unreasonable and unjust expectations around how our bodies should look. These expectations aren’t just hurtful, they’re harmful – and that’s putting it lightly. In this episode, we’ve just scratched the surface on unpacking and debunking some of those harmful things we’ve come to believe about our bodies. This episode also offers tangible advice on how to love your body – even when it’s the last thing you feel like doing.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

National Eating Disorders Associations (NEDA) Helpline:

• Visit https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/help-support/contact-helpline

• Call or Text 800-931-2237

Office of Women’s Health:

• Visit https://www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health/mental-health-conditions/eating-disorders

• Call the helpline at 1-800-994-9662

Transcription:

Think meditation is hard? Do me a favor. Take a slow deep breath in and now breathe out. Congratulations! You just meditated. Hi, I’m Krystal Jakosky and this is Breathe In Breathe Out, a weekly mindfulness and meditation podcast for anyone ready to own their own shit and find a little peace while doing it. 

Hello and welcome to Breathe In Breathe Out. I’m Krystal Jakosky. And again, I am so glad that you’re here and joining me today. I want to start today just by a sincere, ownership and comment from myself. I am learning. I am always learning. I seek to understand, and I pray that others do the same. 

I pray that I am granted your compassionate understanding. My goal is always to bring about love and compassion and acceptance of every human being. We are all humans. We are all a single human race, and I really pray that we can all come together with a loving compassion of ourselves and each other.

I really wish that we could break down so many barriers that are there and just realize that we’re all human. We all make mistakes and we all have successes and together we can learn from our mistakes and our successes can be ever so much better, bigger and more positive. 

I, as a student of life, don’t always have the proper vocabulary to avoid offending every single person. There’s an old saying that you can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. If I ever say something in one of my podcasts that is offensive, I pray that you bring it to my attention by any of my other social platforms. And we have a conversation about it so that I can learn and grow. 

My objective is always to bring about more understanding. And that means that I too need to learn and understand so that I can be even more compassionate and accepting of all people. 

That being said, I’m going to tell you, I love bodies, physical bodies. It is just beautiful and amazing to me. Every curve, every shape, every, the little extra dimples, the bulky muscles from loose bodies to defined bodies, the sizes and shapes, slender and simple. I just, there’s just something magical about this human form that we are carrying through Life. 

The way shoulders are from the sloping, shoulders to square shoulders. They’re all just so beautiful and the way that it moves into an arm that can bend and move and carry things into your hands. And that is how you hug or how you hold a baby. 

And just the miraculous way that the body moves and shapes that way. And like the way that a hip and the butt shape into thighs and legs for movement and progression, I just. It’s just so mind blowing, really beautiful. And the way they have to work together. 

I studied massage therapy for a while and I still, on occasion, do Thai massage. And the way that all of the muscles have to work together, the way that they have their origin spots and their insertion spots and how this muscle moves into that muscle and how your brain sends the synopsis so that everything can move together and function and flow.

And it’s just so amazing to me and beautiful and magical. And it just blows my mind. I tell you, I love the human body. I love everything about it, and it’s not necessarily a sexual thing. I just really admire the human body. I love seeing how a body moves through life, how it chooses to hold different things in different places. It’s just amazing and transformative, and so unique. And I just, I love it. 

The way that your body, like if you’re injured and your body magically just knows where the injury is and what to send and what to do in order to fix and repair and heal so that your body can last longer. So you can continue to live and experience life and the amazing gift that it is in and of itself. 

I love the uniqueness of skin tone, just the different colors and features. And just the rainbow of beauty that is out there. And the contrast of that, there in and of itself. I love the way that the teeth and the lips and everything contrast with the cheeks and the nose and the eyes. And I just tell you, I love it. Is it coming across that I love the human body? 

As a massage therapist my favorite part to work on was literally the face. I loved that the chins and the jawlines and the ears, oh, have you ever just massaged your ears for a second? Just take a minute to do it. You will be surprised at how many pressure points you have in your ears. They are just so fantastic. They hold more stress than you would expect. And they’re also connected to different points on our bodies. So if we massage them, we’ll be able to release stress in different areas that you’re holding onto. 

