Identifying your body shape and learning to love it are two different things.
This is especially true when the world indicates we should be something we don't see when we look in the mirror.
Do you know what your body type is and have you learned to accept and love it?
I am a straight forward kind of gal that can appreciate the straight forward approach of people like Dr. Phil or Judge Judy. In the fashion world, stylists Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine have that same no-nonsense approach when telling woman that they dress all wrong for their body type.
In their book, The Body Shape Bible, Trinny and Susannah outline 12 different body types instead of the classic pear, apple and hour glass that we traditionally hear about. I really had to study the twelve shapes to determine which best described me. What I found was that how I viewed my body and my actual body type did not match. I saw myself as a "brick" when in reality I am a "column." Perception and reality are two different things, but it is our perception that directs our thoughts and decisions many times.
As we get older and see our shape and size change, it is easy to lose sight of our true body type and to focus on all that we are NOT instead of all that we ARE. As the world tells us we "should" be a size 6 "lollipop" and highlights all the beautiful woman that are lucky enough to be born with that body type and who have spent many dollars and hours to achieve that size, it becomes easier and easier to think that our 'brick' or 'cello' body type is wrong. Sure, maybe we aren't the size we were ten years ago. Maybe we could tweak our lifestyle choices a bit to improve our size and muscle tone for our body type. Unfortunately, many times we follow diet and exercise regimens with a goal of becoming a body type or shape that we are not meant to have and will never achieve. Does this sound familiar? It sure does to me. Unfortunately, we get so caught up in our size and the number on the scale that we don't pay enough attention to the other aspects of our body like its shape and proportions.
Instead, what if we honestly evaluated and identified our body type and learned to accept and love that shape. Start by thinking back to what your body looked like when you were in your 20's. Get out some old pictures and look at your shape instead of the size to help you remember. Use the 12 body types outlined by Trinny and Susannah to honestly assess and determine your body type. Once you have identified your body type, look at your shape today. Do you see the same shape only in a different size? If you had broad shoulders and a long torso in your 20's, you will likely still see that today even if your middle is a little thicker than it was back then. Your type is your type regardless of your size.
Body type is genetically determined and not something we can change, no matter how hard we try or how committed to diet and exercise we may be. Yes we can change our size and tone and strengthen our muscles but unfortunately that isn't enough for many of us. We focus our thoughts and actions with another body type in mind or use plastic surgery and other drastic options to change features that we don't like. Instead of learning to accept the body we were born with, we long for the body that someone else was born with.
Life is short and healthy living with the right goals in mind can make living much more meaningful. Perhaps learning to accept our body for the type it is and working to make it as healthy and fit as possible will allow all of us to make the most of each day we are given.
What body type are you? Is it what you thought you were or were your perceptions different than reality?
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