The eyebrows and the forehead, the scalp, oh, and hair. Oh, I love everything about the scalp and the hair. Like you have a lot of pressure points and muscles inside your scalp. And that’s how you raise your eyebrows. And that’s how you furrow your brow. When you’re giving expression when somebody is telling a story. 

When I was a little girl, one of the myriad of things amongst like a trapeze artist and an ice skater. And I wanted to be a vet tech. There were so many things that I wanted to be as a little girl. And one of them was a hairstylist because I was absolutely fascinated by hair and all the differences of hair from the tight curly hair to the long flowing smooth hair, to the short. I just every bit about it. And somebody who was lucky enough to have a bald head, for some reason, I just loved. 

It was amazing to me. And I wanted to be able to experience all of that and feel the unique texture. I had a friend who had very curly hair, and they would let me put my fingers in it. And I would put my fingers in as far as I could, before they noticed that I had actually stuck my fingers in their hair and it was kind of a game. And it was just so fun. Cause I loved the feel of those curls. 

My hair is naturally very straight and it’s fine. I love everything about my hair. I love feeling it just slide through my fingers. And yet I love the way the curls wrap around my finger or that I can wrap longer straight hair around my fingers or the way that hair growing into a scalp is kind of itchy and scratchy on my feet. 

I just love textures. If you couldn’t tell, I am very much a texture oriented human being. I love feeling the soft and I love feeling the scratchy. And just the unique differences. And changes that are in there. It’s all just amazing to me. And so if everybody could love their bodies, as much as I love bodies, I think this world would be such an amazing place.

We are brought up with these societal norms. You know, you see these advertisements throughout our lives of what the optimal display of humans is supposed to be. That they’re supposed to be this skin tone or that skin tone. They’re supposed to have this hair color or that hair color. They’re supposed to be these exact proportions and all of it’s really unrealistic. 

It’s like trying to live up to this imaginary perfection is mind boggling to me. And yet it’s there like up until recently, many of the advertisements that you would see had been touched up, they’ve been photo-shopped to give them absolute perfection by some unseen person’s decision of what the perfect human body is supposed to look like. 

I remember seeing, it’s been a long time, someone took a picture of a piece of pepperoni pizza and they took this piece of pepperoni pizza and they photo-shopped it. And by the time that they were done, this pepperoni pizza looked like a very beautiful, very shapely woman in a red bikini. And it was very, very convincing that this woman was realistic. But when you tore it down to what it really was and took it back to its original state, it was a piece of pizza. Pizza people. And yet here we are trying to aspire to this fake norm, this fake perfection, this fake reality, that that is what we were supposed to strive for. 

So instead of looking at ourselves and saying, gosh, I am exactly amazing just as I am. And I’m so grateful for this body. We end up really putting our bodies through hell, trying to achieve something that’s really, it doesn’t exist. It really doesn’t exist. 

A newborn baby, a newborn baby comes into this world and everyone oohs and ahhs and loves this baby. And they are absolutely perfect in this form. They’ve come into this world and they have their fingers and toes and arms or whatever. However, that baby comes into this world. They are deemed perfect in that moment. And they’re so loved from the depth of the parents’ hearts. It is this, ah, this is my baby. 

And people joke around and they’re like, “oh how cute is that? Look at the little pudgy cheeks and look at the cute little baby fat legs.” They deem it adorable baby fat and the pudgy cheeks. 

But as we grow up, magically that “baby fat” is longer cute. And the pudgy cheeks are no longer cute. Somehow in our perfection, as this tiny little infant, we grow up, we gain our own sense of independence. And we are now expected to conform to this unrealistic new perfection of  “you’re not supposed to have any additional fat and your face can’t have acne and you need to wear  certain clothes and you need to act and be a certain way.” 

And so, instead of being able to be this free, beautiful child, we are now forced into this new expectation of:  How am I supposed to change? And how am I supposed to be? And how do I achieve? What is there? It’s really sad to me that this is what we do to our kids and to ourselves.

Because as children, we don’t know any better. And we just accept that because even if our parents are trying to bring across that, it’s okay to be exactly who you are. Societal norms and advertisements, whether they be on TV or they’re on billboards on the side of the road or, or, or they tell you a completely different story. 

If your parents are loving and supportive and say, “Hey, you can be what you want to be. And you are beautiful and gorgeous exactly how you are.” And then you go to school and you’re picked on by other people who have bought into the societal norms. You’re kind of beaten into submission. Now you have this new belief and this new understanding and this new concept that, “oh yeah, I am supposed to conform. I’m supposed to hate my body. I’m supposed to think that I’m ugly. I’m supposed to fight to lose weight. I am supposed to be something that I am not.” 

This is where you see unbelievably, seemingly attractive people who then have health issues because they too themselves hate themselves because that’s what they’ve been taught. Bulimia and anorexia and all of these other body shaming, debilitating issues come up because we’ve learned that it’s wrong to love our bodies. It’s sad. It upsets me. It makes me so frustrated because I honestly feel like, what, we have is such a gift. 

It is such a gift, like your body does so much for you. Your body naturally, your heart naturally just beats and keeps that blood flowing. And you semi, subconsciously just breathe. It just happens. Your body just keeps you alive. You’re breathing, you’re bringing in oxygen. Your blood helps to circulate that oxygen all throughout your body so that you can continue having toes and fingers. You can continue living and moving. 

Those are the two things that they start doing. When CPR, when somebody starts to crash, they keep your heart going and your lungs going because your body has given out for some reason. 

Your body takes in all of the food that you give it, it digests it and it turns it into fuel. Like you don’t have to think about digestion. Your body just does it. It takes that food, turns it over, takes the nutrients that you need from it. And then it eliminates the rest so that you can continue doing that. What you give your body, your body then figures out, “how can I make this work so that we can continue living and enjoying this beautiful existence here on this unbelievable world?”

And your response is, “I hate you.” Like, just think about that for a minute. Your body works immensely hard. It burns so much energy and calories just to keep you alive without you having to consciously think about it. Your body, this beautiful vessel works so that you can live life. And your response is I hate you. 

How does that make sense? How does that work? Like how is that right in any way, shape or form? How is that fair to say, “Okay, fine. I will love my mind because I am so smart. I will love my voice because I can sing and I can talk. I will love these little things and yet hate the whole?”

I think it’s time for a change. I think it’s time to decide that all of that stuff that we were raised with and all of the bullshit that we’ve chosen to carry, be dropped and left behind. And we say, “No, I want something new. I want to start appreciating the gift that my body is. I want to start appreciating how hard it works. I want to start giving it good, positive things and loving it as much as it obviously loves me because your body loves you unconditionally.” 

That is the one thing in this world that will never turn against you. It loves you because it is you. And it carries you through everything. When you are emotional. It is there. When you need to express that, your lungs heave with every gasping breath so that you can express that heartbreak and emotion, your body is there. When you need to help move a friend, when you need to go to work, your body is amazing.

This is the part that I am going to tell you. If you have kids in the car, or if you are around people who may be a little offended by some sexual talk, go ahead and press pause or put in your earbuds. So that,  what I have to say next may not offend other people. And if you might be a little offended by sex talk, I encourage you to pause and maybe move on.  

Because I honestly believe that our sexual bodies, our physical pleasure, that comes from our physical bodies is something that needs to be readdressed as well. And I will address it just minimally, right here, right now. 

Body acceptance, loving our bodies, loving ourselves. We are physical sexual beings. We love to be touched. We love to be held. We love to be wanted. If you yourself hate your body, and yet you want to be physically wanted, what kind of message are you sending? 

How is somebody supposed to connect with you and say, I love everything about you when you are telling them, well, I don’t. You are completely invalidating them and their feelings. And you are telling them that they are a liar.

When your partner comes to you and says, oh baby, I find you so sexy. And your brain says, yeah, well, I’m ugly because my butt’s too big. Or my belly is fat. Or I didn’t do my hair today. Whatever that is, you are invalidating your partner because you so desperately want to believe that you are less than. You are inadequate. 

Is that really where you want to be? All because you’ve bought into the societal norm that you are supposed to be in this box? Get rid of the box. I say, figure out what you like. I say, love yourself. And I mean, love yourself. Literally. I am saying, find out what turns you on, find out what physical pleasure brings you joy. Explore that, and seriously want yourself.

If you have the ability to look at that belly and say, you know what? I love you. No matter how big or small that belly is. If you look at that and you say, “I love you, oh my gosh, because of you, I can digest because of you digesting everything that I put in you, whether it’s healthy or not healthy, I am able to continue on another day.” 

Maybe you’re a mom and you have that pudge because you brought life into this world. Is that not something to celebrate and be joyful for? You have that pudge as proof that you gave life. Why hate that? What is wrong with that? I argue there is nothing wrong with that. 

If you can touch yourself and find joy in every little bit of you, how much deeper will the physical, passionate connection with your partner be? Because you are in tune and love yourself. And I will tell you that people find confidence, sexy. People find confidence attractive, and there is nothing more attractive than a human being that loves their body and says, yeah, I love this. I am perfect exactly the way I am. 

So own it. Wear it. Be it. Be true to yourself because this is the one body you have. You can’t trade it in for another one. It’s not a download kind of situation where you can just say, “Oop, I don’t like that one. Let’s just do another one.” That doesn’t work. 

This body is a gift. Feel it out. Literally. Love yourself. Literally. 

If you know what physically turns you on and makes you happy, then you can tell your partner that too. And it just deepens your connection. Your partner cannot read your mind. Your partner does not know that you want them to avoid this spot and love on that spot because they can’t read your mind. They really have no clue. And honestly, if you have no clue, then how are you supposed to portray that to your partner? If you don’t know what really just gets you simmering. How is your partner going to know?

Feel it. Love it. Be in it. Be one with it. 

I think sometimes we talk about our body and we, we verbalize as though we are completely separated. I am this. I hate my body. Like your body is something, not even of you, but realistically, your body is you. Your body houses everything, your emotions, your thoughts, your movements, your spirituality, your internal compass, your body is you.

And as soon as you start talking about it as a completely separate being from yourself, you’re not loving it. You’re disconnecting because you don’t like it for some. 

Why are you disconnecting? What is it about you that is causing you to disconnect? Have you looked into that? Have you thought about it? Maybe it’s something to journal about. Why, what brings that about?

Is that something from your childhood? Is it something that you learned as you grew older? Did you have a trauma? What is it that causes you to completely disconnect from your body and how can you reconnect? How can you find that space again and say, no, no, no, no, no. I love me and everything that is me. 

I love this little pudge at my hip, I just think it’s cool because you know, my body decided to put a little extra fat right there. Why? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. I don’t care. It’s there. And it’s part of me and I love it. 

I have a toe that has a funky toenail. I’m sure it’s because I’ve broken that toe a couple of times and the toenail just doesn’t grow for a long time. I was like, I would try to hide that one little toe because the toenail wasn’t perfect. Well, now I love my toenail because guess what? It’s like your little toenail. And that toe helps me balance. Because I have that toe, I am better able to balance as I walk and move through life. 

I found something to love about a point that I didn’t. So I encourage you think about it. We all have it. What is the top thing that comes to mind when you think, Ugh, I hate this about myself. Okay. And now here’s my challenge for you. What can you love about that spot? Why is that spot a gift? How is that spot a blessing to you throughout life? Because it is, if it didn’t do anything for us, we wouldn’t have it. It wouldn’t exist. 

So what do you love? How can you change it from, “I hate this” or “I don’t like this,” to “I love this. And I am so grateful for this.” Remember, your body does everything for you, your body, you are alive because it beats and it breathes and it processes and it digests. It is amazing. And it’s all yours. And it is the one vessel that you get to go through life with unconditionally. 

So let’s love it. Let’s turn this train around. Let’s stand up against the societal norms and let’s find the beauty in absolutely everything around us, not just the sky and the animals, not just the delicious food that we eat.  Let’s find beauty in our bodies. In the enjoyment of touch. In the beauty of the gift, that every little part of it is. 

I just want to add a couple points right here. There are those people who are very confident in themselves and on occasion, we can label them as full of themselves or other negative statements simply because they are more body positive and body  accepting of themselves. I hope that we can change that attitude. I think that part of that attitude comes because we ourselves are insecure in our own body. So somebody who is confident in their body is a little bit of a confrontation. 

I’m not encouraging us all to be full of ourselves or prideful. What I am encouraging is that we stop shaming ourselves so that we ourselves can be healthier and happier and live a truer life. It’s very much a challenge. 

And I, for one, have been very happy to just accept the challenge and move forward. In accepting the challenge, it takes a long time to achieve this. It is not something that happens overnight. Changing a mindset from negative and tearing your own self down to one that is loving and positive can take years to achieve. 

Now, I don’t say that to discourage you. I was once told that it can take one month for every year of your life to change a habit, which means that if you are 24 years old and it takes one month for every year of your life, it could take up to two years for you to fully feel free of that habit and pattern. 

That’s not a discouragement. That is an encouragement every day that you choose to be more positive of your own body and where you are at and how you present in life is one day closer to that, freedom and acceptance and love. 

Another point I would like to bring to your attention is this one.

When your partner says you are beautiful and your brain thinks, “no, I’m not. I’ve got a Pudge here. And I’m, my knee is funky there. And dah, dah, dah, dah,” Whose voice is that? Is it really honestly your voice that is bringing up the issues and the negativity? 

Or is it the voice of past people who have taught you? Is that the voice of the mean kids in high school that were telling you that you were fat or ugly, or your hair was too much this? Or, or, or.  Was it your parents? Was it some unintentionally, well-meaning aunt who actually hurt you instead of boosted you up? 

Whose voice is it telling you that you are not enough? If it’s not your voice, you can tell it to go suck a rotten egg. You don’t have to listen to that because it’s not, you. You yourself are amazing and beautiful. You yourself are this unbelievably fascinating creature.

And the voice in your head, should it tell you otherwise? I say argue with it. When it says you’re something negative, then tell it all of the positive that you are. 

You’re ugly. Oh, no, I’m not. I am beautiful. Look at my eyes. They are so shiny today. I just really feel like I’m pretty. And I love my lips. And this outfit that I’m wearing is fantastic. I am not ugly. I am beautiful. 

You’re clumsy. No, I am not clumsy. I have walked all over today and I haven’t fallen once. 

Argue with the voice. The more that you contradict the negative with a positive, the quieter that negative voice gets and the louder that positive voice gets. And eventually you change from hearing that negative to only hearing the positive. And when that negative does come in that positive, just naturally switches and says, “uh-uh, no bullshit.”  

It’s a beautiful shift. And it will change. I promise you, it will change. You just keep doing it. 

The last thing I want to tell you, the last thing I really sincerely want to express to you right here, right now.  There are issues that desperately need professional help. If you are someone who has sincerely struggled and is just unable to change things around on your own, and you do need professional help, there are hotlines and people out there who are ready and able to support you and help you get through whatever challenges you are going through. At this time.

Some of them are women’s health.gov. 

Another one is the national eating disorders.org. 

Reach out, please reach out and get the help you need. I myself have had to seek professional help at different times in different periods of my life. And I am forever grateful to the counselors who have supported me and helped me find just a new way in a new light. 

I pray that you are able to connect with someone who can help you as much as I myself was helped. It works. You can do it. If I can do it, I tell you, you can do it. You can change it around. You can find some peace. You can find some love. You can accept your body for the amazing, beautiful thing that it is. The gift that you have been given. 

So I’m Krystal Jakosky. And until next time on, breathe in, breathe out, take care. 

I hope this moment of self care and healing brought you some hope and peace. I’m Krystal Jakosky on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. And I hope you check us out and follow along for more content coming soon. I look forward to being with you again here on Breathe In, Breathe Out. Until next time, take care.

Breathe In, Breathe Out is a weekly mindfulness and meditation podcast hosted by yours truly, Krystal Jakosky. Each week, we’ll release a brand new lesson or meditation focused on helping you navigate your life by giving YOU the tools to become your own healer.

Breathe In, Breathe Out is available now – wherever you get your podcasts.

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